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The Black Book [Mass Market Paperback]

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

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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Criminal not to read this! March 19 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ian Rankin must now hold the position as one of the UK's finest crime writers with his 5th "Inspector Rebus novel", The Black
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.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Early last year I read a British publication of this book and found it one of the best Inspector Rebus novels yet. Inspector Rebus himself, is such a fascinating charachter that his inner conflicts, history of broken relationships, addiction to good Scottish whiskey and love of his extensive and eclectic music collection make him as much of a mystery as the series of mysterious murders he investigates. Sometimes, as he has done here, Ian Rankin introduces other similarly intriguing by players, some of whom have previous and again mysterious histories with Rebus. The interaction between Rebus, other charachters and the history and surroundings of Edinborough itself paint such a vivid, moody and tense atmosphere that often the obligatory murder or two seem almost superfluos. The murder/s however, are in fact never too much. Each is different, unexpected and initially seemingly unsolveable and, as in this book, the answers and Rebus' manner of finding them lead the reader through an entirely unexpected journey that, as the plot developes, twists like Rebus' mind and Edinborough's ancient streets and alleyways.
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not bad July 10 2007
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
After finding a colleague's notebook, John Rebus revives a cold case involving a hotel fire where an unidentified body was found 5 years prior. With the help of his partners, he must piece together a jigsaw of secret codes and follow leads that will bring an end to the investigation.

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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars solid read Nov. 16 2000
By Gsorme
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An entertaining police procedural novel. These books aren't my usual cup of tea, but I found this one well-written and interesting. It's peppered with some of the cliches of the genre, but the characters are usually drawn with enough originality and perceptiveness to carry the story along.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Rankin review!! Dec 10 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great mystery as usual by Rankin! Last book in my collection of him. I recommend his books to all I know.
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