Black and Blue (Inspector John Rebus Series #8)

Black and Blue (Inspector John Rebus Series #8)

by Ian Rankin

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Black and Blue (Inspector John Rebus Series #8) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous 10 days ago
Never boring, Wonderful writter!
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this, the 8th book in the Inspector Rebus series, we find our unkempt inspector trying to solve several seemingly unrelated cases. There's a man who's been found impaled on a fence, tied to a chair with a plastic bag over his head which some are wanting to call a suicide, though Rebus doesn't agree with that version of events. There's a serial killer who's offed three women so far that the media has named Johnny Bible, since it appears he is mimicking the methods of a serial killer who was active decades earlier, then known as Bible John. There's a snitch who turns up dead, and based on a phone number Rebus discovers at the man's house and the finding that the plastic bag man was an oil worker on the ocean rigs near Aberdeen he decides to visit that town, where he is convinced a thug, his girlfriend and his son are selling drugs to the bored oil workers when they come off their two-week shifts. Rebus accuses several policemen of being on the take and is badly beaten up a couple of times for putting his nose into affairs some people think don't concern him. He is also put under arrest and questioned, then shadowed 24/7 by a former colleague, since he is suspected of being Johnny Bible, even though eye witnesses maintain that Johnny Bible is much younger than he is. The narration also alternates between Rebus' and Bible John's activities as the latter attempts to find his copycat. In the midst of all this, our hard drinking inspector decides to go on the wagon. Confused? So was I. I've read a few Rebus books and couldn't make heads nor tails out of this one. It started out well enough, and I was eager to continue exploring this 500 page (!) crime fiction novel which has won numerous awards and honours, but I got lost amidst the confusion of all the interwoven storylines that didn't seem to connect in a plausible way. Frustrating. But there's still plenty of intrigue and something irresistible about this unpleasant, grumpy detective that keeps me from declaring this one a total bomb.
-Eva- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rebus is great form, making loads of enemies while trying to find out why an oil-rig worker has been murdered - or was he? Big Ger makes a hilarious appearance and we are also treated to a tour of northern Scotland with its various personalities and dialects. As usual, Rankin does a bang-up job of characterization and dialogue and when the higher-ups are trying to frame Rebus in order to keep him from investigating a case they don't want solved, the stakes are as high as can be. And with the added pressure of trying to find a serial killer who in turn is trying to find his own copy-cat, Rebus is up to his ears in trouble. This is one of my favorites of an already great series.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the sixth book in the John Rebus series, but I felt like I was reading a different book this time. Rankin appears to have turned a corner with his character with this book. I always loved Rebus's character and his human flaws, but in this book we see Rebus totally uncovered. His character is so beautifully displayed in this book. The story itself was complex. There were three apparently different cases that Rebus was investigating and he continues he begins to think that all three are actually connected in some way. He does his investigations almost completely single-handed while his career is in an uproar and while he is under investigation. This is a powerful, complex and totally un-put-downable book. I cannot wait to read more Rebus, and with the way this one ends, you just know that John Rebus is not yet done with this particular investigation. What a great book!
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Black and Blue is the eighth of the Inspector Rebus mystery/suspense series by Ian Rankin, and is considered to be a quintessential example of the ¿Tartan Noir¿ genre. In the 1960¿s, there was a serial killer in Scotland known as Bible John. After a while, he simply disappeared. Now there is an imitator, called Johnny Bible. Inspector Rebus wants desperately to find him. But so does Bible John! In a nice bit of black humor, Bible John doesn¿t appreciate the inferior knock-off tarnishing his reputation. Nor does he like the renewed attention to his own case, having been successfully in hiding now for some time. So he too gets involved in the hunt for Johnny Bible, and as a matter of pride, wants to find him before the police do. Discussion: Black and Blue won The Gold Dagger Award, given annually by the Crime Writers' Association for best crime novel of the year. It¿s darker than the first Inspector Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, and more complicated, but richer for all that. It is called Black and Blue after the Rolling Stones album by the same name, and there are some sly allusions to its songs throughout the story.Although the book has been translated into over 20 languages, there is no translation of the ¿English¿ one, but there is quite a bit of Scottish slang that sometimes makes it seem as if a translation is in order!I think the think I like best about these books is that they seem very real. For example, everybody throws up a lot: police or witnesses who see bodies, autopsy goers, heavy drinkers, and those trying to expectorate swallowed emotions. The police get away with what they can ¿ they cadge bootleg items; think nothing of picking up items in a dead man¿s house that aren¿t evidence but are now ¿unclaimed¿; and they are eager to tap into the kindness of bartenders, restaurant owners, clothes purveyors, and others who might want to rely in turn on the generosity of police officers.Inspector Rebus tries to be objective when it comes to whether or not someone (other than