The Black Book Paperback – Aug 4 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
With this latest action-packed adventure of Edinburgh's Inspector John Rebus, Rankin steps into the company of accomplished fellow British procedural writers John Harvey and Peter Turnbull. Events lead the inspector to consider the "black comedy" of his life. His ex-con brother arrives in town just as Rebus, blown off by his doctor ladyfriend, returns to his own pad where, surrounded by his student tenants, he has to sleep on the couch. He is similarly buffeted on the professional front: a colleague is brained at a restaurant owned by an Elvis enthusiast; a man is stabbed in a butcher shop; a convicted child molester returns to the city; the bullet that killed an unknown man five years ago was fired from a gun that Rebus has unwisely and unwittingly purchased. With the addition of missing vans, a kidnapped man left hanging upside down from a railway bridge, good beer and protection money, Rankin offers about four times as much plot here as in his earlier Strip Jack. This tale is, however, only twice as good, as Rankin tries to resolve everything at the conclusion. A loose end or two never hurt a good crime yarn. Just ask Raymond Chandler.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Rankin is a gifted but too-little-known crime writer whose Inspector Rebus stories deserve to be in every mystery collection worth its salt. Rebus, an Edinburgh copper, is a wonderfully complex human being with the proverbial feet of clay. He has alienated his girlfriend, his ne'er-do-well brother has deposited himself in Rebus' apartment with every appearance of staying for good, his promising new sergeant has been mugged, and his most unfavorite colleague is again out to discredit Rebus. But Rebus' personal troubles pale when a local butcher is stabbed, and the investigation leads Rebus to conclude that the attack is somehow connected to a years-old unsolved arson-homicide case. Despite warnings from his superiors to leave the case alone, Rebus begins unraveling the tenuous threads that lead him toward a dangerous secret from the past. Rankin's compelling and original plot is almost as intriguing as the gruff, tough, rebellious Rebus, whose rough exterior hides a charming, funny, tenderhearted human being we'd all like to know. A supremely satisfying read. Emily Melton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Book. Set in the depths of Edinburgh's criminal fraternity, Rankin captures the persona of a hard-nosed Scottish policeman,
(John Rebus) as he attempts to solve a five-year old case. Notes about it are hidden in a black book kept by his colleague,
Brian Holmes, the victim of a brutal assault. The scene is the Central Hotel, a paradise for the degeneracy and squalor which
breed within its walls until it is razed to the ground; the eventual investigation yields one dead body but no clues. Five years on and Morris Gerald Cafferty (one of Edinburgh's most notorious criminals) is under surveillance for his role in a gang of loan sharks. In the course of this Rebus is blighted by personal problems and eventual suspension from the police force whilst trying to link the fire at Central Hotel to Cafferty's own illegal dealings. Amidst the lies and intrigue there lies a terrifying link that, if exposed, could result in vicious reprisals for many other people. With all detective novels it is difficult to fully explain a plot without revealing the conclusion but with Rankin, nothing is certain until the final page. This is a stunning piece of work; particularly striking is the originality of the characters and plot that culminates in an energetic yet decisive result. If you read no other crime thriller this year then read Ian Rankin's work, impressive and highly elegant.
To be more specific as to the who's, what's and where's involved in this tales' journey would ruin the prospective delight of any new readers reactions and absorbsion of those details. It's a fine book by an accomplished Master of Mystery and Creator of Charachter. Rankin is so much more than those two phrases infer .... he is a true and fascinating Novelist.
The reader will find the story is build layer by layer, till it reaches the climax at the end of the book. I like this laconic and well- paced novel where human flaws and frailty are contained, I would recommend it as a change.