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While investigating the murders of two teenagers at a posh Edinburgh boarding school by a reclusive former soldier, killings that may be linked to a local group of Goth teens, Inspector Rebus is faced with possible suspension and painful injuries when the man stalking his partner, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, dies in a house fire that Rebus is suspected of setting. 50,000 first printing.
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Sometimes crime affects you directly: in A Question of Blood Inspector John Rebus is caught up in two cases that are closer to home than he would like. He is under investigation for the burning alive of a minor psychopath who threatened his attractive young sergeant Siobhan Clarke; and the son of an estranged cousin has been murdered in a high-school shooting.
As always in Rankin's novels, Rebus's bad attitude to his superiors comes back to bite him: even though doctors testify that damage to his hands is a scalding from trying drunkenly to get into an over-hot bath, it is regarded as circumstantial evidence of his possible guilt. The high-school shooting looks at first sight like another ex-SAS crazy going wild--and here Rebus's own past as an SAS washout comes to haunt him--and the constant meddling of army investigators screams cover-up. In fact, though, this is one of those occasions on which Rebus's slightly paranoid preparedness to see connections everywhere pays off and he manages to solve both crimes and a lot of other unsuspected pieces of mayhem besides. Along the way, the book offers Rankin's usual intense commentary on embattled masculinity and what it means to be a Scot, and this excellent sequence's usual portrayal of an Edinburgh where modernity rubs up against time-worn slums and ancient privilege. --Roz KaveneyReview:
Excellent (SUNDAY TIMES)
Splendidly-woven yarn...if there still are people unaware of Rankin and Rebus, this would make a great introduction (Rab Anderson SUNDAY EXPRESS)
Rankin expertly keeps us on a knife-edge...He is on top form here - unremitting pleasure (Cath Staincliffe TANGLED WEB)
He writes with a natural rhythmn which exerts an almost hypnotic effect (THE INDEPENDENT - Andrew Taylor)
You'll love every second of it (DAILY MIRROR 4-STARS)
Exemplifies the enhanced craftmanship of the author's recent work; the sheer number of handicaps Rebus overcomes and of the puzzles he solves evinces a relishable virtuosity (SUNDAY TIMES - John Dugdale)
A rich absorbing narrative in which the focus is not on who did it - that we know - but why. Artful, moving and entertaining (THE OBSERVER - Peter Gutteridge)
Ian Rankin's John Rebus...is a flawed but very human creation, and his Edinburgh and its inhabitants beautifully drawn and utterly real (IRISH INDEPENDENT - Myles McWeeney)
Exceptionally well-plotted book, which is guaranteed to hook you and keep you hooked (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH - Antonia Fraser)
Skilfully composed and powerfully written, with a vein of compassion that Rankin taps to startling and justified effect (LITERARY REVIEW - Philip Oakes)
He is an addictive writer, which accounts for his immense popularity, but he is also a serious and disturbing one...What he does after Rebus is an interesting question. To track back and offer us some of Rebus's earlier cases would be to reduce the novels to mere entertainment, hugely popular no doubt but a betrayal of his remarkable talent (THE SPECTATOR - Allan Massie)
This latest story crackles with tension, energy and suspense. And it's a credit to Rankin's writing that despite our familiarity with the detective inspector, it is quite believable that Rebus is capable of committing a violent crime to protect a friend (SUNDAY TRIBUNE (Ireland) - Lise Hand)
Seamlessly plotted, effortlessly compelling read. Rankin is in total command of his idiom. Rebus himself may be showing signs of burn-out and disaffection with conventional police procedure, but there is no indication that the series is running out of steam (MAIL ON SUNDAY - Simon Humphreys)
Sublime thriller...As ever, Rebus deals with all challengers in his own inimitable style - a measure of irreverence, a dose of aggression and buckets of dry wit (Shari Low DAILY RECORD)
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Book Description Little, Brown and Company, 2004. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0316095648
Book Description Little, Brown and Company, 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0316095648
Book Description Little Brown & Company, New York, NY, U.S.A., 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Am. Ed., 1st Printing. Nice, unsold, unread first American edition, first printing of this Inspector Rebus mystery. Seller Inventory # 003744
Book Description Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. New. Seller Inventory # DH29pg301to675-32874
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0316095648