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Found 14 results

  1. From Amazon : The second book in the Malcom Fox Series, Malcolm Fox and his team are back, investigating whether fellow cops covered up for Detective Paul Carter. Carter has been found guilty of misconduct, but what should be a simple job is soon complicated by a brutal murder and a weapon that should not even exist. A trail of revelations leads Fox back to 1985, a year of desperate unrest when letter-bombs and poisonous spores were sent to government offices, and kidnappings and murders were plotted. But while the body count rises the clock starts ticking, and a dramatic turn of events sees Fox in mortal danger. Recommended
  2. This book was written thirty years ago (you can tell, central locking in cars seems to have been a novelty and as for mobile phones, non-existent) and it went out of print. The only Rankin to do so. Legend has it that a fan persuaded Ian Rankin to give it another read and he realised that it wasn't as bad as he originally thought it was and had it re-released, this year. So, it's about a facility that uses satellites to monitor goings on. Something bad happens and one of the scientists ends up trying to battle secret service agents to find out the truth. A little far fetched but interesting none the less and an entertaining read. Recommended.
  3. Rebus 21. Rankin is one of my favourite authors so I tend to enjoy whatever he writes. Especially Rebus. In this adventure we find Rebus simultaneously investigating a cold case of 40 years standing and trying to stop all out gang war in Edinburgh in the present. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. Unlike previous Rebus adventures this one left me thinking a lot about Rebus' constant adversary Big Ger Cafferty for a long time after I'd finished the book.
  4. A very short book - 48 pages - by one of my favourite authors. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's about a student who goes to Paris and works in a book shop in exchange for room and board. He meets a mysterious man and things get interesting from there. In spite of it being short it is unpredicatable and thus a very satsifying read. No Rebus in sight. Recommended
  5. Can Ian Rankin really retire John Rebus forever? Nah!! In Exit Music, which is a mixed bag of what fans expect from Rankin laced with a sadness and discomfort because readers know how unhappy Rebus obviously is. But of course he was never really a cheery chap. Shiv can take over but she is nervous about it and still turns to him for support and guidance. I think that's the role he'll play in future. Book is one not to miss.
  6. Review first published on my blog: This is a re-read for me, but it was so long ago that I read it the first time, I couldn't remember much about it. I had also forgotten how much I enjoy the Rebus books. The Delightful Mr F and I used to live close to Edinburgh, and whilst we never developed local knowledge of the city, the descriptions are enough to bring the spirit of Edinburgh through. The elegant streets of the new town against the creepy cobbled alleyways of the old town are all used to great effect as a serial killer kidnaps girls and murders them leaving cryptic clues. Rebus is a wonderful character, he's a proper hard boiled cop. Hard drinking, a good judge of character and in it up to his neck. There is a nice parallel story about the relationship between Rebus and his brother. If you want a good mystery, set in a wonderful and atmospheric location with a nasty baddie, and some believable characters then you can't go far wrong. I have book 2 on my shelves, which I think I shall save for the Christmas break. I can feel a reading binge coming on.
