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Pray for the Dying (Bob Skinner Mystery) [Paperback]

Quintin Jardine
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Jun 2013 Bob Skinner Mystery

'After what happened, none of us can be sure we're going to see tomorrow'

The killing was an expert hit. Three shots through the head, as the lights dimmed at a celebrity concert in Glasgow. A most public crime, and Edinburgh Chief Constable Bob Skinner is right in the centre of the storm, as it breaks over the Strathclyde force.

The shooters are dead too, killed at the scene. But who sent them?

The crisis finds Skinner, his private life shattered by the shocking end of his marriage, taking a step that he had sworn he never would. Tasked by Scotland's First Minister with the investigation of the outrage, he finds himself quickly uncovering some very murky deeds...The trail leads to London, where national issues compromise the hunt. Skinner has to rattle the bars of the most formidable cage in the country, and go head to head with its leading power brokers . . . a confrontation that seems too much, even for him. Can the Chief solve the most challenging mystery of his career . . . or will failure end it?

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Frequently Bought Together

Pray for the Dying (Bob Skinner Mystery) + Funeral Note (Bob Skinner Mysteries) + Grievous Angel (Bob Skinner Mysteries)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755356993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755356997
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 336,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Quintin Jardine is the author of three much-acclaimed and best-selling series of detective novels, as Eddie Bell and Paul Moreton, his agents, can be heard proclaiming to anyone who is listening, at book festivals around the world.

QJ is a crusty but urbane Scot, in his prime, and done with disclosing his age. (What's that got to do with it anyway?) He was born in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, and educated there and in Glasgow, where he studied snooker and, in his leisure moments, law, at what was then the city's only University. After deciding that he would never reach professional status in either discipline, he looked towards a broader horizon. He enjoyed, most of the time, a wholly unplanned, but eventful career as a journalist, government information officer, political spin-doctor and media relations consultant, before deciding to find a job that was more in touch with reality. Thus he took to the creation of crime fiction like a Trident-loaded nuclear submarine to water.

He began work on an escape tunnel out of Motherwell in 1968; he surfaced briefly in Hamilton, but, realising very quickly that he had been heading in the wrong direction, resumed digging and three years later arrived in Gullane, East Lothian, where he has lived ever since. In recent years he has put down a second set of roots ... a physically nonsensical metaphor, but you know what he means ... in L'Escala, the only north-facing town on the Catalan Costa Brava, which is famed for its main products, anchovies, perruqueria, and more Catalans, and notorious for a north wind, the Tramuntana, which can drive its men mad, but more usually, to drink. (Its women, ever practical, simply shrug and hang out the washing.)

He is married to Eileen, a beautiful Geordie, who tolerates, with a wistful smile, most of his eccentricities, including insatiable appetites for televised sport and for playing music very loud. His first wife, the glorious Irene, with whom he shared over 30 years, from their teens, died in 1997. Today, the Jardines enjoy a happy extended family of four adult kids, a gem of a granddaughter, an elderly and very vocal Tonkinese cat, and three grand-dogs, two Labradors and a working cocker spaniel, each one as eccentric as a bag of monkeys. Today QJ and Eileen live, not as quietly as they should, in both Scotland and in Spain, although never in both places at once. Wherever they are, he can be tracked through his website,, and his blog

The Bob Skinner novels are set mostly in Edinburgh, and are built around the adventures of the city's wholly fictional chief constable, labelled early on by the Headline marketing department as 'Britain's toughest cop'. There are twenty-three Skinner books in publication, from the fledgling 'Skinner's Rules', nominated in 1993 for the John Creasey Award for best first crime novel of the year, to the latest Number One best-seller, 'Funeral Note', which has not been nominated as yet for anything, but which damn well should be, in the opinion of the author's wife.

The Oz Blackstone mystery series is written in the first person and follows the narrator's hapless career as an unwilling detective, with an uncanny resemblance to Keanu Reeves, as he rises to international celebrity status by a quite unexpected and unplanned route, until Keanu Reeves is seen as having an uncanny resemblance to him. His exploits began with 'Blackstone's Pursuits' and continue through eight more novels to the much-praised 'For the Death of Me'. The Blackstone series began as something QJ did on his holidays, and continues whenever he feels at his most irresponsible.

An unfortunate tendency to homicide that developed during Oz's career led to his off-stage demise. However the Blackstone standard has been raised once more, this time in Spain, by his feisty ex, Primavera, whose first adventure, 'Inhuman Remains', was published in February 2009, and followed by 'Blood Red', 'As Easy as Murder', and soon 'Deadly Business'.

In addition to these, 'The Loner', a standalone styled as the ghosted autobiography of a half-Scottish, half-Spanish journalist named Xavi Aislado, was published in 2011.

All thirty-six (so far) books are published by Headline, part of the Hachette (or Hatchet, as it was pronounced by a chairperson at the Melbourne Book Festival) Group, in mass markets throughout the English-speaking world, including the USA. They can be found in all good book stores, (that is to say those that are left) and via QJ's associate on-line retailer,, signed by the author, naturally. They are also available, through the likes of Amazon and iTunes, in downloadable digital audio and e-book formats. These days there is truly no escape.

