READERS of Ian Rankin’s Rebus books will be pleased that he has written a story, along with Rona Munro, specifically for stage.

In Rebus: Long Shadows, former Coronation Street actor Charles Lawson plays John Rebus with Cathy Tyson as his former protégée, DI Siobhan Clarke and John Stahl as villain, Big Ger Cafferty.

By now, Rebus is retired and worries about errors made when he was working whilst sitting in his well worn armchair. When the daughter of a murder victim turns up, his guilt goes up a notch. Charles Lawson fits the role like a glove.

DI Siobhan Clarke is still working and determined to make an arrest. Although she seems tough, she harbours a liking for her former mentor. Tyson is a likeable member of the acting team. She brings up a second murder still requiring investigation.

Stahl’s Cafferty has profited from his crimes and has a veneer of respectability about him. But he is dangerous. Stahl makes it possible for the audience to read his thoughts – and they’re not good.

But, you must concentrate to appreciate the plot and distinguish between crimes. You are helped by the ghosts of the two victims played by Dani Heron and Eleanor House but you still need your wits about you.

Mancunians might find it difficult to decipher the Scottish accents especially as the microphones are quite low.

Eventually, Rebus, is forced to turn to Cafferty for help even though he spent his career trying to arrest him.

There is a vital scene where the two have a heart to heart and each discover home truths about the other.

The atmosphere is enhanced by Garth McConaghie’s music which adds tension.

* Rebus:Long Shadows is at the Opera House until Saturday, November 3.

For tickets, telephone 0844 871 3018 or see

Star rating: * * *.