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1. A Question of Blood: An Inspector
2. The Falls: An Inspector Rebus
3. A Cool Head (Quick Reads)
4. Doors Open
5. The Complaints
6. Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus
7. Set in Darkness: An Inspector
8. Resurrection Men (Inspector Rebus)
9. Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus)
10. The Black Book (Inspector Rebus
11. A Good Hanging
12. Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus
13. Dead Souls: An Inspector Rebus
14. Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus
15. Fleshmarket Alley (Inspector Rebus)
16. Black and Blue: An Inspector Rebus
17. Strip Jack
18. Exit Music (Inspector Rebus)
19. Blood Hunt: A Novel
20. The Naming of the Dead (Inspector

1. A Question of Blood: An Inspector Rebus Novel
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 432 Pages (2010-10-13)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316099244
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When a former soldier and recluse murders two 17-year-old students at a posh Edinburgh boarding school, Inspector John Rebus immediately suspects there is more to the case than meets the eye.Amazon.com Review
Given his contempt for authority, his tendency to pursue investigative avenues of his own choosing, and his habitually ornery manner, it's a wonder that John Rebus hasn't been booted unceremoniously from his job as an Edinburgh cop. He certainly tempts that fate again in A Question of Blood, which finds him and his younger partner, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, trying to close the case of a withdrawn ex-soldier named Lee Herdman, who apparently shot three teenage boys at a Scottish private school, leaving two of them dead, before turning the pistol on himself.

"There’s no mystery," Siobhan insists at the start of this 14th Rebus novel (following Resurrection Men). "Herdman lost his marbles, that’s all." However, the hard-drinking, chain-smoking Rebus, who'd once sought entry into the same elite regiment in which Herdman served (but ultimately cracked under psychological interrogation), thinks there's more motive than mania behind this classroom slaughter. Perhaps something to do with the gunman's role in a 1995 mission to salvage a downed military helicopter, or with Teri Cotter, a 15-year-old "Goth" who broadcasts her bedroom life over the Internet, yet keeps private her relationship with the haunted Herdman. Rebus's doubts about the murder-suicide theory are deepened with the appearance of two tight-lipped army investigators, and by the peculiar behavior of James Bell, the boy who was only wounded during Herdman's firing spree and whose politician father hopes to use that tragedy as ammo in the campaign against widespread gun ownership. But the detective inspector's focus on this inquiry is susceptible to diversion, both by an internal police probe into his role in the burning death of a small-time crook who'd been stalking Siobhan, and by the fact that Rebus--who shies away from any family contacts--was related to one of Herdman’s victims.

Now middle-aged and on the downward slope of his pugnacity (the high point may have come in 1997's Black and Blue), Rebus has become the engine of his own obsolescence. Overexposure to criminals has left him better at understanding them than his colleagues, and he only worsens his career standing by fighting other people's battles for them, especially Siobhan, who risks learning too many lessons from her mentor. To watch Rebus subvert police conventions and fend of personal demons (that latter struggle mirrored in A Question of Blood by Herdman's own) is worth the admission to this consistently ambitious series. --J. Kingston Pierce ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars She is amazing!
Like many Elizabeth George Fans I too feel the last few books have been tough, and what I like of her story writing skills is definitely in this story.I am not a spoiler, so all I can say is ... Wow!Hard to put down, and hard to read. Wow!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Crime Novel
Rebus, under suspicion for murder, is up to his eyeballs in another case dealing with a school shooting.The story is a fast paced tale of the meaning of family, the workings of gun control, and the quasi-rebellion of youth.

This was a fabulous procedural, sure to please fans of the series and casual readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars He Has Blood on His Hands
An ex-con, Martin Fairstone, who had been stalking and harassing Edinburgh Inspector John Rebus's friend, partner and protegee, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, is found burned to death after spending time the night before with Rebus. The hard drinking, smokaholic turns up with bandaged hands, saying he scalded himself in the bath, but gosh darn, too much to drink, you know, can't quite remember. Gil Templar, Rebus's boss and Complaints and Conduct (same as American Internal Affairs) suspect Rebus and he is officially suspended.

Meanwhile, Lee Herdman, a veteran of the elite SAS, shoots two boys to death and wounds another at the Port Edgar Academy in South Queensferry, before turning the gun on himself. One of the murdered boys is the son of a judge, the other turns out to be Rebus's second cousin. The wounded boy is the son of a Scottish MP.

Because of Rebus's army experience and, of course because of his excellent detective skill, DI Bobby Hogan, asks Rebus to assist in the investigation, which he is more than glad to do. Much better to be the investigator in the second crime than the investigatee in the first. At first it looks like Herdman just snapped, but Rebus wonders why the Army is so interested and after an investigation that leads to another dead man and to his Goth (dresses all in black) sister, who has a live webcam in her bedroom, and then to an SAS operation, Rebus knows there is so much more here than a pressure cooked guy that just went nuts with a gun.

I don't know how, but Mr. Rankin just keeps getting better and better. I didn't mention above that Rebus doesn't have the use of his burned hands during the investigation. He has to depend on Siobahn, a lady who will do anything for him, except light his cigarettes, which of course angers our fiftish, overweight, alcoholic, chain smoking hero. It's touches like that, and the way Mr. Rankin uses music to help with his characterization, the complicated plot with it's twist and turns and the superb writing that make his books a joy to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still going strong
This is he 14th adventure of John Rebus, a police detective in Edinburgh, Scotland. Rebus is a somewhat dark, occasionally violent, always acerbic, hard working copper. He is also usually in trouble with his superiors for crossing some line or breaking some rule that he - and the reader - usually finds both aggravating and irrelevant. A bull in a china shop may be overstating his actions but Rebus is driven to stop bad guys one way or the other. That he is not a one dimensional cardboard protagonist is a credit to the author - especially after fourteen books

Rankin's books have a tendency to start slow - not this one. The book opens with an ex-soldier entering a school, shooting three students, killing two of them, and then turning the gun on himself - Sounds straightforward but it's not. Rebus, with his partner Siobhan Clarke, begins investigating and it soon becomes apparent there is much more to this case than meets the eye, i.e. a madman with a gun.

There's also a sub-plot in the background - Rebus in trouble again - he's under suspicion of murder; a minor criminal who had been stalking Clarke is found dead, burned in an apartment fire, and Rebus shows up with heavily bandaged hands the following morning.

Although the case - or cases - is central to this book - what drives the narrative, as in the previous Rebus books, are the secondary characters - Rebus' buddy who is in charge of the school shooting case, the surviving shooting victim and his opportunistic politician father, the other victims' families, the suspects, an investigative duo from the army, (whom Rebus doesn't trust) and the Internal Affairs team dogging Rebus. The reader becomes just as involved - or more - with these folks, as in the solving of the case. I would also be remiss in not mentioning the author's ability to capture the environs of Scotland which fit Rebus like a glove; one could never imagine him working and living anywhere else.

A Question of Blood is an excellent book which is part of an excellent series.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Complicated Procedural
"A Question of Blood" (Ian Rankin's 14th John Rebus novel) is a complicated police procedural told in seven parts, one part for each day it takes Rebus and Siobhan Clarke to close the books on the Edinburgh school shooting that claims the lives of two students.The case does not appear to be a difficult one because one of the three students in the room at the time of the murders has survived to tell what he saw and the alleged murderer, an outsider, has killed himself at the scene.For Rebus and his Edinburgh police colleagues it is a question of why, not who.

John Rebus, always the outsider even among his peers, is determined to answer that question and soon finds himself in conflict not only with certain of his fellow officers but with two Army investigators that seem determined to cause him as much personal grief as possible.For a loner, though, Rebus does have one or two loyal friends willing to cover his back when he needs it most.One of those friends is in charge of the school shooting investigation and is willing to use Rebus in an "unofficial" capacity even though, midway through the investigation, Rebus has been suspended by his superiors.The other is Siobhan Clarke, the young policewoman for whom Rebus has formed a rather unlikely attachment.

It is precisely this emotional attachment to Siobhan that gets Rebus into so much trouble. He is so determined to stop the career criminal that has been threatening her that one night he is seen leaving the man's home at precisely the wrong moment.As a result of this connection to the stalker, if Rebus is to figure out the why of the school murders, he is going to have to avoid the phone calls and visits of the investigators whose job it is to determine whether or not he is guilty of violent criminal activity.

"A Question of Blood," at its heart, is a book about relationships, families, loners and friends.John Rebus is not close to anyone in his family and can count his friends on one hand.In his own way, he probably loves Siobhan Clarke but there is no way he ever could, or would, express his feelings to her.Some of his friends are much like Rebus; they spend too much time in pubs or sitting alone at home drinking themselves toward the next hangover - and they rather enjoy the lifestyle.

Rankin's Edinburgh is the perfect city for loners.It is a dark, wet and rowdy place, and its streets are populated by teenage thugs that respect no one unwilling to mix it up with them.Rebus can only stomach what he sees because of his deep sense of outrage about what is happening to his city and those around him.Police work is all he has left and, even though he does as much as he can to protect the innocents of Edinburgh, he senses that his is a losing battle.He accepts his fate, however, and is a little unnerved by the emotions he finds himself feeling and expressing at the end of day seven.

"A Question of Blood" is a satisfying police procedural with an extra twist or two but John Rebus fans will enjoy it most because of the opportunity it gives them to spend some time with their old friend.For such a loner, John Rebus is an easy guy to like.
... Read more

2. The Falls: An Inspector Rebus Novel
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 480 Pages (2010-08-17)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$9.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312629842
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Ian Rankin's John Rebus, arguably the most realistic detective in crime fiction, is a brilliant but troubled man. When a young woman goes missing near his native Edinburgh, Scotland, Rebus finds himself just one small cog in the huge wheel of an inquiry set in motion by her powerfully rich father. Struggling to deal with both his own often-terrifying inner demons as well as the monstrous bureaucracy of the investigative team, Rebus finds himself drawn again and again into the case, desperately searching for the girl's salvation, as well as his own.

In time Rebus uncovers two leads: one, a carved wooden doll stuffed tightly into a tiny casket, and the other the missing girl's possible involvement in a dark, disturbing Internet-based role-playing game. He enlists the help of the tech-savvy DC Siobhan Clarke, who is young enough to know her way around the net, but who may not be old and wise enough to avoid potentially deadly pitfalls and traps. Meanwhile, Rebus tracks down stories of similar caskets and dolls turning up in the area deep into Edinburgh's past, some stretching back to a time when body-snatchers turned into brutal killers.

As Rebus and Clarke delve deeper and deeper into these perilous and obscure worlds, ancient and modern evils begin to converge and soon Rebus finds he's besieged by an impenetrable mass of secrets, lies, and deadly deceit that only he can make sense of. In The Falls, a brilliant addition to an award-winning series, both John Rebus and his creator, Ian Rankin, are at the top of their intense and satisfying form.
Amazon.com Review
Edinburgh police detective John Rebus, Ian Rankin's popular series detective, is a brilliantly realized character, as moody, dark, and melancholy as Edinburgh itself. In The Falls, he's almost certain that missing university student Philippa Balfour is dead, but he's less sure how she died or what her misadventure has to do with the tiny doll in a hand-sized coffin that turns up near a waterfall on the Balfour family estate. It's not the first coffin found near the scene of a crime; could Philippa be the victim of a serial killer? The only other lead the police have is a cryptic e-mail from someone called Quiz Master, inviting Philippa--and then constable Siobhan Clarke, who responds using Philippa's screen name--to join him in a bizarre scavenger hunt that might lead Clarke to Philippa's body, her killer, or her own death.

This time out Rebus has a new boss, who's no happier with his unorthodox style or impolitic attitude toward the Edinburgh establishment than his last one was. But even under department suspension, Rebus manages to tie a number of seemingly disparate and unconnected clues together and deliver a killer in a scene that even the most discerning reader may not see coming until it jumps off the page. A bestseller in the U.K., The Falls is Rankin's best yet. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent British mystery series
This is my second Inspector Rebus novel and I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Rebus is a gritty, hard drinking Scottish detective who doesn't always abide by the rules but does get the job done. "The Falls" deals with the recent murder of a young woman whose death may be connected to a series of murders that have occurred over the past ten years or so. The tenuous connection is a small wooden casket left at the murder scenes. As Rebus pursues this lead, his associate, DS Siobhan Clarke investigates the more recent suspects. Needless to say, the case is eventually solved.

This is a very good mystery series with believable, entertaining characters. The stories are well plotted with to the point dialogue. It is somewhat reminiscent of the Inspector Frost series of books but much grittier. Adding the character of DS Clarke has brought another dimension to the stories with her trying to figure out Rebus and cope with his investigation methods.

I highly recommend this book to any lover of a good, solid mystery.

5-0 out of 5 stars the falls /had me!just when you think you got it?
inspector rebus books are like taking a trip to scottland. each one you read (start at the 1st) you will see a writer transform from good, to great!

1-0 out of 5 stars Not One of the Inspector's Best
Of all of Inspector Rebus' novels, by Mr. Rankin, to me this is the worst
one...very boring, to say the least!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Ian Rankin:The Falls
Terrific book.Would recommend to anyone that enjoys a thriller that is full of suspense until the end.Rankin is a terrific writer of suspense.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing plot
The Editorial Reviews above give a good description of this intricate thriller, with Detective Inspector Rebus following two differents leads in connection with the disappearance of a student in Edinburgh.

