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A Question of Blood (Inspector Rebus Book 14) by [Rankin, Ian]
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A Question of Blood (Inspector Rebus Book 14) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews
Book 14 of 20 in Inspector Rebus (20 Book Series)
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Length: 426 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Amazon.co.uk Review

Sometimes crime affects you directly: in A Question of Blood Inspector John Rebus is caught up in two cases that are closer to home than he would like. He is under investigation for the burning alive of a minor psychopath who threatened his attractive young sergeant Siobhan Clarke; and the son of an estranged cousin has been murdered in a high-school shooting.

As always in Rankin's novels, Rebus's bad attitude to his superiors comes back to bite him: even though doctors testify that damage to his hands is a scalding from trying drunkenly to get into an over-hot bath, it is regarded as circumstantial evidence of his possible guilt. The high-school shooting looks at first sight like another ex-SAS crazy going wild--and here Rebus's own past as an SAS washout comes to haunt him--and the constant meddling of army investigators screams cover-up. In fact, though, this is one of those occasions on which Rebus's slightly paranoid preparedness to see connections everywhere pays off and he manages to solve both crimes and a lot of other unsuspected pieces of mayhem besides. Along the way, the book offers Rankin's usual intense commentary on embattled masculinity and what it means to be a Scot, and this excellent sequence's usual portrayal of an Edinburgh where modernity rubs up against time-worn slums and ancient privilege. --Roz Kaveney

Amazon Review

Sometimes crime affects you directly: in A Question of Blood Inspector John Rebus is caught up in two cases that are closer to home than he would like. He is under investigation for the burning alive of a minor psychopath who threatened his attractive young sergeant Siobhan Clarke; and the son of an estranged cousin has been murdered in a high-school shooting.

As always in Rankin's novels, Rebus's bad attitude to his superiors comes back to bite him: even though doctors testify that damage to his hands is a scalding from trying drunkenly to get into an over-hot bath, it is regarded as circumstantial evidence of his possible guilt. The high-school shooting looks at first sight like another ex-SAS crazy going wild--and here Rebus's own past as an SAS washout comes to haunt him--and the constant meddling of army investigators screams cover-up. In fact, though, this is one of those occasions on which Rebus's slightly paranoid preparedness to see connections everywhere pays off and he manages to solve both crimes and a lot of other unsuspected pieces of mayhem besides. Along the way, the book offers Rankin's usual intense commentary on embattled masculinity and what it means to be a Scot, and this excellent sequence's usual portrayal of an Edinburgh where modernity rubs up against time-worn slums and ancient privilege. --Roz Kaveney


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1214 KB
  • Print Length: 426 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (18 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002U3CBQ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rankin's latest begins straight off, plumping us right in the middle of the plot, and has a pace that continues in that vein, right until the shocking end. It starts with Rebus, in hospital, hands burned and bandaged following a severe scalding from hot bathwater. Or so he says. He is about to be called into a case that will question his notions of his family, his past, his future, and his present. There has been a horrific shooting incident at a private school just north of Edinburgh. Three people are dead, one injured. After his rampage, the killer - who was, like Rebus, ex-army - turned the gun on himself. As everyone puts it, "there's no mystery, except the why".

Given his army background, Rebus is asked to advise, on the quiet, to try and give some insight into what made this man go so catastrohpically off the rails. Rebus becomes fascinated with the dead man and his motives, and when the military police start sniffing around it makes him suspect that this thing might go a lot deeper than at first it seems.
But, before very long, Rebus too finds himself under investigation. A petty criminal who had been stalking and harassing his colleague and friend Siobhan (pronounced "Shivawn". As one character puts it, "So that's how it's spelt.") Clarke has been found burnt to death in his home. And not everyone is prepared to believe Rebus's excuses for his injuries...
For me, at least, this is surely going to be crime novel of the year. Rankin (so good he has already been awarded an OBE) has produced another outstanding novel of "Scots noir", which is sure to only cement his immense reputation among his fans as well as garnering him a good few more.
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Format: Paperback
Ian Rankin's faultless record in the crime fiction genre once again cannot be questioned after reading this book. The well-loved protagonist of DI Rebus once again makes the reader long for his alignment with the values that 'society' holds, if only for a true recognition of his character. However an admiration for DI Rebus cannot be quenched - a thirst for answers, disregard for bureaucracy and an understanding of the criminal mind. Edinburgh is yet again treated not just as a beautiful city with a 'nice' tourist scene, but as a dark place, somewhat pretentious, with underlying sadness. It exhibits the nature of crime and humanity, the urges and desires, the pitfalls and the despair that is human life. The Rebus novel are not novels that you pick up, read and put back on your bookshelf. When you read these Ian Rankin novels you are involved. These are not just formulaic novels with a plot which gets resolved by the quirky detective. These are touched by a reality which is sometimes shocking but always necessary. It would be an injustice not to read this novel or any other Rebus novel.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the 15th book in the Inspector John Rebus series (not counting the 2 books of short stories) and once again Rebus is hard at work intimidating criminals and annoying his superiors. This book is a little unusual in that Rebus is actually working with partners, alternating between Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke and Detective Inspector Bob Hogan.
The reason for Rebuses acceptance of assistance comes from the fact that both of his hands have been very badly scalded, so badly that he even has trouble drinking a beer or lighting a cigarette (shocking). The burnt hands are a bit of a mystery but seem to have been done the same night that a man who had been stalking Siobhan, and who Rebus warned off once, was burnt to death. Suspicions hang over Rebuses head throughout the book.
The main case is a murder suicide investigation that Rebus is called in to advise on due to his previous experience as an SAS trainee. The murderer is also ex-SAS and it is thought that Rebus might be able to add some unique insights. So, rather than trying to solve the question of who committed the murder, it’s more a question of why the murder was committed. During the investigation we get a little more of an insight into Rebuses army days through his digging into the murderer’s past.
Thanks to the extra interaction between Rebus and Siobhan Clarke, I thought this was an excellent addition to what is already an outstanding series. It’s also nice to see that his dogged determination to solve the case and his disregard for his superiors hasn’t diminished at all either.
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Format: Hardcover
I started reading A Question of Blood first day it came out in hardback. Last time we saw Rebus proper was nearly two years ago now, Ian Rankin is my favourite writer in any genre. I was hungry for some Rebus.
Rankin books that are really good relate to real life, subjects that would make a good member of society put it down, go back to the shelves for somehting a little cleaner. Resurection Men deals with crooked cops, Dead Souls: paedophile released back into the community, Black and Blue see's off just about everything wrong with Scotland. A Question of Blood's subject: school shooting.
Nothing seems to go right for DI Rebus. One, a relative's been shot dead at a posh school in Edinburgh, the killer then turning the gun on himself. And two, a man who's been stalking his favourite colleague DS Clarke has been killed in a fire, Rebus being the last person seen with him and both his hands are badly burnt.
What did I make of it? A Question of Blood wasn't written as well as some of the one's before it. The real-life idea was there, just it all seemed a little dragged out. Maybe fame's getting to Rankin? Try and read the series start to finish, every one makes for a good read. With Rebus, I think you can only seperate the ones you loved from the not-as-good ones. This one didn't make it to the greats. That said, come Rebus book: 15, no doubt I'll read that too. Plenty more chances. I don't think Rebus will be going away too soon. Too much crime, tea and biscuits, back-street pubs no-one knows about.
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