The Black Book: An Inspector Rebus Novel

Ian Rankin, Author O. Penzler Books $21 (278p) ISBN 978-1-883402-77-8
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. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
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Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-312-97675-0
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