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on 14 May 2014
The eighth Inspector Rebus novel sees the detective investigating rather a mix of crimes, some of which aren't really assigned to him. One of the biggest is based on the true story of murderer Bible John, when similar murders begins to occur again across Scotland.

I really enjoyed reading this book - Rankin somehow manages to write a character that is super-human yet flawed in a way that seems like it should be such a cliché yet actually ends up making Rebus the most identifiable detective in fiction.

Despite the complexity of the plot, I found it easy to follow everything that was going on, to keep a grasp on all the different characters, and to stay entertained. I also felt that the character of Rebus has started developing into a richer personality in this book, and Rankin's writing has bit a new high.

A series that keeps getting better and one I'm defiantly loving slowly catching up through. As always, I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
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on 23 February 2014
Black and Blue the eighth Ian Rankin book to feature his legendary detective John Rebus is in my opinion the best of the series so far.

Rebus is dragged back into his past via both the potential reemergence of Bible John who after years dormant appears to be back killing woman in Scotland and seemingly leaving no clues. Rebus is also having to deal with an Investigation into one of his past cases as rumours and accusations that he and his old boss planted evidence to secure a conviction against Lenny Spaven and his every move is under the microscope.

This was a fantastic book and a very good read. The character Rebus is so well defined at this point in the series that you truly find yourself fully immersed in his struggles and decision making. Ian Rankin has created a hugely successful and entertaining series and this book is another success in the early Rebus collection.

I would strongly recommend both this book and this series.
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on 26 January 2014
I have enjoyed all the Rebus novels, reading them in sequence. There are several plot strands here to keep track of: an original and a copy cat serial killer, an old case come back to haunt Rebus, plenty of twist and turns. It's dark and grimy with a more deeply felt sense of angst as Rebus's character seems to be more developed and fuller than in the previous stories. Not that the journey to this point hasn't been worth it but this is my favourite so far. I got completely engrossed in this one and we see more of Scotland outside of Edinburgh. I would still recommend that anyone new to Rebus, does start from book one, Knots and Crosses, so you understand the history and development of the character and his world. Can't wait to carry on with the series. I'm still not tired of this tortured and enigmatic detective and it does seem to keep getting better.
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on 16 August 2014
Although I got off to a slow start with this, was a bit bored initially with the apparently simple story of a bloke throwing himself out of the window, I stuck with it and as usual the story became a lot more involved and complex, ensuring I couldn't put it down. Ian Rankin never disappoints with his range of characters. Actually made a nice change to see Rebus with a different partner, with Siobhan taking a back seat. I've read most of the Rebus books, missed a few here and there. Decided to go back to the very beginning and re-read them all in chronological order. I'm sure Ian Rankin is also responsible for a rise in tourism - I for one would love to visit Edinburgh and walk in Rebus' footsteps. And now I want to go to Aberdeen too!
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on 5 September 2013
This is the first Rebus novel I have read but I had heard a few on the radio as audio books. There is no question that Rankin is a first class writer, some of his descriptions are brilliant and there's a nice flow and balance to his writing. Also, I like the fact that his style is unpretentious and very readable. Unfortantly though, I found the book, at 500 pages, far too long and the plot too complicated. I accept this might be my problem rather than the author's, but I usually only get to read few pages of books on a daily basis and I found myself having to continually go back and see what had happened. I tend to read Hard Case Crime which are simpler and also like Ed McBain's novels so I won't be going back to Rebus.
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on 7 May 2013
I think that this is the best yet. It has been amazing to watch the development of these books reading them as I am one immediately after the other. This one has much more depth than the ones before I think. The plot, characters and locations are so much more multifaceted and Rebus himself is becoming ever more appealing as he battles with his demons and yet stays honorable and committed to what he thinks is right. A very good read. I did note, in the acknowledgements a couple of mentions of Bill Kirton and have to say that I have read all of his books and found them most enjoyable, I hope Mr Rankin doesn't mind me mentioning that here. On to the next one - my Rebus fest continues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2014
As usual, this is as good as it gets, A great read, great plots and great humorous comebacks. What a wonderful partnership Rebus and Ian Rankin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2015
Thoroughly absorbing and a satisfying read. Very little fluff, the amount of original material is stunning. Can't wait to start the next one.
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on 28 May 2013
I have now read 3 Rebus novels and I am hooked. I have tried a couple of books by different authors since I finished Black and Blue but I was pining for another Rebus. Although there are some horrific crime scene descriptions, I find most of these books amusing and well described. Rankin seems to be able to summon up the atmosphere of a place so well you can almost smell it. I also always have a vision of Ken Stott from the TV series in my mind as I am reading which is very pleasing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2014
Only average this one. To much charging about Scotland, the islands & oil made the story a bit disjointed and unbelievably.
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