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A Question of Blood (Inspector Rebus Mysteries) [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Ian Rankin , James MacPherson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Jun 2007 Inspector Rebus Mysteries

Two seventeen-year-olds are killed by an ex-Army loner who has gone off the rails. As Detective Inspector John Rebus puts it, 'there's no mystery ... except the why'. But this question takes Rebus into the heart of a shattered community. Ex-Army himself, Rebus becomes fascinated by the killer, and finds he is not alone. Army investigators are on the scene, and won't be shaken off. The killer had friends and enemies to spare and left behind a legacy of secrets and lies.

Rebus has more than his share of personal problems, too. He's fresh out of hospital, hands heavily bandaged, and he won't say how it happened. Could there be a connection with a house-fire and the unfortunate death of a petty criminal who had been harassing Rebus's colleague Siobhan Clarke? Rebus's bosses seem to think so ...

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Corporation; Abridged edition (28 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142333356X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423333562
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 13 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.

Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.

A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a number one bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons.

Here are the Inspector Rebus stories in series order:

Knots and Crosses
Hide and Seek
Tooth and Nail
Strip Jack
The Black Book
Mortal Causes
Let it Bleed
Black and Blue
The Hanging Garden
Dead Souls
Set in Darkness
The Falls
Resurrection Men
A Question of Blood
Fleshmarket Close
The Naming of the Dead
Exit Music

Short stories:
A Good Hanging - 12 Inspector Rebus mysteries
Beggars Banquet (non-Rebus short stories)

Here are the Jack Harvey novels in series order:

Witch Hunt
Bleeding Hearts
Blood Hunt

Product Description

Amazon Review

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 Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The real strength of Rankin's work...- is that it's a good deal more than a crime novel. The genre is simply the wrapping in which a complex story of human flaws and frailty is contained...Fortunately, A Question of Blood is just about as good as Rankin gets. As a crime novel, it stands favourable comparison with almost anything else currently being written in - or out of - the genre. Detective Inspector Rebus, I suspect, has a way to go yet (Allan Laing GLASGOW HERALD)

'He writes with a natural rhythmn which exerts an almost hypnotic effect' (Andrew Taylor THE INDEPENDENT)

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 (John Dugdale SUNDAY TIMES)

A rich absorbing narrative in which the focus is not on who did it - that we know - but why. Artful, moving and entertaining (Peter Gutteridge THE OBSERVER)

Retiring the DI would be a risk, but this 16th Rebus suggests that, while readers wouldn't push him, Rankin could survive that jump (Mark Lawson THE OBSERVER)

Ian Rankin's John Rebus...is a flawed but very human creation, and his Edinburgh and its inhabitants beautifully drawn and utterly real (Myles McWeeney IRISH INDEPENDENT)

Exceptionally well-plotted book, which is guaranteed to hook you and keep you hooked (Antonia Fraser SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Still miles ahead of most modern British crime fiction (SHERLOCK MAGAZINE)

Recent crime writers...have at their disposal all the opening for alienation afforded by the modern world - and, if one of them has to be singled out as being especially attuned to contemporary murder and social malaise, it is Ian Rankin (Patricia Craid TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT)

Skilfully composed and powerfully written, with a vein of compassion that Rankin taps to startling and justified effect (Philip Oakes LITERARY REVIEW)

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 (Allan Massie THE SPECTATOR)

Rankin at his raw-edged, page-turning best. Plot strands expertly twist around each other, puzzles are puzzling and the Edinburgh/South Queensferry locations are as real and atmospheric as it gets. With Rankin you can practically smell the fag-smoke and whisky fumes (Martin Radcliffe TIME OUT)

Rankin is the thinking man's thriller writer (Vincent Banville IRISH TIMES)

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 (Lise Hand SUNDAY TRIBUNE (Ireland))

Nobody is better than Rankin at creating a diversion or leading readers astray only to abandon them in a cul-de-sac (Alan Taylor SUNDAY HERALD (Glasgo))

As his best, few writers can match him for imaginative, multi-layered plots....he has returned to form with a novel of startling depth...In a genre where murder is the norm, it is a testament to Rankin's talent that he succeeds in making death seem as incongruous and painful as it does in real life (Nicola Upson NEW STATESMAN)

This gritty, fast-paced novel confirms why Rankin is such an indisputable leader (Allan Radcliffe THE LIST (Scotland))

