Dead Souls Paperback – Mar 2 2010
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When an author as successful as Rankin has been with his tough and idiomatic Scottish thrillers, a problem sets in after several books: how to keep the formula fresh.
Rankin has delivered a powerful series of books featuring his beleaguered Detective Inspector John Rebus, and while never less than gripping, a certain tiredness seemed to be setting in. Thankfully, Dead Souls is a resounding return to form, with a plot as enjoyably labyrinthine as any Rankin enthusiast could wish for, and pithy dialogue that fairly leaps off the page. Stalking the streets of Edinburgh on the trail of a poisoner, Rebus hits upon a freed pedophile and his subsequent outing of the man leaves him with very mixed feelings. But another problem develops for Rebus: a convicted murderer has him in his sights for some lethal games. And the tabloid press lionizing of Rebus won't help him in this situation.
As always, Rankin is perfectly ready to tackle contentious issues--precisely the thing that gives his books their powerful sense of veracity. And Rebus, no longer in danger of having a soap opera-like accumulation of personal problems, seems as fresh and well-observed a character as in those first exhilarating books. Rankin has caught his form again, with even more assurance. --Barry Forshaw, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Edinburgh's Det. Insp. John Rebus is beset by troubles from the past and the present in the loose and rangy 11th installment (after The Hanging Garden) of Rankin's popular (and, in England, bestselling) series. At the outset, Rebus, who's been drinking too much, endures frequent visitations from his recently deceased comrade-in-arms, Jack Morton, and suffers helplessly as his daughter struggles to recover from a hit-and-run accident that's left her paralyzed. Rebus's troubles are soon reflected in the old city around him: violent grassroots vigilantism breaks out in a housing project when Rebus informs the press that a convicted child molester is living in one of the flats; Cary Oakes, a serial killer just released from a U.S. prison, returns to Edinburgh; a rising star in the police department dies in an apparent suicide. In addition, as Rebus testifies in a high-profile case of sexual abuse of children, two old school friends ask him to search for their missing son. And as the cop pursues each of these cases, Oakes draws him into a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse. While the many plot lines pull the narrative in disparate directions, the whole is held together by Rankin's drum-tight characterization of Rebus as a man deeply shaken in his convictions, but unwilling to fall apart. Author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
For those readers devoted to the Rebus series, the "Dead Souls" installment is an opportunity to gain insight into the inner-workings of our hero. We find out about his home-town, his school-boy shannanigans, his old friends, and old ghosts. Rankin uses "Dead Souls" to develop Rebus as a character.
Unlike some of Rankin's other novels, "Deal Souls" does not fall into a series of clichÃ©s. The climax is exciting. The characters are believable and have more depth than you find in run-of-the-mill-mysteries.
I was first introduced to the work of Ian Rankin in an airport when departing for Edinburgh. I was looking for an entertaining read to get me through the flight, and found "The Falls" in the airport bookshop. Because the novel took place in Edinburgh, I thought I'd give it a shot to learn a bit about the city. I wasn't disappointed. Not only does Rankin (always) offer the reader a great mystery, but he also offers an inside look on the "real" Edinburgh. He describes real streets, real cafes, and real history. Through the ever-cynical Rebus, Rankin addresses issues facing the city as only an insider could. His writing bring Edinburgh to life for those who already know and love it, and those who want to get know it better.
"Dead Souls" is a good, entertaining, mystery/thriller. Perfect for plane rides, long commutes, and lazy Sundays. I recommend it!
The main theme of this book is paedophilia and it attempts to highlight how many people are affected by it. So many of the main characters are haunted by incidents from their past and their actions today seem to be dictated by what happened to them so long ago. This includes Rebus himself who is still a troubled soul, although not due to paedophilia I hasten to add. It's nice to see, though, that he appears to have found a manner of peace and meaning to his work.
I found this to be one of the best Inspector Rebus books that I've read yet. This books sits more in the thriller category that the police procedural. The psychological mind games played by Oakes ensure a gripping mood leading up to a shattering climax. A definite must-read for all Rebus fans.
Sounds dark, no? But that's one of the reasons I love the Rankin mysteries. No one is better than Rankin at setting the scene of Edinburgh: from the crowded, tempestuous housing projects to the smoke and lager filled pubs. But it's the characters, razor-sharp dialogue, and personalities that make Rankin the master he is: once again Rebus is the troubled hero, his time and attention divided between his complicated personal life and police cases. He doesn't just make an attempt to figure out whodunit, he digs deep into the human mind to find out "why"...and drags himself deeper into his own personal hell in the process. He is motivated by a sense of justice--whether or not it conflicts with the law or the wishes of his long-suffering superior "The Farmer.Read more ›
"Dead Souls" picks up Rebus' life in progress, starting with the death of a friend who launched himself from Salisbury Crag in the middle of the night. He was a detective with a promising future in the force and a happy family, and that's enough to engage Rebus' investigative talents.
From there trouble piles on and puts in the boot as well: a two-time murderer is released from jail in the United States and he decides to settle in Edinburgh, putting the police in a difficult position: leave him alone and accept the blame if he murders again, or watch him too closely and be accused of brutality. The murderous Cary Oakes is a villain worthy of Hannible Lecter, but without his taste for liver and fava beans. He's smart, a good actor, manipulative and wholly without a conscious. Against him, the forces of law and order don't stand much of a chance.
In Rankin's hands, Rebus wanders through many dark nights of the soul, drinking and eating so badly as to excite the pornographic envy of Americans too addicted to the idea of healthy living. Although he joins the ranks of those the grim detectives have followed the bloody trail before him, Rebus stands out as a fully fleshed being, capable of recognizing his mistakes and hoping for redemption. "Dead Souls" is a complex story, but never gets bogged down in the telling, and those with a taste for exploring the dark side of crime will find that Rankin delivers.
Most recent customer reviews
I was on a Rankin kick when I bought this book. Got through about half of his catalog and moved on. I think it's time to finish off the rest of his books.Published on Sept. 28 2013 by Geordie A.
Believe it or not, that was my first encounter with Rankin's DI Rebus, but it will definitely not be the last. Read morePublished on Aug. 2 2001 by Anton
Since "Black and Blue," Rankin's novels have had very tight, complicated plots, with about four independent strands coming together (or not). Read morePublished on Aug. 9 2000 by Michael Wendt
One feels the weariness, the weight of guilt and depression as DI Rebus literally slogs his way through several investigations, some of which have no relation to one another. Read morePublished on March 24 2000 by David Brown
After all the readable but increasingly outlandish thrillers by Patricia Cornwell, P.D. James, Nelson DeMille et al that I've read and enjoyed over recent years, it's a pleasant... Read morePublished on March 8 2000 by Ian Burley
I usually read Ruth Rendell, PD James, Walter Minnette. I found this book just as exciting. It's rather thick, but its easy read. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2000 by Kurniawati Gumilang
A new Parliament is being built and people are drinking single malts and Irn-Bru...yes, we're in Scotland - Edinburgh, to be precise, and our host is Detective Inspector John Rebus... Read morePublished on Dec 28 1999 by David Cohen
Once again Ian Rankin is responsible for the dark circles under my eyes. In a series that just keeps getting better it's impossible to put down the latest Rebus at a human hour... Read morePublished on Oct. 14 1999