This was the first book I read by Mr. Rankin and all I want to say is, it was truly captivating.An edge-of-the-seat book, gripping from page one.I'm looking forward to read some more of his work. ... Read more

3. A Cool Head (Quick Reads)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-02-19)
list price: US$3.16 -- used & new: US$0.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0752884492
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Editorial Review

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"My dad used to say to me, 'Try to keep a cool head and a warm heart'. At least I think it was my dad. I don't really remember him." Gravy worked in the graveyard - hence the name. He was having a normal day until his friend Benjy turned up in a car Gravy didn't recognise. Benjy had a bullet hole in his chest, but lived just long enough to ask Gravy to hide him and look after his gun. Gravy had looked after things for Benjy before, but never a gun. When Gravy looked in the car he found blood, a balaclava and a bag stuffed with money. Gravy's not too bright but he wants to help his friend. So Gravy finds himself caught up in the middle of a robbery gone wrong, a woman who witnessed a murder, and some very unpleasant men who will do anything to get back the money Benjy stole... ... Read more

4. Doors Open
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-09-13)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$4.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316078786
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Three friends descend upon an art auction in search of some excitement.Mike Mackenzie-retired software mogul, bachelor and fine art enthusiast-wants something that money can't buy. Fellow art-lover Allan Cruickshank is bored with his banking career and burdened by a painful divorce. And Robert Gissing, an art professor, is frustrated that so many paintings stay hidden in corporate boardrooms, safes and private apartments. After the auction-and a chance encounter with crime boss Chib Calloway-Robert and Allan suggest the "liberation" of several paintings from the National Gallery, hoping Mike will dissuade them. Instead, he hopes they are serious.

As enterprising girlfriends, clever detectives, seductive auctioneers and a Hell's Angel named Hate enter the picture, Ian Rankin creates a highly-charged thriller, a fast-pasted story of second guesses and double crosses that keep changing the picture, right until the harrowing finish. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Still a Fun Book Despite the Flimsy Premise
If you can get past the flimsy premise "Doors Open" is a good book. I had a difficult time buying into the idea of three sane adults hatching a scheme to steal paintings from a museum warehouse because, essentially, they are bored with their successful professional lives.To think that they would be willing to risk that level of comfort and security in order to "liberate" paintings from an Edinburgh museum warehouse just sounded implausible to me.

And yet, with some interesting hoodlums thrown into the mix, some oddball twists, and a constant threat of violence "Open Doors" is a book that I can heartily recommend to anyone that likes a good "heist" mystery.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Hasty, Slap-Dash Disappointment
This book would never have gotten published if submitted by a lesser-known author.It is a shallow, forgettable, formulaic story unworthy of an established talent like Ian Rankin.One can only hope he re-dedicates himself to his craft, or resurrects Rebus.

2-0 out of 5 stars nope, just won't do.
I'll admit i adore rebus (except for the short stories) but was quite willing to see what came next. "Doors Open," -if rankin had tried just a tiny bit more to make the characters engaging, would have been a fun romp.But never fear, next in line is "The Complaints", which i bought, read, and loved! Malcolm Fox is quite different from Rebus but endearing and clever in his own way. I hope there are more Fox novels coming down the pike!Get busy, Ian!less tweeting and more writing! (oh, nevermind, we love you anyway!)

1-0 out of 5 stars Rankin's Worst
With the exception of his letters home from summer camp as a child, I've read everything Ian Rankin has written. By that I mean not just the Rebus novels, which hooked me during a long sojourn in Edinburgh, but his non-Rebus thrillers and mysteries as well. Up to this one, I have enjoyed them all.

Not this one. All of the things that Rankin excels at - believable, quirky characters, intricate but believable plotlines, atmospheric sense of place - have gone missing.

With a bit more work, the characters could rise to the level of stereotypes. As it is, the software millionaire who doesn't feel like he really earned his pile, the crime lord starting to develop a taste for the more refined pleasures, the mid-life white collar banker lacking a life, the pompous old art professor, the overly self-satisfied but ambitious detective, the single girl ripe for the plucking, are just placeholders for characters to be added later, and certainly don't make it to the level of the complicated, believable characters who inhabit his better work. The characters reminded me of the old F. Scott Fitzgerald adage - Start with a person, and you end up with a stereotype; start with a stereotype, and you end up with nothing.

Then there is the plot. The starting premise is so daft that I couldn't quite make it over the suspension of disbelief hurdle. No, sensible, grown men wouldn't do what Rankin has these men doing, not without some motivation that is completely lacking here. What's worse, at the end, when he has the lead character deliver a soliloquoy that purports to explain what really was going on, it's still daft. A moment's reflection would make clear that the key doesn't fit the lock, that the explanation doesn't make sense logically or psychologically.

He comes closest to the real Rankin with the sense of place in Edinburgh, but even here he's way off his best game. Again, it's the stereotypes. In the Rebus novels, he names names and identifies real places; here, he's mostly presenting stereotyped kinds of settings that no doubt correlate at a remove with reality, but don't have the gritty verisimilitude that works so well in the Rebus novels.

I am sorry that we've reached the end of the Rebus stories, but I thought Rankin had good stories in him even without Rebus. I still think that. It's just that he's going to have to prove that with his next novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars A few surprises
Reviewed by Deb Shunamon for Reader Views (05/10)

"Doors Open" by Ian Rankin is a fluid, quick read about an art heist that goes wrong. Alongside the predictable story is a great commentary about the people and functioning of the City of Edinburgh, which I really enjoyed. The characters and situations in this book would already be familiar to most readers of crime fiction, but it is because of their clear portrayals that I think Ian Rankin's books are so popular.

Mike Mackenzie is rich and bored. He and his two friends decide to steal pieces of art not just for their personal enjoyment, but to make a statement about the disappearance of works from the public's view after collectors purchase them. Why shouldn't this software business tycoon, professor, and banker have important pieces for themselves as they are more concerned with the pleasure they bring versus their worth. To make it all happen, however, the men need to trust each other as well as a rough character from Mike's past. The book focuses mainly on Mike's desires and fears alongside building excitement for the inevitable collision between these newcomers to crime and their seasoned, greedy partner. By the end of the book, double-crosses and arrogance bring about a stark, and deadly, reality-check to more than one participant.

While it was easy to figure out the crime details and conclusion, the book remained interesting because of the character portrayals - and while many of these were stereotypical, they were realistic. The fleshing out of the former schoolyard bully Chib Calloway, for example, was well done. There are few surprises in "Doors Open" by Ian Rankin, but the book is a pleasant piece of escapism, and a good reminder to make sure that anyone's fantasies about the underworld remain just that.

... Read more

5. The Complaints
by Ian Rankin
Hardcover: 448 Pages (2011-03-07)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$16.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316039748
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Nobody likes The Complaints--they're the cops who investigate other cops. It's a department known within the force as "The Dark Side," and it's where Malcolm Fox works. He's a serious man with a father in a nursing home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship, frustrating problems about which he cannot seem to do anything.

Then the reluctant Fox is given a new case. There's a cop named Jamie Breck, and he's dirty. The problem is, no one can prove it. As Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks--dangerous knowledge, especially when a vicious murder takes place far too close to home.

In THE COMPLAINTS, Rankin proves again why he is one of the world's most beloved and bestselling crime writers, mixing unstoppable pacing with the deeper question of who decides right from wrong. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Welcome back, Ian
An excellent police procedural. The ghost of Inspector Rebus fades with each drink that Inspector Fox does not take. He's a somewhat existentialist detective, sometimes recalling the great Maigret as he ponders what, if anything to do next. Jimmy Stewart could have played him. Mercifully, the author has reduced his newfound interest in collecting contemporary art that so plagued his previous book into a couple of paragraphs. The plot is complex, the characters less so but, all in all, a promising rebirth.

Tony Crowell

5-0 out of 5 stars Who Decides Right From Wrong?

Oh, Rebus we miss you! Ian Rankin retired Rebus, and now he has given us Inspector Malcolm Fox. Fox is a reformed drinker, teetotaller, and much like Rebus, in that he is honest and fights for the rights of the innocent. The 'drink' is what separates these men, and it goes to show us how much of a problem alcohol can be.

Inspector Fox works in the 'Complaints and Conduct' department in Edinburgh. The difference is that this is the time of great economical distress. Things are falling apart and crime is rising. 'The Complaints' as Fox's department is known deals with racism and corruption in the police department. He is not well liked by his colleagues because his business is investigating them. Much is hush hush, and Fox has just come off a big case that implicates a well known officer. Now, he is asked to help investigate an officer who may be implicated as a pedophile. The problem is this man, Jamie Breck, is also investigating a death that is close to Fox's sister. How complicated can this get, very! Fox is asked to get close to Breck to find out as much as he can. What Fox does discover is that there isn't much and what he does uncover leads to more complications and implications. The high and the mighty might fall and they cannot allow Fox to reveal their secrets.

Ian Rankin is one of those authors who is the epitome of the crime writing genre. This novel covers 18 days in 2009. Days full of adventure, violence and mystery. The fact that Rankin can build such a lot and develop these characters to their utmost is surprising. This is one of those books that is difficult to put down. And, as much as I wanted to know how Fox solves his dilemmas, I did not want the book to end. Oh, woe is me- will Inspector Fox return?

Highly Recommended. prisrob 07-29-10

Doors Open

The Falls: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Novels)

A Cool Head

4-0 out of 5 stars A new hero in Edinburgh
I had hear about Ian Rankin but was not willing to start a book series in the middle. But then came "The Complaints" with his new main character - Fox. The story follows this regular police guy who works for the internal affairs department of the Edinburgh Police and show how is very normal life turns out to be quite the opposite. I especially appreciated how the author recreates the feel of Edinburgh and the people living there. An excellent crime novel and hopefully the first of a new series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent1
This book is every bit as compelling and well-written as the Rebus novels. I found myself wishing that Rankin would start a new series starring this detective. Maybe there's hope yet!

3-0 out of 5 stars New series off to a slow start
First Sentence:There was a smattering of applause as Malcolm Fox entered the room.

Malcolm Fox works in the Complaints department, the UK equivalent of Internal Affairs.He is assigned to look into fellow cop, Jamie Brock but his instincts are telling him the guy's not dirty.On a personal front, Malcolm is responsible for his elderly father and concerned about his sister, in a physically abusive relationship.When her boyfriend turns up murdered, Fox is a suspect and he and Brock end up unlikely partners to find out what is really going on.

It's not that I miss the character of Rebus. Actually, in some ways, I don't as I was getting maxed out on the alcohol and the angst.For that change alone, I really do like the new character of Malcolm Fox.

Malcolm is a recovering alcoholic, and close to his father, who may end up being my favorite character, and sister, in spite of herself.He is also a little more willing to do what it takes to get the job done.While I'm not a great fan bending the law to enforce the law, it does make him a more dynamic character.Malcolm and Brock begin with a relationship of conflicting departments and mistrust so it is interesting watching them building into an unwilling partnership and having to trust and support one another.

It is the other, heaven-knows-how-many characters, with which I had a problem.Without a cast of characters, it was almost impossible to keep track of who was whom.Even worse, I didn't particularly care.

Rankin does know how to build a story.Every time you think you know where the story is going, he takes you off another direction.A little more suspense would have been welcome, but that's a minor issue.What I did appreciate was that I definitely did not anticipate the end.

I also appreciate an author with a strong sense of place.Rankin shows the native's view of Edinburgh, from the back alleys to his father's senior facility. He includes the concerns over the failing economy and increased joblessness. This lends realism for both present and future readers.

Rebus, the protagonist of Rankin's most famous and popular series, is an iconic character.It would be difficult for any author to reinvent himself through another character.This was a good beginning, but there's a ways to go before Fox has the same appeal or convinces me I have to buy the new book as soon as it comes out.However, I'm more than willing to give him time.

THE COMPLAINTS (Pol. Proc-Malcolm Fox-Edinburgh, Scotland-Cont) - Good
Rankin, Ian - 1st in series
Orion, ©2009, UK Hardcover - ISBN:9780752889511
... Read more

6. Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus Novels)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 272 Pages (2008-09-16)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$6.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312536925
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders...and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain's elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn't just one cop trying to catch a killer, he's the man who's got all the pieces to the puzzle...

Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good, if brief, introduction
I'd gotten about half-way through Black and Blue, when I realized the next book in my TBR pile was Knots and Crosses.I decided to put down the one I was reading and go straight to the beginning.

John Rebus, like so many of my favorite fictional detectives, is a flawed man.His quirks and habits make him human for readers.I appreciated how it touched on cops not having to be superman.

Even though this book doesn't have much in the terms of a page count, it packs a punch.Now it's time to go back and finish black and blue.

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the besr mystery/police books i have read
there is really nothing to say. the book is well written. it has a good plot and character who are very huma like. unlike some other books i read. great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars first book in the series
I haven't had a chance to read Knots and Crosses yet but look forward to the beginning of the Inspector Rebus novel series.

