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Black and Blue Hardcover – Oct 28 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Oct. 28 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312167830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312167837
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 15 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,094,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I read the rave reviews before buying this book (my first Ian Rankin novel) and was very disappointed. I am currently forcing myself to complete it. Not up to the great read one gets with Michael Connelly, the plot seemed to drag disjointedly on for ages, with all the focus seemingly on Inspector Rebus.No doubt all will be revealed in the last few pages. I'll read other authors before another by Ian Rankin.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second Rebus book I've read. If I had not read Tooth and Nail before, I would not pick up another.
The first hundred pages were completely muddled. The book finally got on path, only to lose it again in the last hundred pages.
Rebus - a loveable rebel cop in Tooth and Nail came off as a depressed and depressing malcontent and know-it-all.
The central plot is a very good one - a serial killer is emulating a serial killer from years before. The first, Bible John, returns to stalk the second, Johnny Bible. The first (potential) murder is also a good hook. But then, so much is added. At the same time Rebus is working on this (potential) murder he is still obsessing about the Bibles. During this time he is also being investigated for a murder investigation he did a decade before. The investigation runs among four locales. It is no wonder much of the book is confused. There are too many plot lines Rankin has difficulty bringing them together.
I intend to go on with the Rebus series since the reviews are so good. I doubt this one is necessary to understand the series. I wish I had skipped it and gone on to #3.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me say at the outset that I am a Rankin fan. Police Detective John Rebus is a real human character, and Edinburgh makes a fascinating background to his stories, which are generally well plotted. However, "In Black and Blue," Rankin was just a little too ambitious. There are enough plots and subplots for five books, and he isn't always deft at juggling them. I often found myself scratching my head and flipping back pages to remember who a particular character was (there are a dozen major police characters alone). This is a major distraction in a mystery novel, which should be read full steam ahead. The plot strands involve gangsters, drug dealers, rogue cops, the oil trade, and two (count them two) serial killers. The denouement of all this is far from satisfying: the strands don't come together as neatly as a reader would have wished.
I'm still high on Rankin, but I wish he had turned this one into two separate novels (perhaps "Black" and "Blue").
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
My first Rankin book (of many more to come). Loved the challenge!! Not only is there a labyrinth of plots and interesting characters, but the setting of Scotland opens up a whole new vista for readers of mysteries, not to mention the colorful language! We're off to Scotland for our first trip there this summer and decided to read the #1 crime writer's book to put us in the mood and get ins to the locale and vocabulary. It was served up in style: Oxford Bar, Weegie-land, stooshie, usquebaugh, squaddies, Furry Boot Town, Ribena, Irn Bru, parrafin budgies, choobs, blether and on and on.... btw Black and Blue is a Rolling Stone number and Ian Rankin is always tying his moods into various musicians and their music! It's a super read.
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By Jim McCullaugh on Feb. 11 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some friends gave me this as a Christmas 2002 gift. They knew I liked mysteries/thrillers as I am a close follower of Michael Connelly, Jeffrey Deaver, Ridley Pearson, James Patterson, Robert Crais, and many others. I found this book to be amazing. So much so that I have already read the first four books in the Rebus series and am reading them in sequence. Rankin's detective Rebus is the Scottish version of Connelly's Harry Bosch -- only more extreme and maybe more interesting. Certainly more gritty. And he loves the Rolling Stones! Rankin is a highly intelligent writer and you can see his skills develop from the early books with "Srip Jack" being a turning point of sophistication. I've read that Rankin writes "Tartan Noir." That's a good way to put it. The novels remind me of the best film noir where the cigarette smoke is thick and the booze runs like a river. Being in Scotland also is a real treat, adding a new element of continual interest verus the usual beats of Los Angeles or New York. The layers of intelligence and plot development are lovely. Rankin has an uncanny ability to interweave plot, keep us guesing, and is always surprising us. Keep up the great work Ian. I plan to slow down as I hit the second half of the series as I want to keep Rebus fresh for as long as I can.
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Format: Hardcover
I was just introduced to Ian Rankin with this book. I loved it. Love Rebus. Rankin has a great knack for character and how to intertwine plots. I've been on a steady diet of Connelly, Deaver, Pearson, Crais, Kellerman, etc., and it was great to take a 'trip' across the ocean to get a glimpse of detective life in Scotland. It was much more gritty and hard-nosed than many of the stateside gumshoe tales. Felt a real affinity between Rebus and Harry Bosch. Maybe they are long lost cousins. Now plan to read all of Rankin's works in sequence. Keep up the good work Ian.
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