Black And Blue (A Rebus Novel) Paperback – 12 Jan 1998
|New from||Used from|
|Paperback, 12 Jan 1998||
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
With BLACK AND BLUE Ian Rankin joins the elite of British crime writing (THE TIMES)
The 8th Inspector Rebus novel from the No.1 bestselling authorSee all Product description
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Rankin has subsequently written Scottish crime novels that are even better than 'Black and Blue', though it certainly marked him moving up to a new level. There had already been a few novels in the Rebus series, and some of them had been very strong performances, but this one showed a greater assurance and depth.
Rebus had always been aware of the Edinburgh's dark history, but in 'Black and Blue' the undercurrents are drawn from further afield. As the novel opens, there is a major investigation across all Scotland's police forces (this was written long before the rationalisation of the different police services into one body, Police Scotland) into a series of killings of young women by an unknown assailant dubbed 'Johnny Bible' by the tabloid press. This is a reference to the real spate of unsolved killings of young women in Glasgow in the late 1960s by a murderer who became known as 'Bible John'. One of Johnny Bible's victims had been killed in Glasgow, the second in Edinburgh, and the latest in Aberdeen
Rebus remembered the Bible John killings which coincided with the end of his school days and his joining the army, and felt that somehow they had soured his memories of the late Sixties. As the new investigation into the apparent copycat killings widens, he has been doing his own research, scouring newspapers from the time, and concocting his own theories. This is principally a consequence of his own obsession with unsolved crimes. It is, however, also a means of distraction from growing public outrage about the death of a prisoner who had committed suicide. The prisoner had always maintained that he was innocent of the crime for which he had been convicted and that he had been framed by the police. Rebus had been involved in that investigation, very early in his career in CID, and he is now being plagued by television journalists who are preparing a documentary about the dead prisoner's claims.
Rebus is, however, drawn into an investigation of his own when the body of a man on leave from his job on a North Sea oil rig is found in a run down Edinburgh estate. Certain characteristics of the death lead Rebus to a hitman, formerly employed by one of Glasgow's leading gangland figures. Other associations lead Rebus to Aberdeen, where he finds himself in the fringes of the investigation of the latest Johnny Bible killing.
There are several interlaced themes throughout the novel, and Rankin manages them dextrously. Weaving real crimes into a novel can be dangerous, particularly when friends and relatives of the victims might still be alive, but Rankin handles it with great sensitivity. Rebus is at his best here, with his own demons and frailties tested as never before. This novel marked Rankin hitting mid-season form, and pitched him right into the front rank of British crime writing, where he has stayed ever since.
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.