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Black and Blue (1997)

by Ian Rankin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Rebus (8)

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2,108376,540 (3.91)100
Rebus is juggling four cases trying to nail one killer - who might just lead back to the infamous Bible John. And he's doing it under the scrutiny of an internal inquiry led by a man he has just accused of taking backhanders from Glasgow's Mr Big. As if this wasn't enough, there are TV cameras at his back investigating a miscarriage of justice, making Rebus a criminal in the eyes of a million or more viewers. Just one mistake is likely to mean an unpleasant and not particularly speedy death or, worse still, losing his job.… (more)
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English (32)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
DI John Rebus is caught up in cases past and present: a serial killer dubbed “Johnny Bible” is murdering young women, in an echo of a serial killer some 20 years ago named by the papers “Bible John” because he quoted from the Bible before killing his prey, also young women. At the same time, a worker on an oil platform in the North Sea has died while on leave, in a case that involves villains from Rebus’s past. He has been sidelined by his superiors yet again, but that will not stop him from pursuing his leads, wherever they may take him…. I started this novel, the eighth in the series, feeling quite fed up with Rebus - he is sinking deeper into alcoholism, has alienated just about everybody in his world and still can’t seem to stop himself from chasing whatever leads his sometimes-addled mind throws up. But then there comes a passage like this: “I’m a peeper, he thought, a voyeur. All cops are. But he knew he was more than that: he liked to get involved in the lives around him. He had a need to know which went beyond voyeurism. It was a drug. And the thing was, when he had all this knowledge, he then had to use booze to blank it out. He saw his reflection in the window, two-dimensional, ghostly. I’m almost not here at all, he thought.” That sort of insight into his own behaviour again brings me back into sympathy with the character. While the complex plot is engaging, and the late 1990s politics of oil is well described, it is the character of this very flawed human being that makes this series so compelling; recommended, after all. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Nov 28, 2022 |
I always enjoy the Rebus novels, and this one was no exception. There is a change of scene in this book because Rebus spends a lot of time in Aberdeen and also in Glasgow and on the Shetland Islands. He is following several cases and one of them is connected to the oil industry, so he even visits an oil rig. All these settings were extremely fascinating to me!
I also thought that this book was very well written and I like the development of Rebus as a character, who reflects a little more on the world and his role in it, and on his work in the police. The cases were exciting, too, although once again it was difficult for me to keep all the men in this novel sorted (all the criminals as well as the policemen - there are just too many characters and they are too alike!). Another thing that I did not like was that the middle part felt a bit lengthy and I think it could have been shorter.
Apart from that this was a very good read and I am looking forward to the next Rebus novel, although I think I will turn to other series in the months to come as this was such a lengthy one. ( )
  MissBrangwen | Feb 5, 2022 |
It's a while since I read a Ian Rankin (Inspector Rebus) book, this was a good one get reaquainted with him again. Is is nearly 500 pages, complex plot, many players and quite a page turner.
A good read overall. It was loosely based it on real crimes. ( )
  GeoffSC | Jul 25, 2020 |
Rückkehr eines Serienmörders? Vor Jahrzehnten hat der grausame Serientäter Bible John mehre Frauen brutal umgebracht, wurde aber nie gefasst. Nun wütet in Schottland nach demselben Muster ein neuer Killer, von den Medien kurzerhand Johnny Bible getauft. Erste Vermutungen führen Rebus nach Glasgow und Aberdeen, doch ihm läuft die Zeit davon. Johnny Bible wird bald wieder morden, und – was noch keiner weiß – der alte Bible John hat sich bereits an die Fersen seines „unwürdigen“ Nachahmers geheftet …
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
Longest, most complex, and probably best written Rebus book so far (reading them in order of course). ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Rankinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burt, JustinPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Macpherson, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If you have the Stones ... to say I can rewrite history to my own specificatione. you can get away with it. - James Ellroy
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Tell me again why you killed them.
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Rebus is juggling four cases trying to nail one killer - who might just lead back to the infamous Bible John. And he's doing it under the scrutiny of an internal inquiry led by a man he has just accused of taking backhanders from Glasgow's Mr Big. As if this wasn't enough, there are TV cameras at his back investigating a miscarriage of justice, making Rebus a criminal in the eyes of a million or more viewers. Just one mistake is likely to mean an unpleasant and not particularly speedy death or, worse still, losing his job.

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