5-0 out of 5 stars You'll want to read it in one sitting!
The first in the Inspector Rebus novels, Knots and Crosses is a fabulous example of outstanding writing and editing. The first half of the book really centers on you getting to know Rebus - what he's like, where he's at, with a taste of what brought him there. It does feel like a set up for a series in that first half - although this does not diminish at all the exemplary prose. A more literary mystery this - reaching far into Rebus to pull out all the bad and good and everything in between. While the cliche of the mostly drunk inspector at first glance seems to fit there is a depth to Rebus not normally seen in other stereotypes. The spark you sense is there, once lit, produces a flaming torch.

Once the "dam breaks" as it were everything rushes towards the inevitable confrontation. Here again the writing is not like other mystery novels with every gruesome little detail spilled on the pages. Neither is it spare - it is just enough to have you biting your nails and turning the pages - wondering if Rebus will be in time to be the hero you desperately know he wants to be.

A thinking person's mystery - I cannot wait to read the rest!

4-0 out of 5 stars the Vulnerable Detective
He cries, he makes mistakes, he thinks, he solves crimes. He is Scotish and knows
how to turn a phrase. "Are you trying to chat me up" Lots of cute new words
to learn while enjoying the fun, the romance, the suspense. I ordered the second book
in the series and I am happily looking forward to another good read. ... Read more

7. Set in Darkness: An Inspector Rebus Novel
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 448 Pages (2010-06-22)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$9.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312629834
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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On the eve of the first Scottish parliament in three hundred years, Edinburgh is a city rife with political passions and expectations.Queensbury House, the home of Scotland's new rulers, falls in the middle of John Rebus' turf, keeping him busy with ceremonial tasks.That quickly changes, however, when a long-dead body is discovered in a Queensbury House fireplace, a homeless man throws himself off a bridge - leaving behind a suitcase full of cash - and an up-and-coming politician is found murdered.The links between the three deaths lead Rebus to a confrontation with one of Edinburgh's most notorious criminals, a man he thought he'd put in jail for life.Someone's going to make a lot of money out of Scotland's independence - and, as Rebus knows all too well, where there's big money at stake, darkness gathers.Amazon.com Review
Edinburgh police inspector John Rebus's obsession--rock & roll--seemsodd for a man whose dark, depressed side is so central to his character,but Ian Rankin always manages to work it gracefully into his noirish novelsfeaturing Rebus. In Set in Darkness, Rebus has a fling with LornaGrieve, a faded rock muse who's the sister of Roddy Grieve, anup-and-coming politico who turns up dead on the grounds of the boarded-uphospital that's being torn down to make way for the new ScottishParliament. Grieve's body is the second in the space of days found atQueensberry House; the first was a skeleton bricked up in the fireplace.That decades-old murder seems to be tied to the suicide of a mysterioushomeless man whose hefty bank balance is revealed well before his trueidentity.

'So what's the story with Mr Supertramp anyway?'

'He had all this money he either couldn't spend or didn't want to. He tookon a new identity. My theory is that he was hiding.'

'Maybe.' He was rifling through the scraps on the desk. She folded herarms, gave him a hard look which he failed to notice. He opened the breadbag and shook out the contents: disposable razor, a sliver of soap,toothbrush. 'An organized mind,' he said. 'Makes himself a wash bag. Doesn'tlike being dirty.'

'It's like he was acting the part,' she said.

There are always plenty of subplots in a Rankin mystery. This time he addsa stalker who happens to be one of Rebus's colleagues, a couple of toughswho hang out in singles clubs and finish their evenings with a rape or two,and the ongoing story of Rebus's tortured past--a bitter divorce, adaughter still recovering from a terrible accident, and a drinking problem. Set in Darkness hit the bestseller list in Great Britain and should enjoy the same success in its U.S. edition. Rankin's ability to keep finding new dimensions in Rebus, handle intricate plot details brilliantly, and evoke the gloom and darkness of his setting keep winning him new admirers, with just cause. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

4-0 out of 5 stars Catch It While It's Still Relatively Fresh
Set in Darkness" (2000) is 11th in the Detective Chief Inspector John Rebus series, by the award-winning author Ian Rankin, O.B.E., currently the best-selling writer of mysteries in the United Kingdom. And, mind you, it was published before the author was 40. "Set" can, like most of his work, be described as a police procedural, within the tartan noir school, and it is set in Edinburgh, in contrast to most Scots mystery writers at work now.The east coast Edinburgh is more or less his home town, as he was born in nearby Fife;in comparison to the west coast Glasgow, it's a more beautiful, smaller city, the administrative capital of the country, where you might expect the crime to be white collar, rather than blue, and bloody. But Rebus always seems to find enough to keep busy. Now, just what's tartan noir when it's at home, you ask?A bloodthirsty, bloody-minded business, to be sure, more violent than the average British mystery, but, thankfully, leavened a bit with that dark Scots humor.Written (duh!) by Scots.

The novel at hand, "Set," opens at an exciting moment. For the first time in nearly 300 years, Edinburgh is about to become the home of a Scottish Parliament. Detective Inspector John Rebus is charged with liaison to the parliament's building site, as it is under construction in the middle of his patch at the St Leonard's cop shop. Queensberry House will be home not only to Scotland's new rulers-to-be; it is also the site of a legend of a young man roasted on a spit in the kitchen by a madman son of the noble who owned it.When the fireplace where the youth supposedly died is uncovered, however, another more recent murder victim is revealed. This body is at least twenty years old, dating from the last interior remodeling of the mansion, and is unidentifiable.Days later another body is found in the grounds of the mansion. This time the victim is the well-born Roddy Grieve, prospective Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) and the powers that be are on Rebus's back demanding instant answers.And then there's yet another body; a homeless man commits suicide shortly after discovery of the unidentifiable body, and, puzzlingly enough, the police learn that the vagrant had 400,000 pounds in the bank.

Rebus catches the case of the murdered Grieve, and must navigate his way around the man's prickly family: his mother Alicia, a well-known artist, sister Lorna, formerly a famous model; brother Cammo, already a political power in London.His cop's instincts shout at him that the three cases are interrelated. The detective also finds his old nemesis involved, Morris Gerald Cafferty, ruler of the city's underworld, unexpectedly benefiting from an early release from Glasgow's Barlinnie prison, back on his home turf.And the cases seem to point to the city's former crime lord, living in splendid self-imposed, non-extraditable exile in Spain, Bryce Callen, and his nephew Barry Hutton.One thing is clear: there will be lots of money to be made as Scotland approaches self-governing status; and where there's lots of money to be made, people often play rough. So Rebus ends up working the three cases; his frequent assistant, Siobhan Clarke, has been working another case, of a serial rapist, and that case too ends up thrown into the mix.And then there's a time when Rebus wonders if the classically beautiful, nearby Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, isn't somehow involved, as several of the characters seem to be interested in it.

The title of the book "Set in Darkness," can be found in a poem by Sarah Williams, "The Old Astronomer to his Pupil:"

Though my soul may set in darkness
It will rise in perfect light,
I have loved the stars too fondly
To be fearful of the night.

Rankin delivers the complex, dark tales with his customary vivid grittiness, wit and brevity.At one point he describes a couple of minor characters: "Big women they were, addicted to Scotland's pantry: cigarettes and lard.Training shoes, elasticated waistbands.Matching YSL tops, probably knock-off if not fake." He continues to give usbrilliant, high-energy writing on Edinburgh, its flora, fauna, geography, weather, and inhabitants, and the adjoining ancient "Kingdom" of Fife, best-known now for its slumbering coal mines, and its vanished linoleum factory. The author has been nominated for an Edgar Award for Black and Blue: An Inspector Rebus Mystery (Inspector Rebus Novels)for which he won England's prestigious Gold Dagger Award.His novel Dead Souls: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Novels)was nominated for another Gold Dagger Award.He won the Edgar in 2004 for Resurrection Men: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Novels).Ten of his novels have been televised.He seems to be closing the Rebus series out now: you want to catch it, while it is still relatively fresh, if you can.

4-0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version Needs an editor...
I'm a long-time fan of Ian Rankin ... and enjoyed this book.My comments are not about the book, however, but about the Kindle edition.This was my first book experience on my new Kindle. I was dissapointed in the digital edition since there are obvious errors that are, I assume, introduced by the computer creating the digital version.For example, hyphens appear incorrectly throughout the book;some words are incorrect. While it may not be a "big deal", I found it very irritating and it did take away from the enjoyment of the story.I think a human editor may help.

4-0 out of 5 stars You have to like dark mysteries...
Ian Rankin's "Set in Darkness" is actually a reprint of a book he originally wrote and published in the late 1990's. As I have read all - I think, anyway - of his books about Inspector John Rebus, of the Lothian and Borders Police Department in Edinburgh, I was a little worried when I received this book from AmazonUSA that I had read it years before. I was glad to realise I hadn't - it was new to me.

"Set in Darkness" is definitely not Rankin's best Rebus book. It's good enough to enjoy - three plot lines are reduced by the end of the book - but to a novice Rankin-reader, it's a tough slog. John Rebus, a moody, go-it-alone kind of cop, is the bane of his supervisors' existence. Not a team player when it counts in solving a crime or two, Rebus is not a sympathetic character. He is, however, an extremely interesting one to read about. He's surrounded - loosely - by his fellow police officers and works with them, as needed. The "loner cop" is one we've all seen many times before. Rankin does a good job at fleshing out both the good guys and the bad guys in his work, and "Set in Darkness" doesn't disappoint in its nuanced character development. I think, though, the plot sort of fell a little short of great.

If you've never read Ian Rankin, I'd start with one of his other Rebus books. They're all described in Amazon fairly well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dark, Brooding, Forbidding and Very Alive
Hard-drinking, hard-smoking, divorced Edinburgh cop DI John Rebus is a man who does things his way as he moves through the brooding city of Edinburgh, searching for both his own lost soul and the criminals who lurk in its dark places. DI Derek Linford, in contrast, does things the boss's way, much to Rebus's chagrin.

Both are seconded to the police liaison team for the new Scottish Parliament at Queensberry House when a corpse is found hidden behind a fireplace in one of the parliament buildings. From the condition of the body, it appears that it's been there a long time, years, decades.

A few days later the body of Roddy Grieve, a Labor Party candidate for a seat in the new parliament, is found on the grounds. Grieve comes from a well-known Scottish family. His mother is a famous artist, his brother is a Tory MP, his sister is an ex-supermodel married to an ageing rock star and there is another brother who went missing 20 years ago. Sniffing about for clues as only he can, Rebus comes to suspect the body in the fireplace may be connected to Grieve's murder.

Meanwhile, Rebus's former partner, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, is driving home one evening when she happens to see a homeless man leap to his death from a bridge. Following up, she discovers that the supposedly poor and destitute man had over £400,000 in a building society account. He also had the same name as the man whose remains were found behind that fireplace.

Add to the above the escalating violence of a serial rapist who targets women in singles clubs and, as if that isn't enough, Rebus must face the unexpected prison release of his old nemesis, Edinburgh crime boss Big Ger Cafferty, whose interest in Rebus isn't exactly friendly. And through all this, Rebus has to work alongside Linford, a paper pusher on the fast track to promotion.

Little of modern Edinburgh has escaped Rankin's attention here. In fact, one might mistake this excellent novel as a travel guide about where not to go when visiting there. However, there is hope in this book, too. It's just that sometimes it's just a little hard to find, especially when Rankin writes about, corruption, homelessness and despair as if he's been there and seen it all. Yes, this is a dark book. It's also a book that stands apart from others in the genre. It's the kind of book the others aspire to.

4-0 out of 5 stars I Was A Little Disappointed
This was my first Ian Rankin novel. There are three investigations going on in this novel and at the end theyall tie in together.John Rebus is well drawn and is interesting. I found the storydragging at times.It's a complex crime novel. I rate this a A-. ... Read more

8. Resurrection Men (Inspector Rebus)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 464 Pages (2010-10-13)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031609921X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Inspector John Rebus has messed up badly this time, so badly that he's been sent to a kind of reform school for damaged cops. While there among the last-chancers known as "resurrection men," he joins a covert mission to gain evidence of a drug heist orchestrated by three of his classmates. But the group has been assigned an unsolved murder that may have resulted from Rebus's own mistake. Now Rebus can't determine if he's been set up for a fall or if his disgraced classmates are as ruthless as he suspects. When Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke discovers that her investigation of an art dealer's murder is tied to Rebus's inquiry, the two-protÈgÈ and mentor-join forces. Soon they find themselves in the midst of an even bigger scandal than they had imagined-a plot with conspirators in every corner of Scotland and deadly implications about their colleagues. With the brilliant eye for character and place that earned him the name "the Dickens of Edinburgh," Ian Rankin delivers a page-turning novel of intricate suspense.Amazon.com Review
Like Edinburgh inspector John Rebus, the resurrection men of the title are treading on thin ice--they've all been sent to a short course at the Scottish Police College because they've failed in some way, generally "an issue with authority." Rebus has been known to have issues of that nature before, which only boosts his credibility with the other cops in attendance, suspected by their bosses of being on the wrong side of the fence, on the take, or even guilty of murder on several previous occasions. The dour Inspector's agenda aims to bring the higher-ups proof of the so-called Wild Bunch's nefarious activities; in the process, his own conduct in the old case he and his college classmates must rework and revisit comes under scrutiny. A solid police procedural whose protagonist, the hero of 14 other titles in this internationally acclaimed series, continues to grow on readers who are just discovering him. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

4-0 out of 5 stars Remedial Policing for Rebus
This Edgar Award winning novel is the tale of several murders, a generous handful of bad guys, and John Rebus as the primary good guy working against them, along with colleague Siobhan Clarke in the Edinburgh, Scotland police force.Rebus is a maverick cop, one whose temper-tantrum throwing of a tea cup at the superior officer who is leading a meeting gets Rebus sent to Tulliallan Police College for remedial teamwork instruction.There he's joined by a group of law-enforcement miscreants to solve an old murder case, one that in fact Rebus was involved in.That group of fellow naughty cops largely becomes the focus of the novel.Meanwhile, the others in his station are focusing on the murder of art dealer Edwin Marber and to some degree, the actions of bad boy "Ger" Cafferty.The characters are many, but this reader had no difficulty understanding and keeping track of them. Rebus isn't Sherlock Holmes, and the deductive reasoning is here in only modest doses, but Rebus is very likeable, and the characters' interactions thoroughly readable.There's some cursing (from cops - gasp!) and drinking (yeah, them, too), but only a modest bit of violence, which makes this the kind of book I was looking for.This was my first taste of Rebus and Clarke, and I will most happily return to them for more reading pleasure.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not up to snuff
Review of Ian Rankin's Resurrection Men

It had been a while since I read an Ian Rankin thriller.Either I had rated him too high before, or else this one is not up to snuff.

