A QUESTION OF BLOOD: An Inspector Rebus Novel

Ian Rankin, Author . Little, Brown $22.95 (406p) ISBN 978-0-316-09564-8

The 14th novel to feature the always compelling (and, as his name suggests, perpetually puzzling) John Rebus begins with what seems to be a uniquely American crime: a madman enters a school and starts shooting, killing two students and wounding a third before turning the gun on himself. But we're in Rankin country—a perpetually damp and morally bankrupt Edinburgh—with Rebus and Siobhan Clarke searching for the real story behind what seems an act of sheer madness. This immensely satisfying police procedural has plenty of forensic science, but Rebus knows that "none of it might make them any the wiser about the only question that mattered....The why." Why did Lee Herdman, a drop-out of the U.K. version of the Special Forces, go on a rampage? Why was James Bell, the son of a self-righteous Scottish M.P., merely wounded? And why are two Army investigators sniffing around the case? A subplot has Rebus himself under suspicion of murder: a minor criminal is found dead, burned in an apartment fire, and Rebus shows up with heavily bandaged hands the next morning. The detectives encounter every stratum of contemporary Scottish society, from angry teenage toughs and petty criminals to the privileged and the powerful. It's a complex narrative, perhaps too much so at times, but the plot is less important than Rebus himself, a brilliantly conceived hero who is all too aware of his own shortcomings. In an essentially amoral society, his moral compass is always pointed steadily towards the truth. (Feb. 9)

Forecast: According to the English newspaper The Guardian, Rankin books account for 10% of all crime book sales in the U.K. Already a #1 bestseller in Britain, A Question of Blood is bound to enfold more American readers in the Rankin cult.

Reviewed on: 01/05/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 978-0-7595-0873-6
Paperback - 406 pages - 978-0-316-09924-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7595-0870-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59086-490-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59086-491-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59086-492-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59086-489-0
Hardcover - 360 pages - 978-0-7528-5110-5
Paperback - 360 pages - 978-0-7528-5111-2
Ebook - 978-0-7595-0995-5
Ebook - 978-0-316-01518-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4418-4084-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4418-4083-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4418-6700-1
Open Ebook - 978-0-7595-0872-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 532 pages - 978-0-316-15918-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-59335-273-8
Hardcover - 440 pages - 978-0-7528-5896-8
Hardcover - 978-1-59710-620-7
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.