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S. R. Body (London)

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Black And Blue (Inspector Rebus)
Black And Blue (Inspector Rebus)
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest novels of the 1990s in any genre, 29 May 2007
I don't usually post reviews to amazon but felt that this book shouldn't have a two-star critique at the head of its feedback. The Rebus series is the finest detective series around and this was where Rankin really hit his stride - going from fine 'crime' writer to great novelist. It mixes four main plot strands and touches on a a multitude of styles from film noir, hard-boiled, trad gumshoe detective, Scottish gothic, and most intrigueingly - The Western. Though at its heart lies the search to stop a (or is it two) serial killer (s), this is Rebus as Gary Cooper or The Searchers' Ethan heading from one frontier to another - some of the remotest outposts of Scotland are covered - trying to do what is right for the vividly drawn [usually forgotten] victims of violent crime while constantly bashing up against big business and corruption inside and outside the Police. In the end, though the plot strands mesh impeccably, there is no real closure - for protagonists or readers - leaving Rebus still in a state of ghost-haunted guilt and the reader wondering about the fates of many of the key players. If this sounds unsatisfying, it isn't; more the sign of a maturing writer at his peak. Along the way there are some great supporting characters (re-)emerging, from his former drinking pal Jack Morton, now off the bottle and offering Rebus an alternative future, and Siobhan Clarke torn between towing the company line and following Rebus' lead as mentor. The rock n roll references are just right and the prose is taut throughout. Rather than pat solutions, the book leaves one thinking about the nature of Good and Evil; Fathers and Sons; Mentors and Pupils; truth, justice and responsibility and so much more. Black and Blue in so many ways, but an uplifting reading experience nonetheless.

All the Moves (but None of the Licks): Secrets of the Record Business
All the Moves (but None of the Licks): Secrets of the Record Business
by Clive Selwood
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic, 21 Feb. 2007
Clive Selwood was a major force in the music industry for at least 4 decades and has written one of the few essential books about the UK record business. It's packed with anecdotes about big nams - stars and suits - and also points to many of the potential pitfalls in this rather dog-eat-dog world. But, refreshingly, it is not at all bitter. And unlike the classic US books of this genre, it is packed with humour; whereas lesser men would rage at the various injustices, the author retains a sense of wry puzzlement at some of the more bizarre skulduggery and downright dishonesty. There are also excellent sections on marketing, lawyers and other industry knowhow. Highly recommended to music fans and budding stars or entrepreneurs alike.

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