The dialogue is bland, and lacks both depth and sharpness.The plot wanders, and the length of the book seems less owing to the need of a well-shaped plot than to the fact that the story had reached a certain number of pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rich characters, complex plot
Inspector Rebus endeared himself to me when he flung a cup of tea at his superior officer.Later on, one of the characters says, 'Heard you invited the DIS for a cuppa.'

The dry wit continues throughout this complicated story. Prostitutes are knifed, suspects menaced and there is a romance or two along the way and all the while Rebus plays old tunes on his stereo. Rankin has a gift for dialogue and characterization, and mercifully, though the setting is mostly in Edinburgh, there's not a 'wee dram' to be found anywhere except in the pub.Meandering between Edingurgh and Tulliallan, the last resort of policemen who've gone off the rails, Rebus is investigating several cases at once, some official, some not. The murder of a gallery owner, a cold case from the past, and good cops gone bad; somehow Rankin twists all the stories together and decorates them with vivid scenes and multi-minensional characters.

This is my first Rebus, and I found it a little dense, especially at first. There are many references to past events though there's plenty of contemporary action to keep things moving. The vast array of characters have much history with each other, though Rankin never leaves those relationships in question and the humor is delicious.I'm looking forward to spending more time with Rebus, though I doubt he'll invite me for a cuppa.

2-0 out of 5 stars a bit disappointing
This is the third of the DI Rebus books I've read, and the others were much more enjoyable. The plot was clever, but the book was way too long and convoluted, and the entire thing was very depressing for me, especially the ending. A disappointment.

1-0 out of 5 stars extremely boring
This book was so boring that I gave up. I really cannot understand how it could win the Edgar Award (usually books which won this award are good). ... Read more

9. Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-08-18)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312565631
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In Edinburgh you're never far from a peaceful spot, or from a hellish one either. Now, in the heart of summer, in the midst of a nationalist festival, Inspector John Rebus is on the murder case of a young man left hanging in a spot where his screams would never be heard. To find the victim's identity--and his killer--Rebus searches from Edinburgh's most violent neighborhood to Belfast, Northern Ireland--amongst petty thugs, gunrunners, and heavyweight criminals. But before Rebus can get to the truth, he's bloodied by the dream of society's madmen--and staring into the glint of a killer's eyes.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Powerful Opening Presages Powerful Book
"Mortal Causes," (1994) is, by my count, thirteenth in the Detective Chief Inspector John Rebus series, by the outstanding, award-winning, author Ian Rankin, currently the best-selling author of British mysteries in the United Kingdom. It can, like most of his work, be described as a police procedural, within the tartan noir school, and it is set in Edinburgh, in contrast to most Scots mystery writers at work now.The east coast Edinburgh is more or less Rankin'shome town;in comparison to the west coast Glasgow, it's a more beautiful, smaller city, the capital of the country, where you might expect the crime to be white collar, rather than blue, and bloody. But Rebus always seems to find enough to keep busy. Now, just what's tartan noir when it's at home, you ask?A bloodthirsty, bloody-minded business, to be sure, more violent than the average British mystery, but, thankfully, leavened a bit with that dark Scots humor.Written (duh!) by Scots.

Thirteenth in the series "Mortal Causes" may be, but it is still written with unflagging power, wit and energy, crackling with sharp descriptions of Scotland, its capital, its people, diet, social life and weather.The book was written in 1994, and is set in '93, a time when some of us may remember that the unrest between the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland was at its height.And the situation in Northern Ireland dominates this book, not least because Rebus is said to have served there during his military stint.As the book opens, it is August in Edinburgh, apex of the summer tourist season; plus the city's famous Festival, featuring all kinds of new theater, is in full swing.Yet a horribly tortured body is discovered in one of the city's ancient, famous subterranean streets,and its method of execution causes Rebus to suspect sectarian zealots.Does this presage a terrorist war in a city packed with tourists?And when the victim turns out to be the son of Morris Gerald Cafferty, notorious crime boss of the city, with whom Rebus has crossed swords many times, well: what's going on?

The plot is satisfyingly complex, though the fact that Rebus has been seconded, for this case, to another cop shop, at Fettes headquarters, means there are an awful lot of characters, particularly cops, milling about, and I was occasionally confused among them.I also could have lived without the introduction of Clyde Moncur, an ugly American if ever there was one, and, apparently, an early Tea Partyer.

Rankin opens this book with a powerful set piece, arguably his greatest next to the cop's Arthur's Seat suicide that opens Dead Souls: An Inspector Rebus Novel. Here, we have the finding of the first victim's body in an ancient butcher shop, in the ancient street Mary King's Close, that now serves as a storage room under the City Hall.Mind you, there is such a butcher shop, and such a street.It was walled off during the great medieval plague, too bad for any survivors still there, and it was simply built-over.

Come to mysteries, I am a crazed fan, and did actually go to Scotland for a week, tracking my favorite authors.Had only a day in Edinburgh, but did find a tour of Mary King's Close, under City Hall, the heart of the old city.It's all there, as described, and pretty eerie, too.

Rankin was nominated for an Edgar Award for Black and Blue: An Inspector Rebus Mystery, for which he won England's prestigious Gold Dagger Award. He was born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. He's been employed as grape-picker, swineherd, taxman, hi-fi journalist, and punk musician.His first Rebus novel Knots and Crosses was published in 1987.His works are now receiving television treatment.If you love British mysteries, he's a dead cert.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too Scottish
I started reading Ian Rankin's books and enjoyed the grumpy old detective. However, I started feeling like a real tourist so I gave up.
For anyone who can get past all the the Scottish references they will be a great read.

4-0 out of 5 stars As Always, a Good Read from Ian Rankin
This book shows why Rankin is one of the best-selling authors in Europe. Unlike too many mystery writers, Rankin can write, and doesn't make the reader mentally edit half of what's on the page. If you've read only his more recent Inspector Rebus stories, you'll still enjoy this one, as much for seeing the beginnings of some of the later relationships as for the story itself.If you haven't encountered Rankin yet, start with this one and read your way through to 2008.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best so far!
This john Rebus series is getting better and better.This is the sixth book in this long-running series and I enjoyed it.I love the "other look" that we get of Edinburgh and some of its underground life.Rebus is called in to work with a special police branch when a brutally tortured body is found in an old underground shop.This leads him into extremists and a ton of danger.He even makes a trip to Belfast to try to figure this one out.I love the character of John Rebus.He seems so real and authentic it almost feels like reading true crime.These books have a lot of blood and realistic and chilling villains.This is totally different than most of the British police procedurals I have read, and still do love in their way.But I am fascinated with Rebus.Rankin's writing is brutal, and he holds back nothing.Love it!

3-0 out of 5 stars Mortal Causes
It was ok. Not what I had expected after reading the reviews from other people. Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus Novels) ... Read more

10. The Black Book (Inspector Rebus Novels)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 336 Pages (2009-08-04)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$6.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031256564X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Five years ago, a mysterious fire burned Edinburgh's seed Central Hotel to ashes. Long-forgotten and unsolved, the case reappears when a charred body--with a bullet in its head--is found amongst the ruins. Inspector John Rebus knows that his superiors would rather he let sleeping dogs lie. He knows that part of the answer lies somewhere in a cryptic black notebook. Ane he knows that to solve teh case, he'll have to peel back layer upon layer of unspeakable secrets to arrive at the truth. . .
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars The maturing Rankin.
The fifth book in the Inspector Rebus series is the real start of the classic series. This is the novel where Ian Rankin matures into a seriously talented writer.

Rebus is investigating the brutal bashing of his friend when he is drawn into a 5 year old mystery involving a fire at a hotel and a dead body.

In the meantime, Rebus's home life is in disarray as his girlfriend kicks him out.

The story is quite good, not as good as his later novels would be, but well on the way to becoming bestsellers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Atmospheric Entertainment, A Crime to Miss It
Ian Rankin's "The Black Book" is the 5th of his Inspector John Rebus series set in Edinburgh; this is the first of his novels I've read. Although in his early thirties when he wrote this tale, Rankin shapes Rebus with a world-weary cast, delivering a startlingly interior view of his middle-aged detective. Rebus isn't a 20s-something swashbuckler; nor has his passion died -- instead, it smoulders, burning red hot when correctly fanned, flicking encrusted ash skyward contemptuously.

In this outing, Rebus has to deal with his girl-friend who's had enough of him, his returning brother (an ex-con) with no where else to stay except with John, a flat full of late teenage university students on their own for the first time (and sharing his flat he's been forced to return to). And that's just his personal life. On the job, he becomes engulfed by a five year old murder, pursuing the investigation "on his own time" (and literally, too, as he is suspended at one point from the force), which leads to a gay bar / Elvis themed restaurant and ongoing encounters with ghosts from the arson of the Central Hotel where the body was found ... with links to organised crime in the present day. As the story threads come together, Rebus's personal and professional life become entirely entangled as a key piece of evidence to the old murder lands in his hands. And that's just the start of his troubles.

Rankin shifts between a third person narrative focussed on Rebus to the other characters as they uncover their own motives in the moment and on to richly detailed commentary about life and surroundings in the chief setting of Edinburgh. Dialects pop up; the Edinburgh lilt can be heard vividly; and local words are sprinkled into dialogue as a chef adds secret sauce to a favourite dish. Somehow, Rankin manages the verbal sleight-of-hand to conjure this Scottish setting in a way that seems entirely familiar, like ones own home town -- but wait, that's not true is it? And his winning character, Rebus, worms his way off the page like the best of the hard-boiled detectives, utterly convincing and sympathetic but no one's ideal of the perfect husband for your daughter. No wonder the series is occasionally dubbed "Tartan Noir"!

I read the Kindle edition so I can't say it was a page turner. I can say I enjoyed, and enjoyed savouring, every e-inked turn of phrase as it flashed by, reading much further into the night on multiple occasions than is good for me. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rebus at his best here!
If you have not read a John Rebus book, and if you like hard-hitting, fast-paced British mysteries, then you have a treat in store for you.I highly recommend Edinburgh's Dick Tracy (DI John Rebus).This is the fifth book in this series, and as always it's best to start at the beginning, but if you don't and start with this book that's OK too.Rebus has morphed by this book.He is a really strong character with the tenacity of a bloodhound when he's on the hunt.When a close colleague is mugged in an alley, Rebus is drawn into a case that began five years ago when a famous hotel burned to the ground.When the smoke cleared a body with a bullet hole in his head is found.The body has not been identified by the time Rebus gets on the case.With the help of his new DC Siobhan Clarke, they try to bring down a huge crime ring that has been terrorizing Edinburgh for ages.This is an intelligently written, hard-hitting, tightly written book that kept me turning pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vicious loan sharking and murder
This is an earlier novel by the author.I did not give it five stars because I had trouble keeping some of the characters straight as the plot moved between characters.The novel is partly a mystery, and partly deals with the love life of Inspector Rebus.When a DC working with Rebus is assaulted, Rebus looks into the matter and is drawn into a cold case.A man was murdered five years earlier, and the body was found in a burned out hotel after the fire.Rebus is assigned to investigate a case of loan sharking, and the two cases eventually come together.

The novel as an evil villain who enjoys hurting people.He has areputation for chewing off a man's ear in a barroom brawl (they never found the ear, so draw your own conclusions).He can make people disappear.There is money involved, and a suspicion of people being paid off.There are questions of who was in the hotel at the time of the fire.Someone is applying pressure to get Rebus off the case.

Along the way, Rebus is caught up in the internal politics of the police and the back stabbing of people within the department competing for promotions (I have experienced this almost everywhere that I have worked during my career).As an added note, you do not want to get on the wrong side of Inspector Rebus.He has some ways of his own for administering justice.

