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The Black Book: An Inspector Rebus Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Ian Rankin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.99
Kindle Price: $10.67
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

The fifth novel featuring Inspector John Rebus, available for the first time as an e-book and with an exclusive introduction by author Ian Rankin.

When the Central Hotel, a place of decidedly unsavory reputation, burned to the ground in a mysterious fire, the Edinburgh police were unable to disguise their delight. That is, until a body was found in the still-smoldering ashes, charred beyond all identification but with a bullet lodged in its skull. Now it's five years later and Inspector John Rebus is following any leads in a vicious off-duty ambush that has put one of his favorite junior officers into a coma.

A cheap black notebook belonging to the wounded policeman contains a cryptic allusion to the almost-forgotten blaze, but crucial pieces of the puzzle obstinately refuse to fall into place. What could young Detective Sergeant Brian Holmes have learned to render him such a threat that he must be silenced at all costs? "The past is important," Rebus hardly needs to remind himself, yet the secrets he persists in uncovering are buried in layer upon layer of sordid and evil lies.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With this latest action-packed adventure of Edinburgh's Inspector John Rebus, Rankin steps into the company of accomplished fellow British procedural writers John Harvey and Peter Turnbull. Events lead the inspector to consider the "black comedy" of his life. His ex-con brother arrives in town just as Rebus, blown off by his doctor ladyfriend, returns to his own pad where, surrounded by his student tenants, he has to sleep on the couch. He is similarly buffeted on the professional front: a colleague is brained at a restaurant owned by an Elvis enthusiast; a man is stabbed in a butcher shop; a convicted child molester returns to the city; the bullet that killed an unknown man five years ago was fired from a gun that Rebus has unwisely and unwittingly purchased. With the addition of missing vans, a kidnapped man left hanging upside down from a railway bridge, good beer and protection money, Rankin offers about four times as much plot here as in his earlier Strip Jack. This tale is, however, only twice as good, as Rankin tries to resolve everything at the conclusion. A loose end or two never hurt a good crime yarn. Just ask Raymond Chandler.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Rankin is a gifted but too-little-known crime writer whose Inspector Rebus stories deserve to be in every mystery collection worth its salt. Rebus, an Edinburgh copper, is a wonderfully complex human being with the proverbial feet of clay. He has alienated his girlfriend, his ne'er-do-well brother has deposited himself in Rebus' apartment with every appearance of staying for good, his promising new sergeant has been mugged, and his most unfavorite colleague is again out to discredit Rebus. But Rebus' personal troubles pale when a local butcher is stabbed, and the investigation leads Rebus to conclude that the attack is somehow connected to a years-old unsolved arson-homicide case. Despite warnings from his superiors to leave the case alone, Rebus begins unraveling the tenuous threads that lead him toward a dangerous secret from the past. Rankin's compelling and original plot is almost as intriguing as the gruff, tough, rebellious Rebus, whose rough exterior hides a charming, funny, tenderhearted human being we'd all like to know. A supremely satisfying read. Emily Melton

Product Details

  • File Size: 879 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 22, 2011)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,532 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Early last year I read a British publication of this book and found it one of the best Inspector Rebus novels yet. Inspector Rebus himself, is such a fascinating charachter that his inner conflicts, history of broken relationships, addiction to good Scottish whiskey and love of his extensive and eclectic music collection make him as much of a mystery as the series of mysterious murders he investigates. Sometimes, as he has done here, Ian Rankin introduces other similarly intriguing by players, some of whom have previous and again mysterious histories with Rebus. The interaction between Rebus, other charachters and the history and surroundings of Edinborough itself paint such a vivid, moody and tense atmosphere that often the obligatory murder or two seem almost superfluos. The murder/s however, are in fact never too much. Each is different, unexpected and initially seemingly unsolveable and, as in this book, the answers and Rebus' manner of finding them lead the reader through an entirely unexpected journey that, as the plot developes, twists like Rebus' mind and Edinborough's ancient streets and alleyways.
To be more specific as to the who's, what's and where's involved in this tales' journey would ruin the prospective delight of any new readers reactions and absorbsion of those details. It's a fine book by an accomplished Master of Mystery and Creator of Charachter. Rankin is so much more than those two phrases infer .... he is a true and fascinating Novelist.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Criminal not to read this! March 19, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ian Rankin must now hold the position as one of the UK's finest crime writers with his 5th "Inspector Rebus novel", The Black
Book. Set in the depths of Edinburgh's criminal fraternity, Rankin captures the persona of a hard-nosed Scottish policeman,
(John Rebus) as he attempts to solve a five-year old case. Notes about it are hidden in a black book kept by his colleague,
Brian Holmes, the victim of a brutal assault. The scene is the Central Hotel, a paradise for the degeneracy and squalor which
breed within its walls until it is razed to the ground; the eventual investigation yields one dead body but no clues. Five years on and Morris Gerald Cafferty (one of Edinburgh's most notorious criminals) is under surveillance for his role in a gang of loan sharks. In the course of this Rebus is blighted by personal problems and eventual suspension from the police force whilst trying to link the fire at Central Hotel to Cafferty's own illegal dealings. Amidst the lies and intrigue there lies a terrifying link that, if exposed, could result in vicious reprisals for many other people. With all detective novels it is difficult to fully explain a plot without revealing the conclusion but with Rankin, nothing is certain until the final page. This is a stunning piece of work; particularly striking is the originality of the characters and plot that culminates in an energetic yet decisive result. If you read no other crime thriller this year then read Ian Rankin's work, impressive and highly elegant.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Read May 4, 2000
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 your sure to find plenty of suprises in this novel. Definitly one of the best I've ever read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moody and suspenseful September 8, 2004
Rankin's Edinburgh police Inspector John Rebus forges a narrow path through office politics, his shambles of a life, and the mean streets of his city in this 1994 novel.

