Exit Music by Ian Rankin. Little, Brown (2008).
With all the crime dramas on TV these days, it's easy to think that cases can be solved in one hour. Exit Music, however, gives us a more realistic view of the time and effort involved in crime-solving. Detective Inspector John Rebus, the star of the novel, is perfectly painted as the veteran detective days from retirement. In addition to the crime, we witness Rebus' misgivings about leaving the force. The injection of this personal unease is humanizing and endearing.
This book stands independently of Rebus' previous adventures, which I appreciate as I've never read the other Rebus books. Exit Music is the supposed swan song for Rankin's popular detective, but, without wanting to give anything away, I have a sneaking suspicion that readers will be seeing him again. Perhaps it is just semantics on Rankin's part. After all, it is the last appearance of Detective Inspector John Rebus...future books would see him as a civilian like the rest of us.