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The Hanging Garden Paperback – Jan 5 2010

12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Griffin; 1 Reprint edition (Jan. 5 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312617151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312617158
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,895,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Ian Rankin's ninth book about Inspector John Rebus of the Edinburgh police is so full of story that it seems about to explode into shapeless anarchy at any moment. What keeps it from doing so is Rankin's strong heart and even stronger writing skills. When a Bosnian prostitute refuses to testify against a crime boss who has threatened her family, he says this about the cops trying to pressure her: "Silence in the room. They were all looking at her. Four men, men with jobs, family ties, men with lives of their own. In the scheme of things, they seldom realised how well off they were. And now they realised something else: how helpless they were."

Rebus is trying to help the young woman--renamed Candice by the young, slick, brutal thug Tommy Telford, who is into everything from drugs and prostitution to aiding a Japanese business syndicate in acquiring a local golf course--because she's about the same age and physical aspect as his own daughter, Sammy. He's also conducting the investigation of a suspected Nazi war criminal, an old man who spends his time tending graves in Warriston cemetery. "A cemetery should have been about death, but Warriston didn't feel that way to Rebus. Much of it resembled a rambling park into which some statuary had been dropped," Rankin writes with the icy clarity of cold water over stone.

Add to this Rebus's involvement with an imprisoned crime boss in a plan to bring Telford down; his continuing battle with drink; the strong possibility that people high up in the British government don't want the old Nazi exposed; danger to Sammy and her journalist lover because of her father's work; and a somewhat strained metaphor of Edinburgh as a new Babylon and you have an admittedly large pot of stew. But Rankin's high art keeps it all bubbling and rich with flavor. Others in the Rebus series include his 1997 Edgar Award-nominated Black and Blue, as well as Hide and Seek, Knots and Crosses, Let It Bleed, Mortal Causes, Strip Jack, and Tooth and Nail. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This sprawling, overloaded mystery from a justly acclaimed and usually very reliable crime author is a disappointment. Through nine previous novels (Black and Blue, 1997, etc.), dogged Edinburgh copper John Rebus has been captivating company?a man willing to place career before family and known to find solace in the bottle as his personal life takes an inevitable pounding. In this latest, Rebus's woes are strictly secondary (even as his daughter Samantha lies in a coma after a hit and run) as unsuspecting Edinburgh is rapidly transformed into the crime capital of the Western world. New hoodlum Tommy Telford is taking over, running whores imported from Eastern Europe, conspiring with Japanese businessmen to buy golf courses and selling drugs from the back of an ice cream van. All this upsets Ger Rafferty, the reigning hoodlum, who's stuck in prison and friendly with Rebus. Rebus makes a deal with Ger to take Telford down. Rebus also gives shelter to a suicidal prostitute and investigates the life and times of Joseph Lintz, a retired academic and alleged Nazi war criminal. A supremely implausible piece of plotting links Lintz to Telford's crowd. The evolution of Scotland's capital city into a gangster-riddled Babylon is bold, but all the canny procedural detail that Rankin is known for is lamentably jettisoned for a train wreck of a novel that aims for cinematic epic mayhem but achieves only narrative chaos instead. Author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 9 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first Ian Rankin novel and it will definitely not be my last. John Rebus is a complex character who is battling his own personal demons. He is an Edinburgh Detective Inspector who is a recovering alcoholic and who is trying to reconnect with his daughter, Sammy, after many years of separation.
In this novel, Sammy is a victim of a hit-and-run and is currently unconscious in the hospital; a gang war is brewing and seems that the Yakuza might be involved; and an elderly man is being investigated as a Nazi war criminal. Rebus is trying to save Karina, a Bosnian refugee who is working as a prostitute in the streets of Edinburgh. Rankin does an excellent job with characterization giving depth to all the supporting players involved in the story. He focuses on their strengths as well as their weaknesses and does a great job in showing irony on several occasions.
The author knows how to structure the story. He makes use of flashbacks without warning the readers. It helps one to appreciate the then as well as the now. The story is not linear and it helps one to understand the motivation of most of the characters. I enjoyed my first John Rebus novel and I hope that all the others are as good as this one.
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By Hana on Sept. 16 2015
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Ian Rankin: The Hanging Garden.

