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The Hanging Garden [Mass Market Paperback]

Ian Rankin
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book by Rankin, Ian

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5.0 out of 5 stars Hanging by every word in the page 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Punk rocks 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Hanging On Every Word 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Rankin certainly is "the king of tartan noir"! Oct. 19 1998
By A Customer
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Souls Review Feb. 15 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book Dead Souls was my first Inspector Rebus book and I thought it was excellent. I bought it on holiday in Australia and could not put it down until I had finished it. The stories were very real and the situations very descriptive. The plots were good with plenty of twists and I did not work out the endings for most of them until the end. It was good how the different investigations overlapped and the story kept moving at pace. There were no chapters where I found the story becoming slow and I was not tempted to skip a few paragraphs. The characters were real although he brought people together from differing backgrounds, cultures and countries. The released prisoner's character was scary and at times the book was almost disturbing. I will now go on to read other Inspector Rebus novels.
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