4-0 out of 5 stars Clever plotwith lots of surprises
"The Black Book" is one of the earlier Rankin novels now coming out in reprint.It deserves the renewed exposure as it meets the author's high standard for zig-zagging plots and wonderfully, over-the-top characters.The protagonist Scots detective in this book (and the whole series) is a go-it-alone type, who is constantly in trouble with his superiors as he pursues unorthodox paths to track down the perps.The perps themselves are often bizaare types that appear to have waundered in from Ruth Rendell stories. "The Black Book" is a highly original, well-crafted and enjoyable read.Recommended.
... Read more

11. A Good Hanging
by Ian Rankin
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (2004-01-05)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312980000
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Twelve remarkable, gritty stories starring Detective Inspector John Rebus in his home city of Edinburgh, as only Ian Rankin can portray it: not just the tearooms and cobbled streets of the tourist brochures, but a modern urban metropolis with a full range of criminals and their victims--blackmailers, peeping Toms, and more than one kind of murderer. It's a city like any other, a city that gives birth to crimes of passion, accidents, and long-hidden jealousy, and a city in which criminal minds find it all too easy to fade into the shadows. As dedicated readers of the series well know, nobody is better equipped to delve into Edinburgh's back alleys and smoky pubs than Rebus, and no one better able to illuminate his world than Ian Rankin.
Amazon.com Review
Penzler Pick, January 2002: Ian Rankin is now the United Kingdom's bestselling crime writer. His 15 police procedurals featuring the dour Scottish Detective Inspector John Rebus are beginning, at last, to attract a devoted--and deserved--following in this country. St. Martin's has just published this, Rankin's 1992 collection of short stories, and I can't think of a better way to be introduced to John Rebus and his creator.

Dubbed "Tartan Noir" by James Ellroy, Rankin's tales are set in Edinburgh. Not in the beautiful streets that tourists see (those cobbled sidewalks leading up to Edinburgh Castle), but in its dark, damp recesses where crime flourishes. That's where Rebus works. The crime and criminals there make Rebus's job a tough one, and they also offend his sense of decency and order.

These 12 stories tell of mystery, suffering, and mayhem, which Rebus alone of all the detectives on the force, with his remarkable deductive skills, can solve. In "Being Frank," a homeless man, from his unique perspective on the park bench, is able to give Rebus the information he needs to break up a scam by local ne'er-do-wells. Crimes gone unsolved for 20 years, religious sightings, lovers crossed, and tales of revenge all come under the jaundiced eye of the very talented Rebus.

Even 10 years ago, when he was writing these stories, Rankin was a writer of great gifts. Time has borne out this promise. So it is easy to predict that, once you have sampled these short cases, you will become one of the many readers eagerly awaiting another Rebus novel from this sensitive and enormously talented young writer. --Otto Penzler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent airplane material
I enjoyed this book, as I have all of Ian Rankin's John Rebus writings to date.These are short stories that are quick and absorbing reading.Nothing is particularly heavy, but all are very clever.I wanted to move to the next after I finished each.That's my definition of a good airplane book.And, Rankin is such a talented writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good collection
This is a collection of 12 short stories featuring Inspector John Rebus.They tend to be quick reading, without an excessive amount of background color.I would recommend the collection for readers who like to cut to the chase, and want some occasional quick reading material.It is a good book for commuters or travelers on long trips, or perhaps to take to the beach.

The stories have interesting plots, and are set in the present day (more or less) with car phones, answering machines, etc.They will give you a different picture of Edinburgh than what you see as a tourist.

I am surprised that I previously missed the collection, but I found it at a book sale.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rebus at his most concise and puzzling
Of all the Inspector Rebus books, this collection of twelve short stories is probably the most powerful distillation of ideas. The mysteries are small but crisp in impact, thanks to the shorter length of stories and thus less of a need to throw obstacles into the reader's mind, and the characters pop out in poetic contrast to their surroundings. Although it tapers off into stories which are both inconclusive and obvious, the majority (2/3) of this book is the best Rebus so far.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Way to Learn About the Early Rebus and Rankin
This book of short stories was written in between the third and forth novels.It's an intriguing bit of Rebus-ania because it tells us a lot about the character, the way he acts and about how Rankin saw him.

We get involved with these mini-mysteries, and in each we learn more about the way Rebus' mind works when he looks at a problem. We also get little snippets about his childhood, marriage and background.Mostly we get a feeling for how Rebus is on a day to day basis.Well worth reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks, Mr. Rankin, now I'm hooked...
I decided to try to read a Rebus novel after being introduced to the character one night while watching BBCAmerica. I thought I would start with a good hanging, based on the other reviews. This book is just great. Each story is well thought out and written. Rebus, a poor tormented soul can be dark one minute, and then put a smile on your face with his dry wit the next. Count me in as a Rebus fan. ... Read more

12. Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus Novels)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 288 Pages (2008-09-16)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312536933
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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At night the summer sky stays light over Edinburgh. But in a shadowy, crumbling housing development, a junkie lies dead of an overdose, his bruised body surrounded by signs of Satanic worship. John Rebus could call the death and accident--but won't. Instead, he tracks down a violent-tempered young woman who knew the dead boy and heard him cry out his terrifyng last words: "Hide! Hide!" Now, with the help of a bright, conflicted young detective, Rebus is following the girl through a brutal world of bad deals, bad dope and bad company. From a beautiful city's darkest side to the private sanctums of the upper crust, Rebus is seeking the perfect hiding place for a killer.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
I know that I am very late to the party here, but these books are great

5-0 out of 5 stars Ian Rankin:Hide and Seek
Received on time.Ian Rankin is a fantastic writer and I love his stuff because most of it takes place in Edinburgh Scotland which is an amazing and beautiful city.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent story
Ian Rankin is a wonderful author.The story grabs you and keeps you interested.However the print in this particular edition is very small so be prepared for that.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hide and Seek
Another great thriller for Rankin. He twists murder, drugs, and corruption into an exciting tale. Hard to stop reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars The seamier side of Edinburgh
No one knows his city like John Rebus (Ian Rankin's detective).He knows all the good things and the things that tourists like to see, but he also knows the seedy and secretive things.These are things that occur in the hidden alleys and bolt holes throughout the city.In this book, even John Rebus is surprised at what he discovers when he starts to investigate a junkie's death.The man appeared to die of a drug overdose, but it turned out to be murder, and the investigation took Rebus to places he'd never been before.These books are extremely well-written, but they are hard-hitting and definitely darker than the average UK police procedural.But it kept my interest piqued, and I will certainly continue to read this excellent series. ... Read more

13. Dead Souls: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Novels)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 528 Pages (2010-03-02)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$9.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031261716X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

A colleague's suicide.  Pedophiles.  A missing child.  A serial killer.  Driven by instinct and experience, John Rebus searches for connections, against official skepticism.  Soldiering through dank, desperate slums and the tony flats of the Scottish elite, Inspector Rebus uncovers a chain of crime, deceit, and hidden sins--knowing it's reallly himself he's trying to save.
Amazon.com Review
When an author as successful as Rankin has been with his toughand idiomatic Scottish thrillers, a problem sets in after severalbooks: how to keep the formula fresh.

Rankin has delivered apowerful series of books featuring his beleaguered Detective InspectorJohn Rebus, and while never less than gripping, a certain tirednessseemed to be setting in. Thankfully, Dead Souls is a resoundingreturn to form, with a plot as enjoyably labyrinthine as any Rankinenthusiast could wish for, and pithy dialogue that fairly leaps offthe page. Stalking the streets of Edinburgh on the trail of apoisoner, Rebus hits upon a freed pedophile and his subsequent outingof the man leaves him with very mixed feelings. But another problemdevelops for Rebus: a convicted murderer has him in his sights forsome lethal games. And the tabloid press lionizing of Rebus won't helphim in this situation.

As always, Rankin is perfectly ready totackle contentious issues--precisely the thing that gives his bookstheir powerful sense of veracity. And Rebus, no longer in danger ofhaving a soap opera-like accumulation of personal problems, seems asfresh and well-observed a character as in those first exhilaratingbooks. Rankin has caught his form again, with even moreassurance. --Barry Forshaw, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite, but still good
I found this book's plot to be a bit loose and disjointed and it left some unanswered questions.It alsohad me questioning how we got to a particular point at times.But the Rebus character is still great.I like the way Rankin depicts his uncertainties and foibles. While we read of these we never lose sight of the fact that he is a very brilliant copper.I didn't much care for one of the villains in this book and I didn't like how that particular thread was left at the end of the book because I really don't want to see this particular villain again.Anyway, the book is worth reading because it is part of this very remarkable series.I love watching Rebus as he faces and conquers his many demons.And I love the underworld look at modern-day Edinburgh.Oh, and be prepared for a zinger at the end of the book.Rankin always has these in his books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Plot point question
Caution:contains spoiler questions.I'm enjoying the Rebus series but can't figure out a plot device in Dead Souls.Who used Damon Mee's bank card?Is he or is he not one of the dead souls of the title?On p. 308, the manager of Damon's bank lets Rebus know that a one hundred pound withdrawal has been made from Damon's account the previous afternoon, after Damon has been missing for some time.His mother, Janis, believes it is Damon who made the withdrawal when she views the blurred surveillance video, although Rebus is not so sure.Later (p. 400), we learn that Ama Petrie hit Damon with an empty wine bottle to prevent him from strangling her transvestite brother Nicky on the party boat and that he fell overboard into the water--on the very night that Damon went missing.Ama "assumes" that he swam to shore, although she says she did not give him much thought, a position contradicted by her warning her friends not to talk to the police about seeing Damon.The book ends on the following page.So did Damon indeed swim to shore and live to use his bank account but fail to notify his family or friends of his whereabouts?Or did he instead drown, as Rebus seems to believe, but somehow his body has not been found even though the boat is moored near the town?And if Damon's body has not found, who used his bank card? It's a puzzle to me--can someone explain?

4-0 out of 5 stars Much more than a police procedural!
I have been exploring modern mystery and crime writers in the recent past, after having ignored the genre for many years. I was a fan of the really old school - Conan Doyle, Chesterton, Agatha Christie and Doroty Sayers - when I was in high school.My recent reading includes - apart from several PD James books - one novel each of Peter Robinson, Martin Cruz Smith, Ruth Rendell, Mankell, Hakan Nesser, Qiu Xialong and a few others whom I didn't like so much.

Overall, it's been a rewarding journey back into the world of crime thrillers. From this whole exploration, I thought that PD James, Martin Cruz Smith and Ian Rankin really stand out as role models for aspiring crime writers.

I found "Dead Souls" extremely gripping, to the extent of wanting to read it at work today (and joking about it with my colleagues). The writing is wonderful, and Rankin has the ability to evoke the smells and the feel of parts of Scotland people like me who have never been there. The characters are developed painstakingly; there are definitely no "cardboard characters" here. Some of the lines are really smart. The novel meets the basic requirements of the dots all being there, being connected at the end and my not being able to connect them beforehand. The messiness of the investigation, with dead ends and lapses, made it seem very real to me.

On the negative side: this is just a personal view, but some of the the theme of child abuse seem to run all over the modern crime genre. I may come across as a prude, but I'm not -it's just that an overwhelming number of modern thrillers seem to have this theme. The main weakness in the novel is that at critical points there seem to be gaps in the plot - persons being left alone when common sense would dicate that they should have been covered. Some lapses make the story credible, but there are others which don't.

This is definitely a rewarding "literary" work with depth, and it's a true thriller - but you might find some shortcomings in it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dead Souls
Love all the Rebus books, certainly hope now that he has retired he'll be "consulting" in a new book!!! Please Mr. Rankin.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspector Rebus Rules
You are dealing with a master storyteller with Ian Rankin.......detective Rebus is one of the best characters in the detective genre ... Read more

14. Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus Novels)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 304 Pages (2008-11-11)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312545266
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Scottish homicide detective John Rebus has been sent from "North of the Border" to help London police catch a serial killer with a gruesome M.O.  Teamed with a London cop he wants to trust but can't, Rebus lets a beautiful psychologist into the case develops a bizarre portrait of a killer who leaves bite marks and tears on each victim's body.  Now it's only a question of who is going to get busted first: the cop with the accent who breaks all the rules--or the pyscho painting London with blood...
... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

3-0 out of 5 stars Worth the read for setting and characters, but a less than engaging story
Before this, the only Rebus novel I had read was "Mortal Causes", which I think remains a very good initial introduction to the character of John Rebus for anyone interested in this series. Admittedly, there is something about a dectective novel set in Britain that draws me in, and with the Inspector Rebus series, that's comes with the knowledge that the setting and the types of crimes are of a modern flavor(This isn't Sherlock Holmes). As a funny aside, I remember years ago listening to Ian Rankin read from one of his novels on "A Prairie Home Companion" when the show was visting Edinburgh. The funny thing is that the host, Garrison Keillor, didn't get it. He tried to paint Rankin's stuff as the old school British detective novel. I felt embarrassed for him, because all of Rankin's responses were to the contrary, that his work was distinctly modern.

