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Dead Souls: An Inspector Rebus Novel (St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312974205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312974206
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.8 x 17 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,315,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
As the 10th novel in Ian Rankin's series about Inspector John Rebus, "Dead Souls" lights up the dark soul of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the land of run-down council housing where everyone from those poor to the very rich hunt for someone worse off to feed on, overseen by the tabloid press, which feasts on everything it can find. It is a land exemplified by the deep-fried Mars bar: life-threatening but irrisitible in the same way that one slows down and drives by the accident.
"Dead Souls" picks up Rebus' life in progress, starting with the death of a friend who launched himself from Salisbury Crag in the middle of the night. He was a detective with a promising future in the force and a happy family, and that's enough to engage Rebus' investigative talents.
From there trouble piles on and puts in the boot as well: a two-time murderer is released from jail in the United States and he decides to settle in Edinburgh, putting the police in a difficult position: leave him alone and accept the blame if he murders again, or watch him too closely and be accused of brutality. The murderous Cary Oakes is a villain worthy of Hannible Lecter, but without his taste for liver and fava beans. He's smart, a good actor, manipulative and wholly without a conscious. Against him, the forces of law and order don't stand much of a chance.
In Rankin's hands, Rebus wanders through many dark nights of the soul, drinking and eating so badly as to excite the pornographic envy of Americans too addicted to the idea of healthy living. Although he joins the ranks of those the grim detectives have followed the bloody trail before him, Rebus stands out as a fully fleshed being, capable of recognizing his mistakes and hoping for redemption. "Dead Souls" is a complex story, but never gets bogged down in the telling, and those with a taste for exploring the dark side of crime will find that Rankin delivers.
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By A Customer on Oct. 14 1999
Format: Hardcover
Once again Ian Rankin is responsible for the dark circles under my eyes. In a series that just keeps getting better it's impossible to put down the latest Rebus at a human hour and yet appropriate to be reading when it's dark and silent all around you. Dead Souls is a grim and thoroughly enjoyable read.
With a tangled web of sub plots featuring a coworker's suicide, a pedophile, a serial killer, and a missing person I found myself turning pages. In addition we are allowed a glimpse of Rebus's past and made to worry about his present in a way I haven't done since Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder started drinking again. Personal dilemmas and professional questions haunt Rebus across every page of Dead Souls. Present day ethics and morality are explored in such a seamless way you don't even realize that you along with Rebus are indeed pondering "Is there such a thing as free will?" And of course there's Scotland itself, presented as no travelogue ever would, but as perhaps, it is.
For the mystery fan who enjoys their protagonist's layers being peeled away like birch bark no series currently being written offers more for a reader to chew on,savour and spit out. Here's hoping neither the author or we ever get to the core of the man.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a fan of contemporary British mysteries, and Ian Rankin's extraordinary John Rebus series ranks among the best. This recent entry in the Edinburgh police procedural series is a great starting point for a new reader; for the long-time Rebus-fan, it's a look inside Rebus's dark past. When the son of a former love goes missing, Rebus takes up the (unofficial) investigation; never mind that he's already got his professional life full of a few other major cases including the suicide of a colleague, a hunt for a former child molester, and a manipulative, charismatic serial killer released into Edinburgh and wooed by a glory-seeking journalist. A "perfect" detective would solve every one of the cases, wrapping all four cases up by the final chapter in time for a drink and a witty denouement at the local pub. Thankfully, Rebus is not such a cliche. A happy ending isn't the goal here--cases are flubbed, go awry, and entangle Rebus's personal life, friends, and family in dangerous ways.
Sounds dark, no? But that's one of the reasons I love the Rankin mysteries. No one is better than Rankin at setting the scene of Edinburgh: from the crowded, tempestuous housing projects to the smoke and lager filled pubs. But it's the characters, razor-sharp dialogue, and personalities that make Rankin the master he is: once again Rebus is the troubled hero, his time and attention divided between his complicated personal life and police cases. He doesn't just make an attempt to figure out whodunit, he digs deep into the human mind to find out "why"...and drags himself deeper into his own personal hell in the process. He is motivated by a sense of justice--whether or not it conflicts with the law or the wishes of his long-suffering superior "The Farmer.
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By A Customer on Sept. 19 1999
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps for the first time in his life, veteran Edinburgh Detective John Rebus feels his age and ponders retirement. His long term friend Jack Morton just died, but seems to visit him after a few drinks. A hit and run driver has left his daughter wheelchair bound with her ability to ever walk in doubt. Now his latest law enforcement efforts not only flopped, but apparently led to a murder. Finally, rising superstar Jim Margolies, who had everything, apparently killed himself by jumping off the Salisbury Crags.
Already despondent, Rebus has to deal with a deported serial killer moving into the neighborhood, which also now includes a pediophile. As Rebus thinks about his future, he investigates the murder and the alleged suicide. On the side, he looks for a missing person as a favor to a former sweetheart. Soon, Rebus connects everything as he realizes he faces a grandmaster in a game where the loser dies.
The return of Rebus is always an enjoyable experience for fans of Scottish police procedural novels. The engaging mystery includes several sub-plots that seem divergent but Rebus nicely ties them together. Still, DEAD SOULS focuses on the main character's inner thoughts and to a lesser degree on that of the villain. Ian Rankin shows why he ranks with the top authors of the genre. He turns an emotionally weary Rebus into a real person that, in turn, makes for an entertaining skillful story.

Harriet Klausner
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