  7. This is Ian Rankin's latest John Rebus story and it's excellent for all the reasons that Rankin's books are so good (even the non-Rebus books, but especially the Rebus books). Rankin tells a believable story and tells it very well. The plot never drags. The people all behave believably, so that there's no super villain with near-psychic powers and our heroes are not always in terrible danger. There are some very bad people who do very bad things, but they are all the kinds of bad things you read about in the newspaper, which makes what happens sadly realistic. And the crimes are solved with good, insightful police work by Rebus and others. Rankin is also top notch at characterization. Rebus, Siobhan Clarke, and Matthew Fox are all people we already feel like we know. While they are always true to themselves, they also change in the same way that people often change over time: Rebus follows the rules a little better than he used to, Clarke has grown more authoritative as she has advanced in rank, and Matthew Fox is much less certain of right and wrong than he used to be (he's moved from Complaints to CID). I loved that all 3 of them worked together in this book. I like Fox more than some people (my mother) do and so I was glad to see him brought into the fold. There are two main stories. A car wreck in the middle of nowhere that seems straightforward is not straightforward at all and the person who notices and follows up in the face of all sorts of official resistance is Rebus. I thought that part of the story was great because it gave Rebus a chance to show what makes him so great as a detective. Then Rebus himself is the subject of an investigation into a very old case in which the more senior men he worked with as a young police officer are accused of having hidden or destroyed evidence that would have convicted one of their most important informants of murder. This group called themselves "The Saints of the Shadow Bible" and while Rebus was technically part of it, he was the youngest and newest member and we think that he doesn't seem to have known much about what was going on. The reason they are being investigated now is that the Scottish justice system just eliminated the concept of double jeopardy (which I think may actually be the case). But someone isn't happy about having the investigation opened up and people are turning up dead, so the investigation becomes one of what happened then and what is happening now. Several of the plot points involve Scottish politics: the double jeopardy issue, the reorganization of the police force, and the referendum on Scottish Independence all feature prominently in the story, without being distracting to those of us who don't know very much about the issues. If you don't know Rebus, you can start here, but it would be ever so much more satisfying to read the books in order, reading this one last. I remember when I discovered the Aubrey/Maturin books realizing that the author was very old and probably didn't have a lot more books in him. He had more than I feared, but in the same vein, I'm happy to report that Ian Rankin is only 53 and should have many more Rebus books in him. I know Rebus is getting old, but I've decided that Rankin can make time plastic the way Patrick O'Brian did.
  8. I really liked this book. It was a great Rebus outing plus we haven't seen Rebus for 5 long years. I enjoyed the Malcolm Fox books a lot and would gladly read more, but it was nice to have Rebus back. A girl has gone missing and the police, including Siobhan Clarke, are looking for her. Rebus is working in cold cases and is contacted by the mother of a girl who went missing long ago, who insists that the new disappearance and her daughter's are connected to each other and to several other disappearances along the A9. Rebus decides to investigate and ends up seconded to the police investigation of the recent disappearance. Of course he comes up with a theory that everyone else discounts, of course he ends up making things difficult for Siobhan Clarke even as he helps her, of course he figures it all out, and of course he handles the final resolution in a very unorthodox manner. All very satisfying. He continues his "relationship" with Big Ger Cafferty, which convinces Matthew Fox that he's dirty and some of the book includes Fox's hounding of Rebus. I have to say that I have some sympathy for Fox (especially since I like him from the other series, although he's not Rebus). Someone is, in fact, talking to the criminal element--we find out who it is in the book--and it's not surprising that he suspects Rebus. He's also put off by Rebus's unorthodox practices and I think many people would find him exasperating. Even Clarke becomes impatient with him. I also think it's interesting that Rankin has integrated the two characters into one book. At the end of the book, it's clear that Rebus is going to apply to come out of retirement and join the police force again. I hope they say "yes." I really enjoy this series and this was a cracking good outing. Also, I have to say, that as Rebus was driving up and down the length of Scotland, I would look up pictures of the places he was going in my tablet and am convinced now that I need a visit to Scotland. Beautiful scenery and I think I might get my husband there pretty happily. He's a little less excited about Africa than I am (mostly because of the cost, but also probably because of the comfort factor). But he's already confessed an interest in Scotland.
  9. This is Ian Rankin's latest book and it is not a Rebus book. He is a good enough writer that I decided I didn't care and went ahead and read it anyway. At first, I didn't think I was going to end up liking it. It took him a little while to introduce the various characters and their relationships and some of it seemed a little pat. But for me, everything tightened up about a third of the way into the book and then it was fun to watch the inevitable outcome of what seemed to the characters to be a good plan. It is unlikely that any readers will see it as a good plan, but that's part of the fun. I was able to work out what was going on fairly early on, but I think that's what Rankin intended since he dropped many hints. The ending was very satisfying. This didn't remind me so much of a Rebus book but of a Carl Hiassen book. I'm not sure how familar those of you in the UK are with Hiassen's books, although I just noted (in a Wikipedia article, where I was checking the spelling of his name) that a play based on his book Lucky You premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2008. Carl Hiassen's books often have complicated plots with over-the-top characters. I enjoy them a lot and this book was enjoyable in the same way.
  10. As a Scot I am (almost) ashamed to admit that I have never read any of Ian Rankin's crime books, and feeling decidedly humble, I feel ready to change this and am intrigued by the adoration he and his books seem to generate. There are so many to choose from and I just wonder what is the best one to start with, read, or even your favourite? That way I can choose a good one to read?
