Black and Blue: An Inspector Rebus Mystery Paperback – Nov 24 2009
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"I'm a peeper, he thought, a voyeur. All cops are. But he knew he was more than that: he liked to get involved in the lives around him. He had a need to know which went beyond voyeurism. It was a drug. And the thing was, when he had all this knowledge, he then had to use booze to blank it out..." In his ninth outing, Edinburgh's glowering and tenacious Inspector John Rebus finds a unique way of cutting back on alcohol. Convinced that Rebus might lie or try to destroy evidence in the reopened case of a man convicted of a murder he probably didn't commit, the investigating officer assigns him a babysitter. Luckily, the minder is one of Rebus's old mentors, Jack Morton, a former drinking buddy now waging a successful battle against the bottle. Rebus and Morton burn off energy and anger repainting Rebus's apartment, while trying to clear Rebus's name and exploring the connection between a recent string of murders and a real-life Scottish serial killer of the 1970s known as Bible John. The cases take Rebus to Aberdeen and an oil platform in the North Atlantic, but as usual the main action happens within the mind and soul of Rankin's meticulously crafted creation. Previous entries in the memorable Rebus series are also available, including Let It Bleed, Hide and Seek, Knots and Crosses, Mortal Causes, and Tooth and Nail. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Nearly 30 years after a serial killer dubbed Bible John abruptly retired after three vicious murders, he's back in the news again. Johnny Bible, an equally perverted killer who seems to be much younger, is imitating him with a gusto that suggests close research. Even though he knew one of Johnny Bible's victims, Edinburgh's Inspector John Rebus is in no position to take on this new case; he's got his hands full with a murdered oil-rig painter and the threatened reopening of a case in which he and his mentor, Inspector Lawson Geddes, may have planted evidence years and years ago that framed Lenny Spaven, who went to his death insisting he was innocent. When Rebus takes a few days in Aberdeen to visit the oil company's headquarters and incidentally chat up the locals about another of Johnny Bible's victims, he ends up under suspicion of killing a fourth victim himself and gets stuck with a minder who'll report his every move back to the very same Chief Inspector who's been put in charge of the Spaven case. Can things get any worse? Of course they can. For even though Rebus is behind the eight-ball, another avenger- -Bible John himself--is prepared to do whatever it takes to catch the copycat. Rebus's eighth case (Let It Bleed, 1996, etc.) is his biggest and most grueling so far. Yet Rankin's dexterity in juggling plots and threats and motives lights up the darkness with a poet's grace. Reading him is like watching somebody juggle a dozen bottles of single malt without spilling a drop. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --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
Inspector John Rebus investigating a bizarre murder that (after all, an author needs to fill his pages) takes him an oil rig in the North Sea. He happens to be in Aberdeen when the baiting murder occurs, and he becomes the mqain suspect. Three intertwined storylines, none of them really convincing. Basically a Scotland Mystery: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Shetland Islands, rig ... and the reader must follow in real-time each way to to all these places.
Ian Rankin is considered the "leading crime writers of Britain" (Times Literary Supplement), it says in the opening credits of the book. This may be so, but it would mean that the crime fiction of the United Kingdom is as mediocre as its politics.
The first hundred pages were completely muddled. The book finally got on path, only to lose it again in the last hundred pages.
Rebus - a loveable rebel cop in Tooth and Nail came off as a depressed and depressing malcontent and know-it-all.
The central plot is a very good one - a serial killer is emulating a serial killer from years before. The first, Bible John, returns to stalk the second, Johnny Bible. The first (potential) murder is also a good hook. But then, so much is added. At the same time Rebus is working on this (potential) murder he is still obsessing about the Bibles. During this time he is also being investigated for a murder investigation he did a decade before. The investigation runs among four locales. It is no wonder much of the book is confused. There are too many plot lines Rankin has difficulty bringing them together.
I intend to go on with the Rebus series since the reviews are so good. I doubt this one is necessary to understand the series. I wish I had skipped it and gone on to #3.
I'm still high on Rankin, but I wish he had turned this one into two separate novels (perhaps "Black" and "Blue").
The result of ticking his superiors off in Edinburgh was his transfer to what is acknowledged as the worst police station in the city. It's good to see that nothing has changed and Rebus is prepared to attack his cases with the usual mule-headed stubbornness.
Two cases head Rebus' consciousness in this book. The first case sees him teetering on the brink of obsession over a serial killer who is on the loose around the country. The unusual and intriguing part is that the M.O. and the killer's nickname are very similar to that of a killer who operated 25 years ago, but was never caught. The second case seems to be a more straightforward murder investigation, but this too is proving a difficult one to follow and leads Rebus a merry dance around Scotland.
John Rebus fans will be satisfied with Black and Blue, as everything we've come to love about him is here in spades. He flaunts the rules with abandon in his dogged pursuit of his quarry, he works quite comfortably alone, yet he still enjoys the assistance of Holmes and Clarke. One watershed moment is his passing dalliance with sobriety, as an old partner, Jack Morrow, exerts his reformed alcoholic influence on him.
Most recent customer reviews
I read the rave reviews before buying this book (my first Ian Rankin novel) and was very disappointed. I am currently forcing myself to complete it. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2005 by Nickie
My first Rankin book (of many more to come). Loved the challenge!! Not only is there a labyrinth of plots and interesting characters, but the setting of Scotland opens up a whole... Read morePublished on June 7 2003 by SuzieM13
I was just introduced to Ian Rankin with this book. I loved it. Love Rebus. Rankin has a great knack for character and how to intertwine plots. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2003 by Jim McCullaugh
There were a few cases in the 400 pages case: a new and an old serial killer, a man jumped to his death, a drug-connected death, a convicted prisoner committed suicide. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2002 by Desmond Chow
I just finished reading this, my first, Rankin book. I wasn't overly impressed with it. The writing style was OK but nothing special and the famous dialogue everyone is so fond of... Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2001 by jamesa31
Everything seemed to be going wrong for Inspector John Rebus. Tracking murderers, serial killers, with the mafia, press and his supervisors breathing down his neck, a wrong move... Read morePublished on June 25 2001
In recent months, word has come that authors of several of the very best police procedural series have decided to put an end to their heroes adventures. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2000 by Orrin C. Judd