This is a very humane book. In Rankin’s works the character of John Rebus the detective, his actions, feelings and his loses, are viewed as important philosophical and existential human questions.

Nothing is ever forgotten and our actions have consequences. The guilt of war criminals is forever punishable by International Law. But are they redeemable?

The book is multi-leveled. Former crimes and former criminals meet new ones that history had not lifted to the heights of their predecessors. Yet, what if the society were again driven by a desire for a holocaust?

The reader learns a lot about Edinburgh and refugees from Bosnia and Chechnia. There are always refugees, and according to the places where they come from, we may judge which period of the previous century is being described.

This book is not as clear as The Saints of the Shadow Bible, and I do not like the contemporary fashion {obviously no fault of the writer) of not giving the author’s year of birth. What I also dislike - and again the writer is innocent here - are the questions for the reading groups at the end of the book. They are naïve and sometimes intrusive .Perhaps it is my fault – but the collective reading and collective solving of existential questions seems a contradiction to me.
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By Mr. K. Mahoney on March 21 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Any novel named after a Cure song must be good. Amongst Ian Rankin's previous jobs was a stint as a punk musician, so this choice of title is quite appropriate for that reason. The title also refers to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. However, Rankin's main character, Detective Inspector John Rebus, does not himself appear to be an article of antiquity or an early 80s throwback (much the same thing). Rebus works in the gritty city of Edinburgh (see Irving Welsh's FILTH). With crime boss Big Ger Cafferty in gaol, a vacuum has opened up in Edinburgh's underworld. Tommy Telford is the man moving in on Cafferty's patch. Rebus' bosses are intent that he should not get involved, and so assign him to a war crimes case involving an elderly Nazi. But then Rebus' daughter is knocked down in a suspect hit and run. Is someone gunning out after Rebus? And what will Rebus do when he discovers the identity of the driver? This is a well crafted, subtle novel on the theme of revenge, with repercussions from the Second World War to the modern Chechen conflict. And Ian Rankin is not a one to provide easy answers. This is a novel which will certainly have you searching your own soul. It's also the best British crime novel I've read this year, and was the winner of the 1997 CWA Gold Dagger for fiction.
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By A Customer on April 11 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ian Rankin captivates the reader again with this intriguing novel about gang turf wars, Nazi war criminals, prostitutes shipped to Britain from Bosnia, and crooked business deals with Japanese gangsters. Reality hits home when personal tragedy confronts Inspector John Rebus - his daughter is the target of a hit-and-run which appears to be related to the cases Inspector Rebus is currently pursuing. As usual, he becomes irretrievably involved in all these sub-plots to the detriment of his personal and professional relationships. This is all par for the course as Inspector Rebus cannot help but find some sort of tie-in between each case. Ian Rankin puts a very real face on the workings of a city's police force. The humor is always there with great one-liners courtesy of Inspector Rebus, usually uttered when he is on the carpet in front of his superiors. And there's an unexpected and interesting twist at the end.
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Format: Hardcover
Inspector John Rebus must once again fight crime and corruption as well as his own personal battles. His anguish over his daughter's accident is that of any father; being a policeman as well, he must keep control over his feelings in his hunt for the perpetrator. Rebus is very human, plagued with the personal problems that beset many of the best cops: the all-consuming lure of the job, the shattered relationships, the battle to stay away from alcohol, the effort to retain his humanity amidst the terrible deeds he must deal with every day.
Rankin is really very good at portraying these interior battles, but stands out in bringing the dark side of Edinburgh to life for his readers.
Ian Rankin is one author whose books I anxiously wait for, and one I recommend to anyone looking for a great police procedural.
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