him, of course) is breaking the law, but this quality seems relatively rare in his environment; value judgments are constantly pitted against dedication to law enforcement.Women may be looked at as sex objects by many of the male characters, but they nevertheless tend to be strong, savvy actors in these books.Evaluation: Plot complications abound, but somehow they are tied together in a Kevin Bacon-esque kind of way. And while complex, involving drug gangs, the oil industry, and police corruption and misconduct past and present, they aren¿t hard to follow. Nor does the author write in a way that makes it necessary for you to have read any other Inspector Rebus novel, although you don¿t get much explanation in this book for Rebus¿s dysfunctions (e.g., alcoholism, bouts of crying, churlishness, lose definition of morality, and lone wolf orientation).I didn¿t like this book as much as Knots & Crosses, but it was a personal thing with me. This book is certainly more intricate and well-developed, but I really don¿t like spending time with drug gangs (in books or on television, or presumably, in real life). They tend to be very unpleasant people in whatever guise they appear. So that particular aspect didn¿t appeal to me. But this book is more highly thought of than Knots & Crosses, and it¿s very noir - almost like a Pelecanos book ¿ which should appeal to aficionados of that genre.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm trying to read as many of the older Rebus books as I can get my hands on. This is #9 in the series and really, really good. It won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger, the highest award for a mystery book published in the UK, in 1996.Rebus has been moved to another police station in Edinburgh due to some altercation with his previous supervisor that was no doubt discussed in Let it Bleed, the 8th book in the series which I haven't read. There's an investigation into an old case that may get Rebus into trouble but he's more interested in a serial killer that is raping and murdering young women all across Scotland. He has hit in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh so far. The press are calling him Johnny Bible because his method is similar to Bible John, a serial killer who killed 3 women in Glasgow in the 60's and then stopped. Rebus is not officially on the case but he's helping out and he is obsessed by the link with the older case. With his usual tact and discretion Rebus manages to trample on the toes of police in Glasgow and Aberdeen as well as his home town. He is also investigating the mysterious death of an oil worker in Edinburgh that leads him to Aberdeen. Finally, the inspector investigating the old case assigns Jack Morton, an old friend of Rebus', to stay with him 24 hours a day. Morton and Rebus criss-cross Scotland investigating the oil worker's death, the Johnny Bible case and some drug deals. While they spend time together Morton convinces Rebus to go on the wagon as he has done. It's strange to read about Rebus turning down drinks but it seems to work for him because he manages to solve the oilman's death and he is instrumental in having the drug dealers caught. However, he is one step behind on the Johnny Bible case, one step behind Bible John. Yes, Bible John is alive and he resents the "Upstart" as he calls him.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another grimy, gritty book, with much more of the Scots language in it making it difficult to follow at times.The plot is complex, involving a current serial killer who is copycatting a never-caught one of 25 years previous (the latter based on a real serial killer, Bible John). Rebus becomes obsessed with both. Yet at the same time, he is investigating the murder of an offshore oil rig worker. Along with carrying out these investigations, which take him from Ediburg to Glasgow to Aberdeen and the North Sea oil fields, Rebus is under investigation for the possible framing years before of a criminal by Rebus' mentor, whom Rebus assisted.A complicated plot, at times hard to follow due to the bewildering cast of both major and minor characters, whom Rankin just manages to keep distinct. Interesting information on the economics of off-shore oil and the working of the fields, well integrated into the plot so as not to become either annoying or distracting.
MeredithYvonne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Black and Blue was the first Inspector Rebus novel I read by Ian Rankin. It's kind of in the middle of the series, but you don't need to start with the first book to know what's going one. The lead character is Inspector Rebus of the Edinbrough police. He's cranky, divorced, and drinks a little too much, but he's wicked smart. I love these books because the multiple story lines are compelling and not until the very end of the book do you really understand what they all mean.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have all the Rebus books and like almost every one except the first one. This is a book you can pick up and read over a weekend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BritUSA More than 1 year ago
A crime thriller set in Edinburgh, quite fast paced with a couple of absorbing story lines being told alongside one another. Gritty. I have read a number of Ian Rankin's books, mostly with Rebus as the main character, I have found them all to be a great read. Check out Rebus on DVD too (Ken Stott does a brilliant job portraying Rebus)... and on the plus side they keep pretty true to the books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All the Rebus novels are page turners. Rebus as a character is so real, and so well defined, you find yourself wondering what he's doing this summer and if you shouldn't send him an interesting CD.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I read each novel with the knowledge of Edinburgh, the stories seem true to life, the dialect as is. Ian Rankin has created a policeman of true nature to Edinburgh, each novel is a must read, and if you lay it down, make sure you remember where you put it..do not loose it.