It is hard to believe but Even Dogs in the Wild, the twenty-first Rebus mystery is my first crack at Ian Rankin. Here, Rebus is retired but a case involving an old nemesis named Big Ger Cafferty has Siobhan Clarke calling him in for some assistance. Once a cop, always a cop so soon Rebus is neck deep into investigating a series of seemingly unrelated killings.
You do not need to be familiar in any way with Rankin's Rebus series to enjoy this mystery. There are no major references to characters and events past. It is obvious though a fan of the series will appreciate the relationship between Rebus, Clarke, and Malcolm Fox a lot more and get some of the inferences.
Even Dogs in the Wild seemed to be spinning its wheels a bit with inquiries and surveillance and a bunch of tertiary characters. The solve works but you do see faint fingerprints of Deus Ex Machina. The resolution of some of the secondary plot points was a bit rushed and much but it does not take away from the enjoyment.
Other Ian Rankin Reviews
Blood Hunt: Rankin can do better but this is still a good read.
The Naming Of The Dead - Inspector Rebus: DI John Rebus is called out of the station to investigate the appearance of a piece of clothing of a murder suspect only to discover that there may be more murders than just the one he is investigating
Bleeding Hearts: An assassin is set up on a hit and investigates who set him up