The Black Book Mass Market Paperback – 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
The case itself involves a surveillance of what appears to be a loan sharking or protection racket. However Rebus, as is often the case, pursues it in his own fashion. He links it to a 5 year old cold case in which an infamous hotel in Edinburgh, which has hosted no end of disreputable characters and activities, burns down, leaving an unidentifiable corpse. Clarke becomes every part his equal in turn of fleshing out the bits of evidence and making connections between the two cases.
I think the detective skill that is Rebus‘ forte, in addition to doggedness and the total disregard for the instructions coming from the police hierarchy, is his ability to connect seemly unrelated events. And I think this is an attribute Clarke shares.
The interplay between Rebus and Clarke makes the unwinding of the plot entertaining, and presages a relationship which is in many ways a critical part of the succeeding novels. For that reason, readers might want to read “The Black Book” before later volumes in the series.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Great mystery as usual by Rankin! Last book in my collection of him. I recommend his books to all I know.Published on Dec 10 2013 by Don Chubala