Echo Dot countdown boutiques-francophones Introducing Fire TV Stick Basic Edition Beauty home Kindle Tools

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
Hanging Garden
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$15.83+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on April 22, 2017
Love it
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2002
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.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 21, 2000
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 9, 2017
Reading Ian Rankin’s “The Hanging Garden” it appears that that detritus of major international conflicts and criminal activity have been dumped on Edinburgh’s doorstep. As one of Rankin’s characters says, “I’m fascinated by that intersection at which history and fiction meet.” In another dialogue it is termed “Ian Fleming meets John Le Carre.”
DI John Rebus is assigned to investigate an alleged former Nazi officer residing in Edinburgh as a professor who may be the SS officer who ordered a mass execution in a French village during WWII.
Rebus prevents a suicide by a young woman in the police washroom, a refugee from the Bosnian civil war who had been forced into prostitution by human smugglers, and Rebus becomes her protector.
A Newcastle gangster of Chechen origin appears to be shipping drugs into Britain from Amsterdam. He may be in cahoots with Glasgow gangster Tommy Telford who is trying to move into the territory run by Big Ger Cafferty, currently in prison. And Telford himself appears to be linked to the Japanese Yakuza (triads).
There are some striking continuities between “The Hanging Garden” and the earlier “Mortal Causes.” Causes is set against the backdrop of the Ulster domestic conflict, whereas Garden international conflict, but both have elements of sectarian violence. Cafferty remarks in the dialogue in Garden that both he a Rebus have become directly involved because of an attack on their child: in Mortal Causes the brutal murder of Cafferty’s son and in the Garden it is a hit and run of Rebus’ daughter Samantha. Neither can let it pass, and this indeed identifies a commonality between the two characters.
All these plot elements resolve into an impending gang war in Edinburgh, in which surely there will be extensive collateral damage.
Stated in these simple terms, the plot may seem a bit fantastic. However, Rankin manages to pull it off, particularly because the various elements are only come to life bit by bit, as Rebus and other police officers investigate and try to piece the elements together.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 16, 2015
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 11, 2000
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 19, 1998
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 15, 2000
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 7, 1999
This is my first Rebus or Rankin novel and was I blown away.
The language is rich and descriptive. One can almost feel the whole gamut of emotions Rebus is experiencing and the struggle he is facing.
A great read.
The plot is complex and requires attention but you are well rewarded in the end as everything is tied together with a golden thread.
The plot: Rebus a cop trying to come to terms with a drinking problem and a failed marriage and trying to control the quickly changing world of organised crime in Edinbrugh.
The tentacles of intrigue, plot, sub-plot and double-cross are used to maximum effect and leave you wanting more.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and want more.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 4, 2001
The Hanging Garden is about John Rebus and several investigations concerning (1) a local gang war; (2) the hit and run attack on his daughter; and (3) a person who is possibly a WWII Nazi who has escaped prosecution. Rebus has lots of depth. His problems with alcohol and his family are well documented. He struggles with his problems, as in previous novels. This lends a depth to him. His efforts to determine whether the possible nazi was really a nazi are interesting. The retired nazi is a well-drawn character with lots of quirks to keep the reader guessing about whether he is or is not a nazi. The book is well-plotted and is believable. The writing is solid.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Need customer service? Click here