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The Black Book - Ian Rankin

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Author: Ian Rankin / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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    4 Reviews
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      30.12.2009 08:58
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      The fifth in a series of Inspector John Rebus Novels.

      Modern day Edinburgh is full of gangsters who wouldn't be out of place in 1970s London Docklands under the reign of the Krays. Edinburgh's Mr Big is Big Ger Cafferty and is arch enemy of Inspector John Rebus, one of Edinburgh's finest. Both Big Ger and Rebus have appeared in over a dozen other novels by the same author but this relationship is cleverly explained within The Black Book so you don't feel as though you're missing something by not having previously read any of Ian Rankins other titles.

      This particular book follows an investigation into the brutal attack of one of Rebus colleague, a gentleman who has apparently been silenced, albeit temporarily, as a result of a discovery which inspired him to look into an old case on his own time. The case in question was a 5 year old murder whose charred victim remains identified. Armed only with the incapacitated Detectives little Black Book of note Rebus sets about attempting to identify his colleagues attacker by solving the crime that seems to have triggered this attack.

      The novel is very detailed naming streets and areas within Edinburgh and describing the surrounding people and venues to a degree that allows you to imagine you've been there or somewhere very much like it and can see the characters doing whatever it is they are doing which adds to the intrigue. The plot flows along steadily although at times the pace lags a bit. This is more than made up for by the inclusion of some rather graphic scenes which are not suitable to late night reading if you're prone to nightmares.

      The plot twists are unpredictable and some detail is included early on which only becomes relevant to the case towards its conclusion as all the necessary components are slotted into place and justice is served although possibly not the way Her Majesty's Government would like it to be.

      340 pages in length with a recommended retail price of £6.99 but available on Amazon for £4.29.

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        17.08.2009 19:15
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        Another great book in the series from Rankin, a must for fans of the crime fiction genre.

        -- The Inspector Rebus series --

        The Black Book is the 5th book in the Inspector Rebus series written by Ian Rankin and it lives up to the quality we expect from the books in this series.
        I have been slowly making my way through the Inspector Rebus series in order, and I am thoroughly enjoying each book.

        Ian Rankin's first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was first published in 1987 and the Rebus books are now translated into several languages and have grew in popularity in the states. The series in set in Edinburgh, where Rankin lives, and he always manages to bring the city to life in his books, this one being no exception, and showing the reader the darker sides to the city that the tourists never see.


        -- The Plot --

        In The Black Book a close friend and colleague of Rebus has been brutally attacked which is when Rebus discovers his colleague's notebook, which then see's him trying to piece together the puzzle and solves a long forgotten case starting from a hotel fire and an unidentified body.

        At first Rebus feels he will never get to the bottom of it, however when his brother is then also attacked, he becomes more determined than ever to get to the bottom of it before everyone around him gets hurt. He ends up in all corners of Edinburgh city, meeting well known criminals and getting involved in things which could very well threaten his life.


        -- My Opinion --

        Yet again I am not disappointed by another book in this series. I am always drawn inmto the story quickly with Rankin's books and enjoy reading about Edinburgh, a place I love visiting myself quite often. I always connect well with Inspector Rebus and his colleagues from the police department which we grow to know and love through the course of the series. I like how these character's always return in each book, and you really feel as if you are getting to know them with each new book in the series.

        This book see's Rebus being reunited with his brother, Michael, and we read as they re-build their relationship from what it once was. Meanwhile we also see Rebus struggle with his love life, which he has to put to one side whilst trying to solve this case.

        The case itself which inolves the usual murder and mystery has me hooked. These books always manage to be above the 'usual and average' crime thriller and each book is obviously carefully planned out by Rankin. I can never guess what's going to happen in these books and it always comes together in the end, with unexpected results. Indeed when I've finished a book, I'm always keen to start reading the next book in the series!

        There is always something happening in the book to keep you interested, and never a dull moment. It is mostly written from Rebus' point of view however there is the occasional moment where we pop into the mind of someone else, and Rankin manages to pull this off wonderfully.

        You don't necessarily need to read these books in order, but I highly recommend doing so as you can follow the characters from the start, and grow to know and love Inspector Rebus as so many people have done.

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          16.06.2001 07:23

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          This is my second Ian Rankin book this month!! I bought Witchhunt and enjoyed it so much that I immediately went out and ordered another one. I wish I had read a review first though... I didn't realize when I bought this book that it was part of a series. The reason I wish I had know was because if I had I would have ordered the WHOLE series and not just the one. Please don't let this put you off though. This book is absolutely able to stand alone and well worth the time. The characters are well developed and you get just enough, if not more that usual, information about the main character Rebus, a scottish police inspector. He is a full blooded character with family and mates, a love interest and a history. The story revolves a 5 year old murder which comes to the forefront of Rebus's attention following the assault of a colleague. The scope of the investigation widens and deepens until you are just about to fall in and then Rankin masterfully pulls you back and draws you in until you can see, clear as crystal, what Rebus has seen all along. Thoroughly enjoyable and can't wait until this series is bought up and made into a series. My only regret will be that by that time I will have certainly have read the whole series.

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          14.07.2000 00:35

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          Iain Rankin lives up to expectations with this his fifth full length Rebus novel. The plot leads the reader on a chase around Scotland for the truth behind a hotel fire five years ago and a series of more contemporary crimes and misdemeanors. With more twists and turns than the Hampton Court Maze, this book is sure to delight anyone who likes to be taken up numerous garden paths and back again. From the first page to the last you are sure to find plenty of suprises in this novel. Definitely one of the best I've ever read of this genre.

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      • Product Details

        When a close colleague is brutally attacked, Inspector John Rebus is drawn into a case involving a hotel fire, an unidentified body, and a long forgotten night of terror and murder. Pursued by dangerous ghosts and tormented by the coded secrets of his colleague's notebook, Rebus must piece together the most complex and confusing of jigsaws. But not everyone wants the puzzle solved - perhaps not even Rebus himself.