Ok. So at a certain level, I'm content just to read about John Rebus (a Scottish detective) to experience the setting of the British Isles and its interesting characters. At this level, "Tooth and Nail" succeeds in depicting both the grit and the flavor of English culture. Put a good mystery around this and I'm hooked. But that's a bit of the problem with this novel. The story isn't as engaging as the setting and is rather slow to develop at all. Basically, Rebus is invited to London to lend his help to a serial murder case. He accepts help from a woman who offers to develop a psychiatric profile of the killer and he has to learn to work with one of the London officers assigned to the case. While the strained relationship with the London cop is handled nicely, the relationship with the psychiatrist is somewhat contrived and unbelievable. Add to that more contrived plot devices that tie to the fact that Rebus' ex-wife and daughter live in England and you have an end result that is somewhat dissapointing.

I will read additional books in the Inspector Rebus series, but this book was just average.

1-0 out of 5 stars Stop Him Before He Publishes Again
My second Rankin, I had not made my mind up. Now I have.

A pathetic outing, Rankin has little control of character beyond simplistic, telegraphed and obvious traits, for his would-be hero, Rebus - a silly and contrived name, to match the man - or Flight, his foil, and similarly weak; and down through the drab cast of half-baked characters. His plot is rambling, clumsy and full of obvious red herrings, false trails, and silly diversions. Rankin's attempts at grit are more like Napoleon Dynamite's claims of wolverine hunting in Alaska than is comfortable to admit.

Disturbing are Rankin's rather nasty details of his murders, the more so because they are so clearly gratuitous and unintegrated into the plot. Silly bits of deduction involving false teeth and hack psychosis focussing on art that is ceremonially slashed would be merely laughable, were they not so prurient. He proposes a deep psychology of the serial killer, which seems to be his excuse for the grotesqueries he introduces. But he shows himself to be extraordinarily shallow in both his portrait of the killer, a crucial part of the book, and of general insights into human nature. The mysterious allure of Rebus (that bloody name again) for Lisa the brainy hottie is reminiscent of the more embarrassing outings of Woody Allen where his character proves irresistible to those a generation younger. Eccch.

The mechanistic mapping of the modus operandi and the killer's background in the end (a pun that those who have read this tripe will recognize) makes for a superficial account of abuse; reason enough to shun this hack.

There may be those in quiet suburbs and leafy villages, for whom this can provide the frisson of an urban policier. For those who recognize bad writing when they see it, this will not do.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some excellent moments
Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series is a first class set of novels. This is the third of the Rebus books and while it is far from his best books, it is a really good read.

Rebus is not the easiest character to like, he is irritable, a loner/lonely and occasionally mean. There were passages in the book when I wondered if the author was hinting at how nasty Rebus could actually be (e.g. when he left the daughters boyfriends hideout and saw the van waiting there, he debated going over to the van or walking away - that was a pivotal moment in the book for me).

Excellent series. Dark, brooding, not for the faint of heart. Love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rankin is the best
Ian Rankin has been one of my favorite authors for many years now. I purchased Tooth and Nail as a gift for my son to lure him to the author.

4-0 out of 5 stars Inspector Rebus solving a case in London
In this book Rebus has been called down to London to help the London police solve a particularly puzzling series of murders.They want him to use his expertise in capturing serial killers.There are some neat new characters here, and I particularly liked Inspector Flight.Rebus is totally baffled by the bizarre murders that are occurring.I like Ian Rankin's plotting, and I love John Rebus.This series of British police procedurals is a winner.I like the laid-back humour and Rebus' intensity as well.Can't wait for the next one. ... Read more

15. Fleshmarket Alley (Inspector Rebus)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 448 Pages (2010-11-15)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$11.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316099252
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
On a notorious street where propriety and decadence clash, in the basement of a newly renovated bar, the bones of a woman and child are discovered beneath a cement floor. It's an unusually gruesome find, even for Fleshmarket Alley. When Inspector John Rebus is called to investigate, every fact he finds unleashes a host of new questions. Are the bones those of a mother and child? Are they actual human remains or fakes? Were they planted there - and if so, why?It could be nothing more than a ruthless and enterprising pub owner looking to create a local legend that will help lure trade. Or it could be something far worse - something as grisly as the death of a recent immigrant found brutally murdered at a local housing project, or the murder of Donald Cruikshank, a recently paroled rapist whose body is found just as a young woman goes missing. The missing girl is a friend of Inspector Rebus's colleague Detective Siobhan Clarke, and Siobhan is shocked to find herself in the same intricate web of murderers as Rebus - all somehow tied to that pile of bones under Fleshmarket Alley.In a race to stop the killings before more bodies turn up - even as the possibility of romantic entanglements distracts and entices them - Rebus and Siobhan plumb the darkest corners of their beloved city and confront the lawless, conscienceless men who dwell there. Writing with the unstoppable narrative force that has made him one of the bestselling writers in the world, Edgar Award-winner Ian Rankin delivers his most explosive and surprising mystery yet. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

2-0 out of 5 stars Very Dissappointing
I have read all the Rebus books which for the most part are excellent and exciting. This story is overly long and lacking in suspense. I suspect Rankin's motivation for writing is to get on to the political bandwagon of exposing treatment of immigrants.

Rebus' concern for immigrants and his interest in the immigrant activist don't really fit with his character of the past. Instead of the gritty, witty iconoclast we now get a much different charcter.

It seems that as with so many successful writers of series that eventually they focus more on the money or their own political leanings, so the quality of their stories suffer greatly.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nickname Problems
I began the Rebus series with great enjoyment, but they have slipped recently.One glaring problem in this one is that Rebus has suddenly started calling his colleague Sibohan by the nickname "Shiv." In a previous novel, Sibohan (Shiv-aughn) has expressed to the reader her frustration with everyone calling her "Shiv" but she is happy that Rebus doesn't. (Rebus abides no nicknames himself, and hardly even allows anyone to call him John.)

I want to see more of Rebus' personal life and explore why he has apparently never had a successful relationship with another human being--including a brother that Rebus claims not to even know where he lives. In the previous two novels, John has had a casual relationship with a woman named Jean, but she is not even mentioned in this one.Surely he should have a passing thought about her, at least.

5-0 out of 5 stars Flesh Market Alley
Loved it! Sometimes Ian Rankin is a bit too wordy, and I skip over parts, that didn't happen with this book, loved every word.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ian Rankin:Fleshmarket Alley
Another great Rankin novel.Full of suspense.One of those books that you just can't put down.

5-0 out of 5 stars Murder and Once Again John Rebus is in the Thick of it
Detective Inspector John Rebus and DS Siobhan Clark have been relocated from their old and familiar offices to Gayfield Square, which isn't all that far away. It's a well to do district, but close to Knoxland, which is one of Edinburgh's low rent housing development's.

And it's in Knoxland that an illegal immigrant is found stabbed to death. While trying to solve the case Rebus is forced to think about the fact that the powers that be would like him to retire, however police work is his life, he has nothing outside of that, so he has no intention of being made redundant, not now, not ever.

Knoxland is home to many immigrants, legal and otherwise and it's occupants have been the source of many racial attacks, so naturally it looks like a race crime. During his investigation Rebus learns much about the difficulties illegal aliens must face in Scotland. Including the legal ones, like the detention centers women and children are locked up in as they wait to find out if they are going to be allowed entry or if they're going to be deported.

Also, as this case is developing, Siobhan is approached by the mother of a teenage girl who has disappeared. Siobhan worked the prior case of the missing girl's sister three years earlier. The girl had been raped and then killed herself, so even though the case is now out of her jurisdiction, Siobhan decides to work it anyway.

And to make Rebus's and Siobhan's life even more complicated, they are called out to a bar in Fleshmarket Alley (Fleshmarket Close in the British version) where the remains of an infant and a woman have been discovered under the concrete floor during renovations.

The genius of Ian Rankin is that he can connect the dots, make us believe that as impossible as it might seem, all these cases are connected, but of course, it takes Rebus and Siobhan a while to put it all together and that makes for just one very, very good story. Mr. Rankin has given us plenty of John Rebus books and they just keep getting better.

Reviewed by Vesta Irene ... Read more

16. Black and Blue: An Inspector Rebus Mystery (Inspector Rebus Novels)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 480 Pages (2009-11-24)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$8.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312586493
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

Bible John killed three women, and took three souvenirs. Johnny Bible killed to steal his namesake's glory. Oilman Allan Mitchelson died for his principles. And convict Lenny Spaven died just to prove a point. "Bible John" terrorized Glasgow in the sixties and seventies, murdering three women he met in a local ballroom--and he was never caught. Now a copycat is at work. Nicknamed "Bible Johnny" by the media, he is a new menace with violent ambitions.

The Bible Johnny case would be perfect for Inspector John Rebus, but after a run-in with a crooked senior officer, he's been shunted aside to one of Edinburgh's toughest suburbs, where he investigates the murder of an off-duty oilman. His investigation takes him north to the oil rigs of Aberdeen, where he meets the Bible Johnny media circus head-on. Suddenly caught in the glare of the television cameras and in the middle of more than one investigation, Rebus must proceed wiht caution: One mistake could mean an unpleasant and not particularly speedy death, or, worse still, losing his job.

Written with Ian Rankin's signature wit, style and intricacy, Black and Blue is a novel of uncommon and unforgettable intrigue.
Amazon.com Review
"I'm a peeper, he thought, a voyeur. All cops are. But he knew hewas more than that: he liked to get involved in the lives around him. Hehad a need to know which went beyond voyeurism. It was a drug. And thething was, when he had all this knowledge, he then had to use booze toblank it out..." In his ninth outing, Edinburgh's glowering and tenaciousInspector John Rebus finds a unique way of cutting back on alcohol.Convinced that Rebus might lie or try to destroy evidence in the reopenedcase of a man convicted of a murder he probably didn't commit, theinvestigating officer assigns him a babysitter. Luckily, the minder is oneof Rebus's old mentors, Jack Morton, a former drinking buddy now waging asuccessful battle against the bottle. Rebus and Morton burn off energy andanger repainting Rebus's apartment, while trying to clear Rebus's name andexploring the connection between a recent string of murders and a real-lifeScottish serial killer of the 1970s known as Bible John. The cases takeRebus to Aberdeen and an oil platform in the North Atlantic, but as usualthe main action happens within the mind and soul of Rankin's meticulouslycrafted creation. Previous entries in the memorable Rebus series are also available, including Let It Bleed, Hide and Seek, Knots and Crosses, Mortal Causes, and Tooth and Nail. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interestingcombination of elements
This book's use of a real life case as part of the plot was interesting in that it added to the already incredibly real atmosphere of the Inspector Rebus book.Oil culture was interesting too.I've never been up in that part of Scotland, so it was like having a dark travel guide as well.

Rebus, who's at a turning point in his life and career finds himself in a spot where he's going to make it or break it, even if it means taking most of Scottish law enforcement down with him.The mob, murder, mayhem, and a serial killer and his copy cat make for a bumpy landscape in which Rebus has to survive.

A bit long winded, Black and Blue is a good read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
This is now the 9th of the Inspector Rebus books I've read, and of the assortment I've read, I believe this is the best.The ending wasn't however very credible.After demonstrating that Rebus never gives up under any circumstances, we're to believe that he just lets "Bible John" go because their isn't sufficient evidence.Evidence like his car was outside the murder scene or that he quickly left his wife of many years to dissappear shortly after the murder! Hard to fathom how he could choose to end the book like that.

I got hooked on this genre of writing with Giles Blunt's works, but I've yet to find anyone who can write like him.Rankin isn't bad, but to me, there is something lacking in his writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Black and Blue true to form
This Rebus mystery was new to me, but kept me turning pages to the end.
I cannot imagine Rankin is done with the Rebus line of work, but if so, I
hope he reconsiders or at least designs a supporting role for this living,
breathing, human, humane character.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This is the sixth book in the John Rebus series, but I felt like I was reading a different book this time.Rankin appears to have turned a corner with his character with this book.I always loved Rebus's character and his human flaws, but in this book we see Rebus totally uncovered.His character is so beautifully displayed in this book.The story itself was complex.There were three apparently different cases that Rebus was investigating and he continues he begins to think that all three are actually connected in some way.He does his investigations almost completely single-handed while his career is in an uproar and while he is under investigation.This is a powerful, complex and totally un-put-downable book.I cannot wait to read more Rebus, and with the way this one ends, you just know that John Rebus is not yet done with this particular investigation.What a great book!

4-0 out of 5 stars Through the kitchen
Just like that scene in "Good Fellas" where the camera follows our hero as he enters into a club (girlfriend in tow) by weaving his way through the kitchen; the camera is on his shoulder the whole time adding an edge and tension.

And this is how we are taken through this story - inch by inch with an amazing amount of ground level detail.

Ian Rankin has to describe everything he sees, sometimes it is helpful and other times not. The detail adds volume to the book.

This was my first Ian Rankin and I was impressed with the characterisation and development of the plot. For the most part I enjoyed the quick witted one-liners of Mr Rebus, but on occassions it grated a little and became tiresome. I mean - bloody hell cant the guy speak normally? Has he got to have a smart-arsed comment on everything?

