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The Black Book [Paperback]

Ian Rankin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Kindle Edition 3.49  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.76  
Paperback, 7 Aug 2008 7.03  
MP3 CD, Audiobook 6.05  
Audio Download, Unabridged 13.10 or Free with 30-day free trial

Book Description

7 Aug 2008

When a close colleague is brutally attacked, Inspector John Rebus is drawn into a case involving a hotel fire, an unidentified body, and a long forgotten night of terror and murder.

Pursued by dangerous ghosts and tormented by the coded secrets of his colleague's notebook, Rebus must piece together the most complex and confusing of jigsaws.

But not everyone wants the puzzle solved - perhaps not even Rebus himself...

Frequently Bought Together

The Black Book + Mortal Causes + Strip Jack
Price For All Three: 18.21

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  • Mortal Causes 5.59
  • Strip Jack 5.59

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (7 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752883577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752883571
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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


a short, sharp fix of fevered excitement. (THE SPECTATOR) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Book Description

The fifth Inspector Rebus novel from 'Britain's No.1 crime writer' DAILY MIRROR.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First toe in the water 23 July 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is my first Rankin novel, at first I thought that the hype was rather undeserved but as the book progressed I could see that Rebus did have some personal characteristics that were sympathetic, uncaring, cynical and just about any other trait that a mixed up kind of guy like him would have. His work ethic was manic and unsurprisingly one of the reasons he finds himself sleeping on the couch of his own apartment after being turfed out of his long suffering girlfriends place. Rebus is believable to the extent that he is not adverse to setting up a child molester for a beating, the vigilante ethic alive and well in the moral whirlpool of the police force. The story contained sufficient twists and turns to keep it interesting and the reader tends to sympathise with Rebus in his fight against the establishment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5th book in the series and still going strong. 17 Aug 2009
In The Black Book a close friend and colleague of Rebus has been brutally attacked which is when Rebus discovers his colleague's notebook, which then see's him trying to piece together the puzzle and solves a long forgotten case starting from a hotel fire and an unidentified body.

At first Rebus feels he will never get to the bottom of it, however when his brother is then also attacked, he becomes more determined than ever to get to the bottom of it before everyone around him gets hurt. He ends up in all corners of Edinburgh city, meeting well known criminals and getting involved in things which could very well threaten his life.

Yet again I am not disappointed by another book in this series. I am always drawn inmto the story quickly with Rankin's books and enjoy reading about Edinburgh, a place I love visiting myself quite often. I always connect well with Inspector Rebus and his colleagues from the police department which we grow to know and love through the course of the series. I like how these character's always return in each book, and you really feel as if you are getting to know them with each new book in the series.

This book see's Rebus being reunited with his brother, Michael, and we read as they re-build their relationship from what it once was. Meanwhile we also see Rebus struggle with his love life, which he has to put to one side whilst trying to solve this case.

The case itself which inolves the usual murder and mystery has me hooked. These books always manage to be above the 'usual and average' crime thriller and each book is obviously carefully planned out by Rankin. I can never guess what's going to happen in these books and it always comes together in the end, with unexpected results.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic Rebus 27 Dec 2012
This is another classic Rebus thriller from an acknowledged master. The usual crowd of friends and enemies, including his nemesis `Big Ger' Cafferty, are all here in a story that is full of twists and turns, and steadily becomes more complex as it evolves. Initially, Rebus thinks he is investigating a murder in a butcher's shop, while being part of a joint operation with Trading Standard's officers to trap some junior associates of Cafferty in an illegal money-lending/protection racket. But things change completely when a colleague is badly beaten at the back of the Heartbreak Café. After Rebus finds his friend's notebook he, with his colleague DC Siobhan Clarke, is drawn into investigating a death of an unknown man that took place five years earlier during a fire that gutted the Central Hotel. The trail leads them to a complex series of crimes, including murder, extortion, and bribery, to name just a few.

As in other Rebus novels, there is a superb portrait of Edinburgh and its surroundings, and marvelous descriptions of the many characters that live there and are connected to the investigation, ranging from the habitués of seedy pubs and sad figures living on the fringes of crime, to powerful men who can influence events behind the scenes. Rebus of course does eventually solve several crimes, but most important for him is that he scores off Cafferty. However, he only does this by bending the rules and is not above `sacrificing' a minor fish to catch the bigger prey. Apart from the crime, there are running stories involving Rebus' personal relationships, for example: with his brother, who has returned to Edinburgh after doing time for drug offences, partly on the evidence from Rebus himself; and the on-off relationship of Rebus with his doctor girlfriend. These help make Rebus a real person with mixed human emotions and not just an obsessive investigating machine.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Rebus I've read! 27 Jun 2000
By A Customer
I became hooked on the Rebus novels after being lent "Black And Blue" last Summer. As an Edinburgh girl abroad, it was great to read a fantastic crime novel based in my hometown. I then started to read the whole series from the beginning and can really say that "The Black Book" is definitely my favourite. Great story, fantastic humour, a real cliff-hanger. Ian Rankin has got to be the best British crime-writer of the moment. Don't know what I'll do when I've finished all the books. Start at the beginning again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody brilliant 29 Aug 2010
This was the first Ian Rankin book I read, and at the time I was just starting to get back into reading novels, and I have to say I was instantly hooked, the characters in this book are 100% believable, I particularly liked rebus for being a cynical and rather dark character. The plot is also fantastically written and from then on I had to continue with rebus and rankin
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
maybe not one of his best, but I enjoyed it
Published 5 days ago by Helen McLellan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed the book. Rankin at his best.
Published 8 days ago by Mrs. Catherine C. A. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed the book.
Published 16 days ago by John T
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another brilliant story
Published 1 month ago by Kevin White
5.0 out of 5 stars I love the John Rebus novels by Ian Rankin and am ...
I love the John Rebus novels by Ian Rankin and am making my way through the series.
Published 1 month ago by Mieke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great price.
Published 1 month ago by Carla McNeil
4.0 out of 5 stars early rankin
This was the second 'early' rankin I have read and, as with the first, found it infinitely pleasanter than the later ones. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kay
5.0 out of 5 stars The Black Book
Everything expected by Ian Rankin - this book actually helped on a visit to Edinburgh as we were able to find the sights mentioned in his books.
Published 3 months ago by christina Roebuck
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Rebus triumphs again
In this, the fifth Inspector Rebus novel, the familiar elements of an unofficial investigation, a long list of potential suspects , motives and red herrings and the man himself... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Open Ears
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The delivery service was very prompt. The product was exactly as I had requested and the story line keeps you guessing right up to the end.
Published 5 months ago by Julie Ainscough
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