The title refers to a notebook found on one of Rebus's men, ambushed outside a favorite nightspot and remaining unconscious in the hospital.

Determined to find out who wanted to silence the policeman, Rebus deciphers the notes and finds himself pursuing a five-year-old arson and murder case while maintaining a pointless surveillance on a bookie insisted upon by his superiors.

Rankin's writing is as gritty and moody as his put-upon hero, with his shambles of a personal life. Steeped in an atmosphere of Edinburgh's shadowy and unsavory corners, "The Black Book" is a taut, suspenseful tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Black Book June 3, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel is full of many different storylines all bumping togetheer as John Rebus tries to do what he does best and that's solve crimes. This includes the introduction of Morris Gerald Cafferty and DC Siobhan Clarke, who would go on to become a main part of this series in later novels.

Rebus is suffering from many things, including: trouble with his girlfriend Patience, investigating a man being stabbed and then walking into a butchers shop owned by his cousin, and his good friend DC Brian Holmes being attacked outside a restaurant. This book really holds the reader as it experiences the cold murders and attacks along with the dark "black humour" that Detective Inspector Rebus uses to get through life. Easilly readable, highly recommended.

"When a close colleague is brutally attacked, Rebus is drawn into a case involving a hotel fire, an unidentified body and a long-forgoten night of terror and murder. Pursued by dangerous ghosts and tormented by the coded secrets of the colleague's notebook, Rebus must piece together a jigsaw that no one else seems to want completed."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Parallel stories that seem to tie up, and perhaps ...
Parallel stories that seem to tie up, and perhaps not, keep you on your toes. Rebus remains true to character. Full of Scottish dry humour.
Published 1 day ago by Irene Hume
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Rankin is great....lots of subtleties and a great story
Published 1 day ago by M. Pfaelzer
3.0 out of 5 stars would give it 5. it this forced review to read the last few pages Is...
See above title line. It says it all this needs to stop or you won't get accurate reviews
Good grief
Published 11 days ago by Mark T. Caylor
3.0 out of 5 stars Good tale dreadful tale-teller.
Great story but the audio version is spoiled by a reader who doesn't know how to pronounce the most basic Scotish place names such as Gorgie ( hard Gs ) and Scotland's other... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ralph Pearce
5.0 out of 5 stars ian rankin is a writer that is a good one for non gorie
ian rankin is a writer that is a good one for non gorie mysteries
Published 1 month ago by bearwolfmoose in Bozeman Montana
3.0 out of 5 stars Scotland mysteries
I enjoy mysteries along with a good story, but the setting makes these books, Inspector Rebus mysteries, enjoyable. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Marcia Deas RN
5.0 out of 5 stars Steady
John Rebus doesn't move to fast, but he gets there.
Published 2 months ago by Sam Lusk
5.0 out of 5 stars Always good crime mystery writing!
Ian Rankin's writing once again demonstrates his movie director's background. This is not just a reading experience, but also a visual experience. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Michelle Antoinette
3.0 out of 5 stars ok read with some reservations
Spoiler alert.

I like the Rebus character.

He is a dangerous man. So dangerous he doesn't need a gun. Read more
Published 6 months ago by alex
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite author!
The ease of accessing his books is great. Very timely The price was right and delivery more than met my expectations. tt makes my opinion of Amazon's capabilities very high.
Published 6 months ago by Gale Savage
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