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on 3 May 2015
Compulsive reading from the first chapter to the last, Ian Rankin at his best, just could not put the book down.
Recommended read for anyone who is a inspector Rebus fan.
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on 5 June 2017
Cracking
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on 28 June 2017
Excellent book
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on 29 November 2016
Not yet read but I have enjoyed all other purchases by this author
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on 12 March 2017
But complex. I did lose track of the story (going back to pick up threads will be better once I'm familiar with Kindle)
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on 14 January 2017
Back of book was detached at rear of book.
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on 27 August 2013
Book six of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series is set during the Edinburgh Festival, where, as you might expect from a book of this genre, a body is found. It's an interesting tale, but the plot felt a bit muddy in places and I wasn't entirely sure how the various threads wove together.

I didn't feel that this novel had quite the same grasp on the characters as I've seen in earlier novels. Rebus felt flatter - he'd lost some of the interests, some of the depth of previous incarnations, and his personal life seemed to have gained a touch of black comedy. The supporting cast seemed almost forgotten - existing just to add a few lines here and there - and replaced by newcomers, the torrent of whom was slightly overwhelming. Of course having said that, the same was true of an earlier novel set in London, but it felt more out of place here.

The plot did come together in the end, and looking back makes a fairly clear picture, but it still feels like it was a point looking for a story that drove this novel, rather than the story being central. There are so many facets and the narrative (and indeed the character) jump between them so often it became hard to keep track of who was where, what they were investigating, and why it was even relevant.

Overall though I did enjoy reading it, and one book that feels slightly out of place in the series certainly won't put me off carrying on reading them. I was also slightly baffled by the cover of my copy, which from a distance looks like simplistic line art of a horse's head, but when examined closely with knowledge from the story is much more sinister.
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on 14 July 2002
This is the 6th of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series that I've read and it is first rate storytelling all the way. While some books are better than others, as a whole, I give this series 5 stars. The language is straight-forward yet so eloquent in its simplicity and vividly captures the underside of Edinburgh. Having once visited Edinburgh, it's interesting to read about this side of the city at the same time as associating with the landmarks, streets and locations that I saw as a tourist. Inspector John Rebus as the protagonist is the key factor in the series' success -- a flawed character, dark and troubled, whose personal life is a mess and who pushes the limits professionally -- but entirely credible and entirely committed to ridding his city of the lowlifes who degrade it. Warts and all, Rebus is likeable and holds the reader's sympathy and respect. By this point, many series start showing signs of fatigue and waning quality, Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series being a case in point. This series only seems to get better.
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on 10 November 2001
This book is typical of Rankin: the superb writing style that he is so reknowned for is only too evident in this chilling story. Rankin describes the city of Edinburgh in such vivid detail that you feel you know the place like the back of your hand. Never before has the reader been allowed to enter so far into Rebus' personal life and, when he wants someone to talk to, as the reader you feel guilty that you are not there to offer support. This novel is unbelievable and makes the reality of events in Northern Ireland feel even closer to home.
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on 14 September 2005
This is the 8th novel of Ian Rankin's featuring Insp Rebus I've read, and I was suitably impressed with his portrayal of the situation in Northern Ireland. Having been born in Londonderry and grown up in the Province, it was refreshing to read an accurate account of day-to-day life there, the RUC and the mindset of the locals. I take my hat off to Mr Rankin, its unusual for someone not from the North of Ireland, to reflect the "troubles" with accuracy and not "beef" them up to make it look like you can't get off the plane without being lined up in front of a firing squad! which I have found to be the case with someone who thinks thats what its like to live there or even when visiting there. He's obviously done his research well. Thank you.
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