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 (Simon Humphreys MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Rankin is an astute social commentator and, as here, serious observation is often at its most effective when it comes in the form of exciting entertainment (TRIBUNE) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph for Ian Rankin! 5 Dec 2003
Ian Rankin's faultless record in the crime fiction genre once again cannot be questioned after reading this book. The well-loved protagonist of DI Rebus once again makes the reader long for his alignment with the values that 'society' holds, if only for a true recognition of his character. However an admiration for DI Rebus cannot be quenched - a thirst for answers, disregard for bureaucracy and an understanding of the criminal mind. Edinburgh is yet again treated not just as a beautiful city with a 'nice' tourist scene, but as a dark place, somewhat pretentious, with underlying sadness. It exhibits the nature of crime and humanity, the urges and desires, the pitfalls and the despair that is human life. The Rebus novel are not novels that you pick up, read and put back on your bookshelf. When you read these Ian Rankin novels you are involved. These are not just formulaic novels with a plot which gets resolved by the quirky detective. These are touched by a reality which is sometimes shocking but always necessary. It would be an injustice not to read this novel or any other Rebus novel.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding novel by Rankin 3 Sep 2003
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Rankin's latest begins straight off, plumping us right in the middle of the plot, and has a pace that continues in that vein, right until the shocking end. It starts with Rebus, in hospital, hands burned and bandaged following a severe scalding from hot bathwater. Or so he says. He is about to be called into a case that will question his notions of his family, his past, his future, and his present. There has been a horrific shooting incident at a private school just north of Edinburgh. Three people are dead, one injured. After his rampage, the killer - who was, like Rebus, ex-army - turned the gun on himself. As everyone puts it, "there's no mystery, except the why".

Given his army background, Rebus is asked to advise, on the quiet, to try and give some insight into what made this man go so catastrohpically off the rails. Rebus becomes fascinated with the dead man and his motives, and when the military police start sniffing around it makes him suspect that this thing might go a lot deeper than at first it seems.
But, before very long, Rebus too finds himself under investigation. A petty criminal who had been stalking and harassing his colleague and friend Siobhan (pronounced "Shivawn". As one character puts it, "So that's how it's spelt.") Clarke has been found burnt to death in his home. And not everyone is prepared to believe Rebus's excuses for his injuries...
For me, at least, this is surely going to be crime novel of the year. Rankin (so good he has already been awarded an OBE) has produced another outstanding novel of "Scots noir", which is sure to only cement his immense reputation among his fans as well as garnering him a good few more.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Determined As Ever 30 Jan 2004
This is the 15th book in the Inspector John Rebus series (not counting the 2 books of short stories) and once again Rebus is hard at work intimidating criminals and annoying his superiors. This book is a little unusual in that Rebus is actually working with partners, alternating between Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke and Detective Inspector Bob Hogan.
The reason for Rebuses acceptance of assistance comes from the fact that both of his hands have been very badly scalded, so badly that he even has trouble drinking a beer or lighting a cigarette (shocking). The burnt hands are a bit of a mystery but seem to have been done the same night that a man who had been stalking Siobhan, and who Rebus warned off once, was burnt to death. Suspicions hang over Rebuses head throughout the book.
The main case is a murder suicide investigation that Rebus is called in to advise on due to his previous experience as an SAS trainee. The murderer is also ex-SAS and it is thought that Rebus might be able to add some unique insights. So, rather than trying to solve the question of who committed the murder, it’s more a question of why the murder was committed. During the investigation we get a little more of an insight into Rebuses army days through his digging into the murderer’s past.
Thanks to the extra interaction between Rebus and Siobhan Clarke, I thought this was an excellent addition to what is already an outstanding series. It’s also nice to see that his dogged determination to solve the case and his disregard for his superiors hasn’t diminished at all either.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back on top form! 17 Jan 2004
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
Maybe its because its been sometime since I read the last Rebus book, but to me this one is a step up on the previous one which seemed to have a bit of a bored style about it - maybe Rankin was a bit more interested in the premise behind this latest Rebus book.
Can we still call them Rebus books anymore? The other characters, and especially DS Siobhan Clarke are grabbing more and more of the story. Is Rankin getting ready for the day he has to retire his main character?!
In summary, if you liked the previous Rebus books you'll enjoy this one.
For someone who hasn't read Rebus before you can read this one, but you will miss out on the history of the characters.
Only negative point is this series of books is not doing much for Edinburgh's image!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 5 days ago by Countryfan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I am a Rankin nut so look forward to all of his books
Published 8 days ago by racefan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 23 days ago by Waasley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by a
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheers.
Up to usual standard for Rebus good yarn . Keep it up. Rebus never fails to satisfy. Onto the next.
Published 1 month ago by Palos
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Rebus
This book comes up to the standard the reader expects from Ian Rankin novels. Excellent author, keep them coming, especially Rebus.
Published 3 months ago by Doonhamer
5.0 out of 5 stars An avid Rebus reader
Rebus at his best, gone are the young man's attributes from some of the earlier books.
In this you find him up against it all, with a world weariness to beat all odds. Read more
Published 5 months ago by keir
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling.
As usual Inspector Rebus at his dour ,streetwise best, and getting a result into the bargain. Genius storytelling by Rankin.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. K. Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebus
I love anything by Ian Rankin most of all Rebus books as I live in Edinburgh I can place myself in the places.
Published 9 months ago by nanaliz
5.0 out of 5 stars BETTER THAN EVER
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
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