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Dead Souls: An Inspector Rebus Novel (St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries) [Mass Market Paperback]

Ian Rankin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD READ April 18 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Dead Souls" is quality thriller that keeps you reading from the first page to the last. Rankin's hero, Edinburgh policeman John Rebus, juggles three plot lines: the suicide of a fellow officer, the release of two former criminals (a paedophile and a murderer) and their return to Edinburgh, and the disappearance of his secondary school sweat-heart's son. As a result, the plot and action move quickly, with creative twists and overlapping clues. The criminals are creative and keep Rebus and the reader on their toes.
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 clichés. 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!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rebus In A Thriller Feb. 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John Rebus comes up against two undesirables who move onto his patch. The first is Darren Rough, a paedophile who has recently been released from prison, much to Rebuses indignation and disgust. The second is Cary Oakes, a murderer who has been in prison in the US and is being released on the proviso that he return home to Edinburgh. As if this isn't enough to keep him busy, the 19 year old son of an old school friend has gone missing and Rebus is asked to help find him.
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.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a fan of contemporary British mysteries, and Ian Rankin's extraordinary John Rebus series ranks among the best. This recent entry in the Edinburgh police procedural series is a great starting point for a new reader; for the long-time Rebus-fan, it's a look inside Rebus's dark past. When the son of a former love goes missing, Rebus takes up the (unofficial) investigation; never mind that he's already got his professional life full of a few other major cases including the suicide of a colleague, a hunt for a former child molester, and a manipulative, charismatic serial killer released into Edinburgh and wooed by a glory-seeking journalist. A "perfect" detective would solve every one of the cases, wrapping all four cases up by the final chapter in time for a drink and a witty denouement at the local pub. Thankfully, Rebus is not such a cliche. A happy ending isn't the goal here--cases are flubbed, go awry, and entangle Rebus's personal life, friends, and family in dangerous ways.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ranklin explores dark soul of Rebus, Scotland Aug. 31 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As the 10th novel in Ian Rankin's series about Inspector John Rebus, "Dead Souls" lights up the dark soul of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the land of run-down council housing where everyone from those poor to the very rich hunt for someone worse off to feed on, overseen by the tabloid press, which feasts on everything it can find. It is a land exemplified by the deep-fried Mars bar: life-threatening but irrisitible in the same way that one slows down and drives by the accident.
"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.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, and at times great, author
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 13 months ago by Geordie A.
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best reads I've had this year
Believe it or not, that was my first encounter with Rankin's DI Rebus, but it will definitely not be the last. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2001 by Anton
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost up to the level of the last two Rebus novels
Since "Black and Blue," Rankin's novels have had very tight, complicated plots, with about four independent strands coming together (or not). Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2000 by Michael Wendt
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead souls
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 more
Published on March 24 2000 by David Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars True grit
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 more
Published on March 8 2000 by Ian Burley
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good English mystery/thriller writer
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 more
Published on Jan. 9 2000 by Kurniawati Gumilang
4.0 out of 5 stars Rebus resurgent
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 more
Published on Dec 28 1999 by David Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars The best to date
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 more
Published on Oct. 14 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner!
All of Ian Rankin's books are great, and this one's no exception. His characters are real people and his plots are realistic and well- thought-out. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 1999
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