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VINE VOICEon 14 August 2009
Whilst working on an old World War 2 crime, John Rebus gets wrapped up in one of the worst gang wars in Edinburgh after his daughter is involved in a hit and run, leaving her in a coma. Rebus does everything he can, including turning to crime boss `Big Ger' Cafferty for help, to take down a new-comer on the gang scene, Tommy Telford.

I've read all of the Rebus books and this is without a doubt one of the most exciting and most multi-layered of them all. So much is going on the whole time with so many great characters that it doesn't have chance to slow down for a single paragraph. Some old faces return as well as some new ones (which are in later novels) are introduced. Rebus' character really evolves in this novel, showing more of his family background and his love for his daughter Sammy as well as being more passionate than ever to stop a gang war getting out of control. THE HANGING GARDEN is a very fluid and easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed reading and look forward to reading the next in the series now. Although there are many excellent British crime authors about these days such as Simon Beckett and Mark Billingham, it's books like this one that really prove that Ian Rankin is the best of them all.
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on 17 May 2013

These are so much more than detective/crime fiction. Although the plot was multilayered and intriguing that isn't all that is on offer here. We are learning so very much about Rebus, he is so very fractured and disturbed as a father a husband/boyfriend and friend. He feel things deeply and he mourns and bleeds on such a human level. SPOILER He is beaten up yet again in this one, poor thing, but his anguish when his daughter is injured and his guilt in dealing with his wife touched me deeply.

I was fascinated by the historical side of this - The rat line and so on and it made me think deeply about the politics of conflict and peace and what will be done by (possibly) unscrupulous governments. It is amazing to me how these have moved on from the very first book about a copper. I am looking forward to the next.
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on 5 April 2014
The Hanging Gardens is the ninth Ian Rankin book to feature his Detective John Rebus and it is by far the most personal book yet for Rebus.

Right from the start this book features a John Rebus unlike any other in the series so far. The effects of the last book Black And Blue: An Inspector Rebus Novel 8 are evident as Rebus is still off the booze and despite the still making regular trips to The Oxford bar for the company and the emergency bottle of whiskey he keeps around Rebus is staying strong and resisting temptation.

He is also trying to rebuild his relationship with his daughter Sammy. Indeed one of the main plots of the book is Rebus trying to deal with a hit and run that leaves his daughter unconscious and in hospital. Visits from his ex-wife and his ex-girlfriend cause the ghosts of his past to come back to haunt him. The question of how far he will go to get the answer of who ran his daughter over and why is one that hangs over John Rebus in this book.

Overall this is another fantastic book in the John Rebus series. The World War Two war criminal that he is investigating, the prostitution and gangster storyline that all run alongside and at times overlap with the Sammy story are also wonderfully strong.

Two Edinburgh gangsters are playing a game of one-upmanship with each other. Tommy Telford is a young and dangerous gangster that wants the power and prestige that comes with taking over from the older and incarcerated Caferty. However with John Rebus becoming emotionally tied to the plight of a young prostitute seemingly under Telford's control and the police desperate to avoid a gang war on the streets of Edinburgh, Rebus has to act and act fast to try and avoid more bloodshed.

I cannot recommend this book any more highly. It is a fantastic plot and character driven novel with more twists and turns than a book has any right to have. Fantastic writing by Ian Rankin who really was on a role at this point in the Rebus series.
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on 27 March 2016
This is the report I wrote after reading book 16 of the Rebus collection, so be prepared for an exciting journey. I started to read Ian Rankin's Rebus books a few weeks ago and I am addicted, brilliant plots, great characters and personalities, that you can follow from book to book. I am wondering how it will all end when Rebus retires. If you are a new reader then start with volume number 1 to get the full benefit of this excellent series of books.
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on 6 September 2001
More of what we expect from Ian Rankin - the story centres on Rebus but there are other highly interesting characters that come through his life. Big Ger is particularly appealing and their relationship has developed well. Must read the books in series to get the best out of Rebus progress and feelings.
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on 30 July 2007
This is not the best book ever written but it is typically Rebus and if you are picking up Rebus for the first time there is sufficient character description to enable you to identify with Rebus. Yes, he is grim and humourless but the book shows his relationship both past and present with his daughter, Sammy and when she is apparently the victim of a hit and run the plot begins to unfold. Introducing Joseph Linz (or Linzstek) as an SS nazi war criminal, Tommy Telford and "Big Ger" Cafferty as warring gang leaders assisted by Cherchian and Yakuza mobsters running drug running, smuggling, property fraud and prostitution, Candice the girl who tragically resembles his daughter Sammy and finally with Sammy's life hanging in the balance the reconciliation with Patience and Rhona. Mix all those ingredients, simmer and add an explosive end using Rebus's old pal Jack Morton in an ill prepared undercover operation and you have "The Hanging Garden". An excellent partner to "Dead Souls" - but read this one first.
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on 4 February 2001
This is the first of Rankin's books that I read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Deciding to write my RPR for Higher English on this book I studied the book in depth and realised that this book has more to it than meets the eye: parallels between Rebus and Lintz, the importance of time. The book, set in Edinburgh, is well written and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in this genre.
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on 30 January 2014
I have to admit not to liking the narrator very much, his Scottish accent wasn't very convincing, in fact it was rather distracting having been used to James Macpherson and Samuel Gillies, although it wouldn't stop me buying another book read by Michael Page. More importantly the story was as ever brilliant leading you through a wed of intrigue., and proving the John Rebus is a better detective than me.,. I already have 21 audio books by Ian Rankin and look forward to adding to my collection
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on 20 November 2013
As an avid Rankin follower, I downloaded this book and was totally engrossed by the main plot and subplots. But........I'm sorry to say that it ran out of steam at the end. It seems that a lot of effort goes into the bulk of Ian Rankin's books, but he runs out of ideas on how to bring the ending to a climax. This book is a bit like a damp promised a lot but the ending (lack of) failed to deliver.
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on 22 April 2016
I enjoyed this book because as always Rankin really gets inside the charactors. However, I felt the book was a bit too long but the ending was very gripping. As always Rebus is continually on a knife-edge balancing the demands of work with his chaotic private life.
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