I didnt find this book spiritually uplifting. On the contrary, it had a slightly depressing effect on me as it wallowed in the dark side of society.

It was gripping at times and interesting, but it left a bad taste.

However, it was well written and worth the time I dedicated to reading it. ... Read more

17. Strip Jack
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-02-17)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312545231
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Gregor Jack has it all: young, wealthy, and charming, he's a highly respected member of Parliament, witha  beautiful wife--and a closet bursting with skeletons.  When he's caught in a police raid on an Edinburgh brothel, his house of cards begins to topple.  Enter Detective John Rebus: he smells a set-up.  When Jack's flamboyant wife Elizabeth disappears, Rebus uncovers a full-house of orgies, drunken parties, an incestuous "Pack" of deceitful chums...and ultimately Elizabeth's badly beaten body.  Now Rebus is on a new quest--to find a killer who holds all the cards. 
... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tartan Noir
One of my favorites.Big fan of Ian Rankin, real characters who develop from book to book, excellent plotting.Almost impossible to make a mistake with one of his books.

3-0 out of 5 stars Strip Jack
Not great condition but not terrible either.I would order through this merchant again.

1-0 out of 5 stars exceptional book
Of the last 100 murder mysteries I have read I would rate this one in the bottom 10 which I consider to be generous because I have never read anything that put me to sleep faster.I struggled each night to read more than two pages and often found it on the floor the next morning.By the 2/3 point I started skimming, something I've never done before, but why not; it was obvious who had committed the murder by then.

Sorry, somebody has to warn innocent readers off.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not his greatest but still good
This is not Ian Rankin's best book but it is still a giant leap above the quality of so many writers who prefer to have gruesome death scenes described in detail.

Inspector Rebus is called to the raid of an illegal brothel where they find amongst the clients the local MP Gregor Jack. Amidst much media scrutiny of the MP being found in a brothel, Rebus begins to sense some trouble and starts to investigate how the media were tipped off about the raid and then the story becomes murky as a lengthy history of misadventures are exposed.

This novel was a quick and easy read, as the author himself admits, it is one of his lighter books but it is still Inspector Rebus, which means you get character development, a look at Scotland and a fine novel to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Ian Rankin thus far
This is the 4th book in Ian Rankin's series about Detective Inspector John Rebus, set in Edinburgh and is the best so far.
I read series in order, so character development makes sense: book 1 is Knots and Crosses, 2 is Hide and Seek and 3 is Tooth and Nail.
This book inspired me to keep on reading late at night, which is high praise from me.
Rebus solves complicated crimes and debates about where his relationship with Dr. Patience Aitken is going.
Stolen rare books, Gregor Jack who is a respected MP caught in a brothel, two murdered women and an intriguing group of childhood friends all grown up who are still friends and enjoy wild secret parties together.
These elements combine to create a book I highly recommend. ... Read more

18. Exit Music (Inspector Rebus)
by Ian Rankin
Hardcover: 432 Pages (2008-09-17)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$9.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0035G0254
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
It's late in the fall in Edinburgh and late in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he is simply trying to tie up some loose ends before his retirement, a new case lands on his desk: a dissident Russian poet has been murdered in what looks like a mugging gone wrong.
Rebus discovers that an elite delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, looking to expand its interests. And as Rebus's investigation gains ground, someone brutally assaults a local gangster with whom he has a long history.
Has Rebus overstepped his bounds for the last time? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, controversial career, will Rebus even make it that far? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (43)

4-0 out of 5 stars Complex, entertaining police procedural
It seems that Detective Inspector John Rebus, the very popular protagonist of some 20 books by Rankin, is about to retire from the Edinburgh police department in just a little over a week. But he will not be sitting on his laurels in these last days. No, he and his partner, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, are called to a crime scene of a man beaten to death in a small street, a man who turns out to be a rather well known Russian poet. Before you know it, Rebus finds himself in the midst of an investigation that includes Russian businessmen,Scottish independence, crime bosses, Scottish bankers, politicians, and drugs.
As if that is not enough for one book, things get even more complicated when a second murder takes place, a man tied into the first investigation. To top it all off, one of Rebus's nemesis, the local crime boss Big Ger Cafferty, a man Rebus would love to take down before he retires, may be tied into the whole thing as well.

It is going to be a very busy week for Rebus.

As I said, this is the the latest of many books in the Rebus series, and I have not read any of the previous books in the series. But happily, it is not necessary to have done so to enjoy this one.
Now I will admit, not being familiar with the characters or the setting, it took a little while to get into the swing of the book. And even once you get into the book, I will warn you that it is complicated tale and it takes a bit of effort to keep the ins and outs of the various aspects of the plot all straight. But it is well worth the effort.

Rebus is a wonderful character, one that I will most certainly have to go back to the previous books to get to know better. He is a bit of a trouble maker in the force and many in power will not be unhappy to see him gone. He is a loner, enjoys his drink, has an interesting taste in music and a personal life we only get a hint of in this book. Now, there is some question whether Rankin will really retire him totally and the ending leaves open a few possibilities to see him in the future. But if he does, that leaves behind the also quite good character of Siobhan Clarke, someone who, one way or another, I hope we see again in the future as well as a few aspects of this story that could be wrapped up.

A very well written, if rather complex, police procedural, with some excellent characters, an interesting setting, strongly recommended for fans of police mysteries.

3-0 out of 5 stars Slow moving
The plot moves at a snail's pace while the characters spend quite a bit of times in bars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Noteworthy 'Exit Music'
I'm only a casual Rebus fan, and am more familiar with the TV adaptations than the novels, but when I saw that this was the last in the series, I knew I had to read it. While I admit it wasn't one of Rebus' more action-packed cases, and the pace did drag slightly over the 500-plus pages, I found the vast majority of 'Exit Music' to be very entertaining. Plenty of deep characterization(despite what some reviewers say), red herrings, and political intrigue. It may be too much in one book for some readers, but I felt it was easy to lose myself in the story. Some familiarity with Rebus' past is helpful, but not necessary, to appreciate the story, one subplot in particular.
Readers who dislike having everything neatly tied up at the end may have some issues with 'Exit Music'...but then, regular Rebus Rankin readers know that nothing is ever black and white in Rebus' Edinburgh.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Over Till The Last Note
This is #17, and possibly the final, in the police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Jon Rebus and his partner Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke. The crime initially involves the murder of a Russian expatriate poet, who has taken up residence in Edinburgh, Scotland. The investigation expands to include another related murder and an attack on a local crime boss, Rebus's longtime nemesis, Big Ger Cafferty. Street criminals as well as high standing financial and government leaders are equal suspects in this fast moving novel. The trail winds masterfully through a wonderfully detailed cast of characters who have motive and opportunity. This is reportedly Rebus's last case before he retires and his need to clear the details not only of this case, but of some long standing cases linked to a suspect in the current murder, borders on obsession. DI Rebus is certainly worth another go round.

5-0 out of 5 stars DI John Rebus's last case?
Nearing retirement, Detective Inspector John Rebus is savoring his last days and readying himself for the change. Edinburgh may become a different place once he loses the protection of his shield; old enemies and hurts have threatened to resurface. Rebus starts to prepare, ties up loose ends, and plans how to fill his days.

Then ten days until Rebus's retirement, Rebus and Detective Sargent Siobhan Clarke suddenly land a brutal murder case. The victim is a dissident Russian poet. Though it looks like an mugging gone wrong, Rebus suspects that the death is somehow linked to the elite delegation of Russian businessmen that are looking to invest in Scotland. The murder raises questions and as Rebus digs further, he finds links to an old enemy. But there's growing pressure from local power brokers and politicians to solve the case quickly and quietly. How much can Rebus accomplish before his time is up?

Legendary Detective Inspector John Rebus is as difficult, prickly, and engaging as ever. Observant, persistent, and unafraid to overstep, Rebus takes us all over Edinburgh as he uncovers hidden relationships and pieces together the events of that fateful night. Working with the soon-to-be promoted DS Clarke and her new mentee Todd Goodyear, Rebus uses all tools and tricks, calls in favors, and takes us on a thrilling adventure. Engrossing and carefully crafted, Exit Music is a terrific final novel to a legendary series. It's hard to believe that DI John Rebus has retired for good.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; First US Edition edition (December 2009), 530 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher. ... Read more

19. Blood Hunt: A Novel
by Ian Rankin
Mass Market Paperback: 528 Pages (2006-10-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316013374
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
As a former soldier, Gordon Reeve knows something about killing. So despite the fact that the death of his brother Jim has been ruled a suicide, Gordon can't shake the feeling that someone is responsible. Traveling alone across an ocean, he arrives in California determined to get answers: Why was the car Jim's body was found in locked from the outside? Who would want Jim dead? And now why do the local cops seem bent on thwarting Gordon's efforts to uncover the truth? With all the verve and taut pacing that have made Ian Rankin an internationally renowned suspense writer, Blood Hunt is a gripping story of one man's dogged pursuit of justice. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars They Killed His Brother, Now He's On Their Trail
Gordon Reeve is an ex-SAS soldier with an anger management problem, who teaches a survival course in Scotland. When he gets notified that his journalist brother Jim has committed suicide in California, Gordon doesn't believe it, so he packs his bag and goes to American to find out what really happened.

Gordon learns several facts, like Jim was working on a story involving a chemical plant in San Diego and that the car his brother's body was found in was locked from the outside. This sounds like murder to Reeve and it he's going to use all those skills he's learned in the SAS to solve the case.

Working on finding out who murdered his brother will put Reeve in danger, but he's not the kind of man to shy away from that, in fact if someone is out to harm Reeve, one might ask oneself who is really in danger, Reeve or those who mean to do him harm? Reeve reminds me a lot of Lee Child's Jack Reecher, a man who takes matters into his own hands, deals out justice his way and has no problems living with himself after he's done it. This is a fast read and is every bit as good as any of Mr. Rankin's Rebus novels.

5-0 out of 5 stars Murder, Action & Revenge, it's all Here
Ex-SAS soldier Gordon Reeve, who is an expert on survival, trade and field craft, has a place in a remote, out of the way place in Scotland, where he trains future bodyguards and the like. This is safer for him, but not as satisfying, as being in action himself as he'd barely gotten out alive after an assignment in South America after a brother in arms betrayed him. Gordon killed the traitor, left the service, went into business for himself. Things are kind of ticking off okay for Gordon, he marries, has a son, then gets a call from Amercia. It appears his brother has committed Suicide.

James Reeve was a reporter in San Diego and he wasn't a bit like his brother. James wasn't a gun guy, not into being in shape either, but despite that he was good reporter and he was about to come out with a story about the chemicals in our food and this was the kind of expose that could very well destroy Co-World Chemicals. Did they do in James and make it look like Suicide?

Someone's going to have to explain it all to Gordon and they're gonna have to do it in person, because Gordon knows James never would have taken his life with a gun. It's murder as far as Gordon is concerned and he's gonna prove it, but along the way Gordon is gonna confront a surprise or two, including that dead guy traitor, who maybe isn't so dead after all.

Though this book was written before the excellent Rebus novels, it's well worth reading. If you like Lee Child's Jack Reacher character you're bound to like Gordon Reeve.

3-0 out of 5 stars Oops. Mr. Rankin Slipped Up?
Comparisons will always be made between an author's previous work and his newer or lesser known ones. Fair or not, these comparisons are valid in terms of literary quality and how they foster against the greater works of their predecessors. That being the case, I have to say that comparing BLOOD HUNT against Mr. Rankin's other novels is a tough call to make.

Most of us know and love Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series of books ...starting with Knots and Crosses. Having read just about all of these, I have come to expect the unexpected from Rankin's characters. His stories border on predictability then veer wildly to the unexpected. I particularly enjoy that most of his murder mysteries start out with the murderer basically being known but his/her motives not quite so clear. And having Rebus falling apart but working through pains and problems was always something we (the reader) could empathize with.

Unfortunately, most of that gets lost in Blood Hunt. Initially seeming like a Rebus format, the story never gains a sense of wonder; the reader learns of a problem (a murder in this case) and the path is exceptionally (dare I say predictably?) drab and pat. Chances are, while reading the book, if you think you might know where it's headed, you do (ex. Brother of ex-SAS officer is found dead of apparent suicide. Brother checks into the circumstances surrounding the suicide. Finds out it's a murder with possible police cover-up. Brother fights the good fight, even going so far as to put his family in danger. Kills his adversary. Exposes bad guys. The end.) This is, perhaps, over-simplifying it, but the gist is there.

If you stick with what Mr. Rankin does best (Rebus), you'll be exceptionally pleased. But if you wander afield and check out his lesser works, don't say you haven't been forewarned.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nietzsche's Gentlemen.
Oh, the blessings of being an author with too much time on his hands. I can just picture Ian Rankin sitting in the house (farm? cottage?) he and his wife bought in rural Dordogne, having whizzed through the manuscript for yet another increasingly well-written John Rebus novel and - having left behind all other employment across the British Channel and neither inclined to carpentry nor gardening - feeling his mind growing restless, in need of occupation. Now, wouldn't you have started looking for another outlet for your creative energy had you been in his spot?

