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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why not start here - a good intro the the world of Rebus
This is a great detective book with a number of plot threads to keep you hooked. I demolished this book in only a few short reading sessions desperate to find out not only who serial killer Johnny Bible was but how this would tie in with the resolution of everything else Ian Rankin has packed into this story.
John Rebus is now a strong central character and Ian...
Published on 20 Jan 2003 by Grimmer

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointed
I have read most of the Rebus novels and am in the process of 'filling in the gaps'. Going on other reviews, I was eagerly awaiting for this book to reach the top of my 'next to read' list. Unfortunately I found the plot erratic and disjointed. There is no one central plot but three or four minor ones. all of which are not skillfully intertwined and finally end in a non...
Published 10 months ago by Len West


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why not start here - a good intro the the world of Rebus, 20 Jan 2003
This is a great detective book with a number of plot threads to keep you hooked. I demolished this book in only a few short reading sessions desperate to find out not only who serial killer Johnny Bible was but how this would tie in with the resolution of everything else Ian Rankin has packed into this story.
John Rebus is now a strong central character and Ian Rankin has also created a strong cast of characters centred both around Rebus's home and work life.
This series of books have a definate reading order and events in one book often effect future stories. Despite this Black & Blue may be a good book to start with - Rankin is very much at the height of his powers on this story. Black & Blue gives a much better account of how good his books can be than some of the earlier novels.
Although this book talks about events in Rankin's 'Knots & Crosses' tale the ending of that is never given away. Other plot points from other stories are alluded to but, in my opinion, should not reduce your enjoyment of his earlier tales.
So if you want a solid, intelligent, exciting detective story with added Scottish grit (and humour) look no further.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read., 2 Jan 2001
As this was my first Rebus book, i was a little sceptical at first, however I was proved wrong. So much that I've started buying the other books in the series. This book has insane attention to detail and the research for this book is incredible. The dialogue is also stunning, realistic and is packed with humour. Rankin uses dialogue with the precision of a chess master and techniques far beyond my expectations. Being a citizen of Aberdeen, i found the detail very accurate and i could picture the settings in my mind with ease. The description in this story also creates images and pictures that make the book easy to understand. You can picture what people look like from Rebus' descriptions. Dont listen to the Yanks who have read the Rebus novels and hate them- They arent Scots so they wouldnt understand our slang and culture. Just buy it.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars complex, gripping, satisfying Scottish crime novel, 24 Jan 2002
By 
Dr. Sn Cottam "Steve the medic" (Preston, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Inspector John Rebus returns in a multi-stranded novel, ostensibly starting with the murder of a North Sea oil worker in Edinburgh, with ramifications including an old and new serial killer, an investigative TV program claiming a miscarriage of justice and vicious gangland drug operations. Ian Rankin is bang up to date with his background and brings these diverse strands brilliantly together to a satisfying and realistic conclusion.
Perhaps the strongest feature of Rankin's writing is his evocation of the social, political and of course criminal landscape of modern Scotland, and this novel is no exception as Rebus travels between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and then on to Shetland and the North Sea itself to follow his leads and make his cases. Rankin's narrative sweeps along as strong as ever and the occasional implausibilities and jarring cliches just do not seem to matter.
All in all, Rankin continues on form in another richly satisfying and gripping read. If you like crime fiction, you'll love Ian Rankin's books.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked!, 20 July 2004
I picked this book up simply because it featured in a 3 for 2 offer at Dublin airport and I needed something to read on the way home from the Republic.
I am now endavouring to read all the Inspector Rebus books.
Black and Blue seems to be quite a long novel (compared with some of his other works) but do not let that put you off.
Rankin's style of writing is splendid. He combines a mixture of intellectual detective professionalism with elements of Rebus's past and the problems he faces as a person (relationships, excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette needs).
He also explores the dark-side of edinburgh - what goes on under the pleasant and often leafy-looking surface. Ian is also quite witty. Although the definite genre is CRIME it is in no means dreary.
Highly recommended to anyone that enjoys such a genre.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Rebus, 3 Nov 2003
By 
Untouchable (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
Rebus really outdoes himself in this book. He manages to get himself into serious trouble by annoying superior officers in three different cities at the same time…and I don’t think he was even trying all that hard. Part of the trouble even goes as far as becoming a suspect in his own investigation, earning Rebus a fellow detective to watch over him to ensure he stays out of mischief – much to his extreme chagrin.
The result of ticking his superiors off in Edinburgh was his transfer to what is acknowledged as the worst police station in the city. It’s good to see that nothing has changed and Rebus is prepared to attack his cases with the usual mule-headed stubbornness.
Two cases head Rebus’ consciousness in this book. The first case sees him teetering on the brink of obsession over a serial killer who is on the loose around the country. The unusual and intriguing part is that the M.O. and the killer’s nickname are very similar to that of a killer who operated 25 years ago, but was never caught. The second case seems to be a more straightforward murder investigation, but this too is proving a difficult one to follow and leads Rebus a merry dance around Scotland.
John Rebus fans will be satisfied with Black and Blue, as everything we’ve come to love about him is here in spades. He flaunts the rules with abandon in his dogged pursuit of his quarry, he works quite comfortably alone, yet he still enjoys the assistance of Holmes and Clarke. One watershed moment is his passing dalliance with sobriety, as an old partner, Jack Morrow, exerts his reformed alcoholic influence on him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointed, 19 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Black And Blue (Kindle Edition)
I have read most of the Rebus novels and am in the process of 'filling in the gaps'. Going on other reviews, I was eagerly awaiting for this book to reach the top of my 'next to read' list. Unfortunately I found the plot erratic and disjointed. There is no one central plot but three or four minor ones. all of which are not skillfully intertwined and finally end in a non event ( I think I could have written a better ending). There are many unrealistic and implausible plots which deter from the credibility of the story telling. e.g. Rebus is beaten, tortured and set on fire .... escapes (somehow?) yet the perpetrator is not pursued or arrested for the assault. All in all a very disjointed and disappointed read.
I know, from my own experience, that the story lines, in the following books, become more plausible but I think if this had been my first Rebus novel, it probably would have been my last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rankin Steps Up A Gear, 5 Nov 2012
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Black And Blue (Paperback)
It was Ian Rankin's series of novels about maverick Edinburgh detective Inspector John Rebus that really got me started on crime fiction. Not that I would consider myself particularly a genre aficionado (or indeed, addict), but the Rebus novels (and I've read the entire series, at least twice!) are certainly among the best I've read, and Black & Blue is a particularly fine example. In Black & Blue (the 8th novel in the series), Rankin begins to develop even more complexity in his writing - to some extent in his characters, but mainly in relation to the plot. This novel runs to nearly 500 pages, 150 more than any of its predecessors, and this extra 'space' is reflected in an (at least) three strand plot: one covering a 'US immigrant'-led drugs ring run out of an Aberdeen nightclub (with ties to established Glaswegian gangsters), one following the investigation of the so-called Johnny Bible serial killings (which are suspected of being copycat killings of the real-life Bible John killings some 30 years earlier) and a third in which Rebus is (again) trying to clear his name of accusations of 'fitting up' a suspect, jointly with a past close police associate of his (now retired from the force).