There are hopes that one day the Skinner books will form the basis of a television series. These hopes beat strongest in the breasts of the author's publisher and agents, the man himself, having learned to believe, after a lifetime of following Motherwell Football Club, only in things that he can actually hold in his hand.

Product Description


"Jardine's 23rd Bob Skinner mystery showcases the shrewd and personable Edinburgh cop at his relentless best." --"Publishers Weekly"

Book Description

The intricate, thrilling and brilliant new Bob Skinner mystery by Scotland's finest crime writer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down. 8 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As usual this book has been gripping from the moment I started reading. The plot has several twists that leave you guessing right to the end. With Skinner temporarily taking control of Strathclyde Police, there are new characters to keep the series fresh. Add in the turmoil that is Skinner's family life and this book will keep you gripped. Mr Jardine, I salute you
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Characters 19 Jan 2014
By Elaine Tomasso TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pray For The Dying is really the second half of Funeral Note and would not, I imagine, be much of a read if you haven't read Funeral Note. Bob has moved to Strathclyde Police as temporary Chief so he has a new cast of people to work with which works well as Mr Jardine has probably taken the Edinburgh characters as far as he can. It will be interesting to see what comes next. I can't really say too much about the plot as it is so intertwined with Funeral Note and don't want to give anything away if you haven't read it. Suffice to say Bob tangles with MI5 and various politicians in his bid to find the person behind a contract killing and there are enough twists and turns to keep most readers turning the pages. I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it seems to me that the balance between Bob's home and work life is nicely judged - enough work to keep the reader engrossed in the plot and enough home to round out the character and make him a bit more likeable than a straight procedural would make him. I recommend this book as a great read on top of Sgt Dan Provan's patter.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth waiting for. 12 Jun 2013
By Mendel
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been following Bob Skinner, the main character in the book since the beginning, liked some better than others, the last two have been riveting. Sometimes a little over the top, he has a complicated love life, the books are always enjoyable. I would say if you enjoy a good crime story with a flawed but likeable main character then this is for you. However my recommendation would be that you start at book one and see the evolution of the main characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unrealistic and self indulgent 16 July 2013
By ronbhoy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been a Quintin Jardine fan for many a year, and i have lived with Skinner and the team through all sorts of adventures, so i believe i am well versed in this writer. I am sorry to say i was extremely disappointed in this last book, it seems that the police chief constable of Glasgow can do what he likes, takes on MI5 and Scottish Government and of course wins, changes staff like theres no tomorrow and no tribunals, decides who will go where in other forces, Dundee, London and Edinburgh, has more contacts than James Bond, all the top legal and newspaper contacts are in his favour, boy when does he get time to sleep. I realise this is fiction, but some dollop of reality and research would help. I felt that this was a wee bit too far fetched and rushed to a point whereby the plot became ridiculous and British Govt officials were being brought down and yet the other characters were powerless against him. Sorry Quintin not your best work i'm afraid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More political than Detective 21 April 2014
I have read all of Jardine's series about Skinner and to my mind by elevating him to Chief Constable, he has been unable to sustain the momentum of the character. In this somewhat implausible storyline he deviates away; mostly, from the criminal elements of an investigation and into the murky world of espionage and government control. I am sure it is well researched but the conclusion and some of the detail included in the book are not plausible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull 7 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am intrigued how some reviewers say they couldn't put the book down. I forced my way to a third of the way through and stopped. I found the characters were one-dimensional and the storyline was vapid. Uninteresting at best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it... 23 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Book 23 in the Bob Skinner series. As usual this book has been gripping from the moment I started reading it.. twists and turns all the way through it that leave you guessing right to the end. Fantastic book.... well worth reading
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent story! 21 Jun 2013
By Ferenna
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yet again another excellent story from QJ, Skinner moves onward and upward and we gain more insight into his and his colleagues lives. Thanks can't wait for the next one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuation of "Funeral Note"
This book continues the story from "Funeral Note" As usual with the Skinner books you do not want to put it down.
Published 8 days ago by Mr. L. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best author fantastic books set in and around my own area
Published 14 days ago by jennifer bernard
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
Another excellent addition to the Bob Skinner series!
Published 24 days ago by V. Sinani
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great read. A follow up to Funeral Note and ...
What a great read. A follow up to Funeral Note and a triumph for Bob Skinner and QJ. I found the new characters interesting to say the least and all in all a cracking good... Read more
Published 1 month ago by DxB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I collect all of his books as I find them most enjoyable
Published 1 month ago by sandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another excellent novel
Published 2 months ago by Linda Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Yet another great book from an excellent crime fiction author
Published 2 months ago by annet
5.0 out of 5 stars Have read all Skinner's books and as well as Jardine's ...
Have read all Skinner's books and as well as Jardine's other novels and this one was well up to the standard I expect.
Published 2 months ago by STEP Edinburgh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The author has raised his game with the last three Skinner novels, he is back on form.
Published 2 months ago by Mr Derek Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good old Skinner - at his usual best.
Published 3 months ago by K. M. Bright
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