The result of the aforementioned process, which Rankin describes in the foreword of a 2000 (alas, so far [???] British-only!) compilation uniting all three novels in one volume, were a series of thrillers written under the pseudonym Jack Harvey: Jack for his newborn son, Harvey for his wife's maiden name.

In "Blood Hunt," the last of the three books, fans of Inspector Rebus meet an old acquaintance; George Reeve from the first Rebus novel, "Knots and Crosses." Only here he's the good guy - well, mostly; because there isn't such a thing as a clean-cut "good guy" in *any* Ian Rankin novel. In any event, "Blood Hunt" introduces us to Reeve's back story; his life as an outdoors survival teacher, and his own memories and nightmares of his service with the SAS - after we've already gotten a fair share of Rebus's in "Knots and Crosses" - particularly the Falklands campaign, during which he met the man who would soon turn out to be his biggest nemesis; as much as Reeve will later become a nemesis to Rebus.

Further, we learn that Reeve had a brother; a journalist on the trail of a story centering around a chemical company headquartered in San Diego. When that brother is murdered, Reeve's instincts as a hunter are awakened - and like a bull terrier he pits himself to the heels of those responsible for the murder and doesn't let go until he has brought them to justice: *his* kind of justice, that is, which isn't necessarily that of the police, but one they understand only too well. The SAS call themselves Nietzsche's gentlemen - believing in the self-proclaimed amoralist's teachings that the will to power is all that matters and all that controls life; and the novel's conclusion is very much in keeping with that adage.

As a back story to the first Rebus book, "Blood Hunt" works only just so - while the essential facts are in synch with Reeve's and Rebus's SAS past, to truly click with "Knots and Crosses," this book would have had to be written about a decade earlier, or vice versa, which in turn wouldn't square with the later Rebus books' historical and political references ... you get the picture. Read as a stand-alone, however, this is a tightly-plotted thriller, every bit as violent as the second Jack Harvey novel, "Bleeding Hearts" (there's a reason why blood figures in both books' titles) and, while based on a conspiracy theory that easily dates it as a mid-1990s release, as strong as both "Bleeding Hearts" and the best of the Rebus books on characters and settings (Scotland to San Diego, London, France and back, with - literally - a cliffhanger finale on the Outer Hebrides' rough mountainous territory). And then there's that children's rhyme that I don't think I'll ever hear quite the same way I used to ...

Although I'm happy enough for Rankin's success with Inspector Rebus and wouldn't want any story featuring Edinburgh's finest (and most hard-drinking) D.I. missing from my bookcases, in a way I regret that Rankin had to shelve Jack Harvey after only three books. So just in case, Mr. Rankin, in the unlikely event that you should ever resurrect that alter ego (or write another non-Rebus novel under your own name): I promise I'll read that one, too, and probably with just as much pleasure as any of your other books.

Also recommended:
Rebus: The Early Years (Knots & Crosses / Hide & Seek / Tooth & Nail)
Rebus - The St Leonard's Years
Rebus: The Lost Years (Let It Bleed / Black & Blue / The Hanging Garden)
Rebus: Capital Crimes (Dead Souls / Set in Darkness / The Falls)
Ian Rankin Inspector Rebus CD Collection: Resurrection Men, A Question of Blood, Fleshmarket Alley (Inspector Rebus) (Inspector Rebus)
Exit Music
Rebus's Scotland
The Jack Harvey Novels
Rebus: The Complete Short Stories~Ian Rankin

5-0 out of 5 stars Nietzsche's Gentlemen.
Oh, the blessings of being an author with too much time on his hands. I can just picture Ian Rankin sitting in the house (farm? cottage?) he and his wife bought in rural Dordogne, having whizzed through the manuscript for yet another increasingly well-written John Rebus novel and - having left behind all other employment across the British Channel and neither inclined to carpentry nor gardening - feeling his mind growing restless, in need of occupation. Now, wouldn't you have started looking for another outlet for your creative energy had you been in his spot?

The result of the aforementioned process, which Rankin describes in the foreword of a 2000 (alas, so far [???] British-only!) compilation uniting all three novels in one volume, were a series of thrillers written under the pseudonym Jack Harvey: Jack for his newborn son, Harvey for his wife's maiden name.

In "Blood Hunt," the last of the three books, fans of Inspector Rebus meet an old acquaintance; George Reeve from the first Rebus novel, "Knots and Crosses." Only here he's the good guy - well, mostly; because there isn't such a thing as a clean-cut "good guy" in *any* Ian Rankin novel. In any event, "Blood Hunt" introduces us to Reeve's back story; his life as an outdoors survival teacher, and his own memories and nightmares of his service with the SAS - after we've already gotten a fair share of Rebus's in "Knots and Crosses" - particularly the Falklands campaign, during which he met the man who would soon turn out to be his biggest nemesis; as much as Reeve will later become a nemesis to Rebus.

Further, we learn that Reeve had a brother; a journalist on the trail of a story centering around a chemical company headquartered in San Diego. When that brother is murdered, Reeve's instincts as a hunter are awakened - and like a bull terrier he pits himself to the heels of those responsible for the murder and doesn't let go until he has brought them to justice: *his* kind of justice, that is, which isn't necessarily that of the police, but one they understand only too well. The SAS call themselves Nietzsche's gentlemen - believing in the self-proclaimed amoralist's teachings that the will to power is all that matters and all that controls life; and the novel's conclusion is very much in keeping with that adage.

As a back story to the first Rebus book, "Blood Hunt" works only just so - while the essential facts are in synch with Reeve's and Rebus's SAS past, to truly click with "Knots and Crosses," this book would have had to be written about a decade earlier, or vice versa, which in turn wouldn't square with the later Rebus books' historical and political references ... you get the picture. Read as a stand-alone, however, this is a tightly-plotted thriller, every bit as violent as the second Jack Harvey novel, "Bleeding Hearts" (there's a reason why blood figures in both books' titles) and, while based on a conspiracy theory that easily dates it as a mid-1990s release, as strong as both "Bleeding Hearts" and the best of the Rebus books on characters and settings (Scotland to San Diego, London, France and back, with - literally - a cliffhanger finale on the Outer Hebrides' rough mountainous territory). And then there's that children's rhyme that I don't think I'll ever hear quite the same way I used to ...

Although I'm happy enough for Rankin's success with Inspector Rebus and wouldn't want any story featuring Edinburgh's finest (and most hard-drinking) D.I. missing from my bookcases, in a way I regret that Rankin had to shelve Jack Harvey after only three books. So just in case, Mr. Rankin, in the unlikely event that you should ever resurrect that alter ego (or write another non-Rebus novel under your own name): I promise I'll read that one, too, and probably with just as much pleasure as any of your other books.

Also recommended:
Rebus: The Early Years (Knots & Crosses / Hide & Seek / Tooth & Nail)
Rebus - The St Leonard's Years
Rebus: The Lost Years (Let It Bleed / Black & Blue / The Hanging Garden)
Rebus: Capital Crimes (Dead Souls / Set in Darkness / The Falls)
Ian Rankin Inspector Rebus CD Collection: Resurrection Men, A Question of Blood, Fleshmarket Alley (Inspector Rebus) (Inspector Rebus)
Exit Music
Rebus's Scotland
The Jack Harvey Novels
Rebus: The Complete Short Stories~Ian Rankin ... Read more

20. The Naming of the Dead (Inspector Rebus)
by Ian Rankin
Paperback: 480 Pages (2010-11-15)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$10.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316099260
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The leaders of the free world descend on Scotland for an international conference, and every cop in the country is needed for front-line duty...except one.John Rebus's reputation precedes him, and his bosses don't want him anywhere near Presidents Bush and Putin, which explains why he's manning an abandoned police station when a call comes in.During a preconference dinner at Edinburgh Castle, a delegate has fallen to his death. Accident, suicide, or something altogether more sinister?And is it linked to a grisly find close to the site of the gathering?Are the world's most powerful men at risk from a killer?While the government and secret services attempt to hush the whole thing up, Rebus knows he has only seventy-two hours to find the answers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good book
I'm not sure if this will put you off or not but I don't usually read this crime / detective type of book. I am from the land of the thistle and that is why I continued on. Rebus will get under your skin and is very believable character that you hope you never have to meet. I love the background and antics so would recommend this to anyone.

2-0 out of 5 stars Why rewrite the book for an American audience?
Two star rating for the Kindle Edition.

I really love Ian Rankin and among the many things I enjoy about reading his work is the feeling that I've been transported from this side of the Atlantic to the other.

So you can imagine my disappointment (bordering on disgust), when I discovered that, in the kindle version of the book, almost every trace of the UK idiom(s) had been expunged. Mobile phones were transformed into cell phones - lorries became trucks. The editors of this version must have imagined that we 'poor yanks' were even too dumb to figure out what `I reckon' means.

While I appreciate that the meaning of `boffin' may be somewhat obscure (albeit perfectly comprehensible from the context), I find it hard to believe that any American capable of reading would have difficulty understanding `a load of washing' or a `postbox' translated, without so much as a footnote, respectively, as a `load of laundry' and `mailbox' for our 'benefit'. And the list continues; some thing had been changed on almost every other page; sometimes whole phrases had been rewritten to make them sound more 'American'.

If the editors really think that we are incapable of understanding Anglicisms, perhaps they should just include a glossary; why rewrite the thing? At the very least, Amazon should warn readers that they are about to insult our intelligence by selling us an adulterated version of the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars OK, but the story isn't believable
Solid series, author writes well, and Edinburgh is an interesting city. But I am sorry, the story has to to be believable, and have more layers to be interesting than what seems to happen by change. Many things would have happened in real life that does not happen here. For a critical reader this is disturbing, and this book did not become unputdownable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Rebus is a great character
The Naming of the Dead, by Ian Rankin (460 pgs., 2006).This is the seventeenth published novel in the mystery series featuring Detective Inspector John Rebus.I'm surprised I haven't read more of the books in this series.Rebus is a great character.There is a supporting cast of characters which I like & which add meat to the series.These mysteries are more character-driven than police procedurals.The plots are strong & often there are plots within plots.The twists & turns are true surprises.Nothing is ever black & white.Shades of gray predominate throughout the book.Rebus is a DI based in Edinburgh & solving his cases often takes him to different parts of Scotland & periodically to other parts of the United Kingdom.Rebus is an outsider cop.Often as suspicious of his superiors as of the criminals he needs to deal with.He has little time for office politics.Hence, he's still a DI & his retirement time is fast approaching.He's already accrued enough time to retire; yet, he chooses to remain.Being a cop is all he knows.He has no hobbies or pets.His family has been lost to his police career.His closest friends are cops.He's near leaving the force & he's still considered a rebel & troublemaker by his superiors; but, he's kept on because of his results.He solves crimes.So, why haven't I read more of these books?I guess I've never gotten juiced up enough after reading one of these books to go back & search the library for all the others I've missed.I've never gotten the excited feeling I got when I read my first Martha Grimes mystery featuring Richard Jury or my first Anne Perry mystery featuring Monk or my first Dick Francis mystery featuring Sid Halley or my first Robert B. Parker mystery featuring Spenser & Hawk & Susan Silverman.
It's the same with this current Rankin mystery featuring D.I. Rebus & his sidekick D.S. (Detective Sergeant) Siobhan (pronounced Shivan) Clarke.
It's very good.The premise is great.The mystery is complicated.Rankin even incorporates real events into this mystery.It takes place during the G8 Conference held in July 2005 in Edinburgh, which led to Geldorf & others forming the Live Aid Concerts around the world & Bono meeting with world leaders to have them lessen the debt of African nations & then this conference was interrupted by the London underground & bus bombings by Al Qaeda supporters.Rankin is able to integrate all these real events into his novel & put his characters into places where they interact with these events.He doesn't turn them into jokes.Neither his characters nor the real tragedies which took place during those bombings.
The pages turn quickly, so that it doesn't read like a 460-page literary tome or nonfiction book.The mysteries & search for clues & killers are exciting & intelligent.The reader's intelligence is not belittled.Rebus is like a battered Columbo.Battered, but likable; even though he has a knack for rubbing everyone above his station, the wrong way; be they on the force or merely civilians.
The ending is satisfactory, if not wholly complete.For some reason I won't be eagerly awaiting the next Rebus novel.If I happen to see it, I'll read it.For me, John Rebus is not on the same level as Spenser, Richard Jury, Sid Halley, Hamish Macbeth or Peter Decker.I don't know why.Something intangible is missing in this series, at least for me.Would I recommend this book to others?YES!

5-0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get any better than this!!
Of all the "best seller" mystery writers, Ian Rankin is my favorite. Hands down.This book will not disappoint both his fans and new readers. I read some of the somewhat "negative" reviews and do not understand them. Yes, the plot has several different threads. Yes, the book is long. But, to me, these are good points -- it keeps me interested and entertained, the reason you buy a book in the first place. The strength of Rankin is in his prose and wit. He reminds me of Nelson DeMille at his best.
Maybe it is how I read a Rankin novel. Since I like his prose so much, I normally read a little each night (I never speed read a writer I like). I have yet to lose track of the plot since Rankin is so skillful at keeping you interested and "up to date". Don't be put off by some of the critics of this book. I have read virtually all of his novels and this ranks right up there at the top.
Highly recommended!!! ... Read more

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