Black & Blue is a typically fast moving Rebus tale, full of abrasive senior police officers, coppers on the make, and seedy and violent underworld figures. For those familiar with the Rebus series of novels, Rebus' pal Brian Holmes is still going through career uncertainty (courtesy of partner Nell) and erstwhile colleague DI Jack Morton has been assigned to watch over Rebus in relation to his internal corruption enquiry. However, some of Rankin's most brilliantly drawn characters, such as Rebus' nemesis, villain Morris Gerald 'Big Ger' Cafferty, police sidekick Siobhan Clarke and old flame DCI Gill Templer appear only as peripheral characters. Black & Blue is also notable for covering quite a wide (albeit only Scottish) geography, as Rebus' enquiries, given their links to the oil industry, take him to Aberdeen and The Shetland Islands.

Overall, therefore, certainly a Rebus novel well worth reading. In addition, for anyone who is a fan of Rankin's Rebus novels, I would also recommend William McIlvanney's three novels featuring Glaswegian detective Jack Laidlaw (writing which Ranking himself has acknowledged as being a big influence on his Rebus novels) - if anything, I prefer McIlvanney's writing which has even more authentic (and erudite) characterisations and some brilliantly scathing black humour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rankin and Rebus, low odds.., 22 Jun 2008
By 
B. Jonsson "Literate Warlock" (falun, dalarna sweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Black And Blue (Paperback)
Low odds, because it's always a winning concept.

John rebus, the half alcoholic, half outcast, much hated DI is back.
He doesn't give a toss about procedure, he is insubordinate, he constantly walks a tightrope between being fired and being let off the hook.
This time, he is not only the target of the common scorn and reprimands, but also physically, as he wanders off alone in shady neighborhoods.
A serial killer stalks Aberdeen. The case has nothing to do with Edinburgh, so it should be no business of Rebus's. Yet, there are similarities to another, older serial killer's work, a killer supposed to be locked away and long since deceased.The local rags have already picked up this and both they and the brass want to know about the old inquiries, the collar and evidence of the killer's guilt. As the arresting officer has committed suicide, only one cop is still to be interrogated.. Rebus.
Meanwhile, he is off trying to discern three major cases from each other, or is it possible they are somehow connected ?
As he goes out on a limb to follow his hunches, some very dangerous people gets wind of his coming,information leaking from within the police itself. Who he can trust seems a gamble. And then, an old evil awakens...

Rebus has come to a turning point in his career, and his life!
He suddenly understands how easy it is to keep a blind eye to protocol, how easy his powers could be misused. He suddenly realizes that maybe he doesn't want to be a drunkard any more. After a sudden panic attack he changes direction, tries to sober up.
John Rebus is a self consuming fire which keeps the reader absorbed. Slow progress, , ...
Rankin carefully stirs his hot pot of confused leads,unholy alliances,dirty cops and painstakingly slow progress to a perfect serving.
Enjoy! I did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GRIPPING AGAIN, 16 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Black And Blue (Kindle Edition)
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Rankin's Big Rebus Book, 1 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This is Ian Rankin's 'Big' Rebus Book. The plot moves from Glasgow to Edinburgh to the Oil Rigs. For me this book lacks the control of earlier Rebus novels partly due to the ever changing back drops. Still worth reading but I preferred earlier books in the seris. And why has Rebus stopped drinking ????
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Black And Blue
Black And Blue by Ian Rankin (Paperback - 7 Aug 2008)
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