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A Question of Blood (Inspector Rebus #14) [Paperback]

Ian Rankin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description

A horrific shooting incident at a private school just north of Edinburgh two seventeen year olds killed by an ex army loner who has gone off the rails.

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Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Determined As Ever Jan. 30 2004
This is the 14th book in the Inspector John Rebus series (not counting the book of short stories) and once again Rebus is hard at work intimidating criminals and annoying his superiors. This book is a little unusual because Rebus works pretty closely with a couple of partners, something he has steered clear from with almost pathological alacrity up until now. It felt as though the whole tone of the book was much lighter as a result, particularly when dealing with his emotional state.
The book opens with Rebus in hospital nursing two very badly scalded hands. Apart from raising the question as to how he came to scald his hands, which remains a secret for the majority of the book, it also makes him dependent on others for just about every simple function, such as the important ones like drinking a beer or lighting a cigarette to driving a car. The result is some interesting working interactions between Rebus and his fellow detectives which makes a very refreshing change.
Soon after leaving hospital, Rebus is called in to assist on what appears to be a tragic but straightforward schoolyard murder / suicide shooting. His experience is requested because the murderer is an ex-SAS soldier, a branch of the army that Rebus had trained with before quitting and joining the police. The idea is that Rebus might be able to add some unique insights due to this previous experience, but it also opens the door to a look at John's own past and a part of it that we the reader have rarely been able to look at. It was nice to finally get a bit of an insight into his life before the police, which was always mentioned in passing, but never expanded on satisfactorily.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Answer of Trust Deciet and History Dec 11 2003
Ian Rankin's contemplative story of a tragic school shooting in a small Scottish town wrestles with the fragility of human existence. A Question of Blood gives the reader a look at a life that occurs only after death.
Often the hardest thing for a writer in the detective story genre to accomplish is to maintain a high standard of writing, as well as a completely new plot each and every time, but Ian Rankin has done this very well with his Inspector Rebus series; which he started in 1987 when he was meant to be finishing a PhD in English Literature.
Detective Inspector John Rebus is in hospital, hands heavily bandaged after he put them into a hot bath by mistake, or so he says. Visiting him is his friend and colleague DC Siobhan Clarke. She's telling him all about the shooting that occurred in a private school just North of Edinburgh. A man named Lee Herdman walked into a common room shooting three kids, leaving two dead and one injured, after which he turned the weapon on himself. But that is not the only news; Martin Fairstone, the man who had taken to stalking and harassing Siobhan, has been found burnt to death in his own home under suspicious circumstances. Rebus' bandaged hands don't look too good for him, especially since he was seen leaving the house shortly before it went up in flames.
Once out of hospital Rebus is assigned the task of finding Lee Herdman's motive. It doesn't take him long before he discovers that his cousin lost his son on that day and he is reunited with a sense of family that has been dead a long time. However all is not well as old memories haunt his relationship with his cousin. Rebus must evaluate himself and he is scared by what he finds.
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5.0 out of 5 stars VickySaysHi - Rebus Forever! Aug. 8 2004
Atmosphere, deep characterization, real emotions, solid clever plotting - what more could one want in a mystery? Rankin again satisfies in every area. If you aren't yet a fan, start with Knots and Crosses and join the millions who wait impatiently for each new installment of this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best Rebus so far !!!! Sept. 26 2003
This novel is very, very good, Rebus is becoming more and more uncooperative with his authority figures. Gill has really turned against him.A surprise ending is great. Leaves lots of room for future books.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, and at times great, author Sept. 28 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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