  11. Part of the Quick Reads series created, I believe, to encourage adults who would otherwise be put off longer books for whatever reason. So, this is a short book, some 107 pages of actual story and very quickly and easily read (for me). I enjoyed it as far as it went, unfortunately I prefer longer novels and am used to Rankin's Rebus series which are 300 - 500 pages long, so this one seemed to stop short for me. However, it was well written, the characters believable and the story to the point. For those who like short books, or like me have time to spend in waiting rooms and don't want to get involved in longer stories, it's ideal and I, for all my preferences, I did enjoy the book - I just wanted more! I chose Ian Rankin because he's an author I like and I wanted to support the Quick Reads series as I think that encouragement to read is a good thing. Luna
  12. Although I have not read 'Exit Music' where Rankin retires Rebus (nor many other Rebus novels for that matter), I watched a documentary on ITV3 last night about Rankin and it was mentioned that he could continue to write about Rebus either investigating Cold Case's or featuring DS Siobhan Clarke as the main character, with her in close contact with Rebus whom she tells parts of the case to and he comes up with suggestions or does some investigating for himself. What do Rebus fans make of this? Should he be a sidekick, or a cold case detective or should he stay in retirement and be left alone by Rankin? Maybe something entirely different? My personal favourite is the cold case idea.
  13. When I read an author who has a strong character Ie Cussler & Dirk Pitt, Cornwell & Sharpe, Rankin & Rebus, Iam somewhat unsure about reading thier other works. It was with some trepidation that I read Watchamn by Ian Rankin. The character Miles Flint is a spy & currently working in London during the IRA bombing campaigns. He cock's up & is sent to Northern Ireland to supervise an arrest. It then goes Tits up & we find that he has been set up. A fast , short novel which would in my opinion would have been longer had more decriptive word been used & more backround detail could be included. The authors inroduction explains the reason behind the book & it it is something I wish all authors would do from time to time. Well reccommended. Colin.
  14. Seriously literary thriller The first of Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels, Knots and Crosses, left me unconvinced. Then a friend put me on to the scarily brilliant Black and Blue. And another friend recommended this. And now I’m totally hooked. Fleshmarket Close has everything you could look for in a thriller, and a literary style all its own into the bargain. The plot is complex and brilliantly handled, weaving together what at first seem like unrelated events: the brutal murder of an illegal immigrant, the disappearance from home of a teenage girl, and the uncovering of two skeletons underneath a concrete floor. All this set against the background of asylum-seekers in and around contemporary Edinburgh. At some point in this ongoing series Detective Inspector Rebus has been given a sidekick, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, who plays a very similar role to that of Barbara Havers in Elizabeth George’s novels. Except that here there is the distinct possibility of romance... Or is there? Rebus may have other fish to fry in that department. As may Clarke... Unless the two of them are just playing hard to get... The plot thickens at a terrific pace, and the way things are all worked out is both ingenious and completely plausible. But it is the social and human dimensions that make this novel stand head and shoulders above so many others. It provides a clear picture of human fallibility, and the gross imperfections of the society politicians would have us believe is so wonderfully organised. More than that, contrary to so many novels and films in which the baddies get their come-uppance and the goodies live happily ever after, there is no simplistic, Star Wars-style division between good and evil with Rankin. The “goodies” are often very far from happy (and sometimes not exactly good either...), and drown their sorrows in repeatedly copious quantities of alcohol, while some of the “baddies” live in luxury. And, who knows, some of the goodies may just be kind of in league with some of the baddies. But that would be to spoil the plot... The TLS critic who compares Rankin to the 19th-century French novelist Balzac on the back-cover of the paperback has made a very valid point, it seems to me. The Rebus series represents, it would appear, a complete panorama of Edinburgh society, akin to the portrayal of Paris in Balzac’s Comédie Humaine. I’m now keen to get stuck into the novels I’ve still to read. And this summer I found the Oxford Bar in Edinburgh, and downed a few jars there, in the jovial company of MisterHobgoblin and Kimberley . I'd assumed there was a good chance Rankin would be there propping up the bar - but apparently Rebus's boozing is not inspired by Rankin himself...
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