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Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Black and Blue

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Black and Blue (1997) Ian Rankin

Inspector Rebus is paying for his actions in the last book. He’s been sent to one of the worst precincts in the area, supposedly to help them with their move and because another DI is out on medical leave, but Rebus knows why he’s there–even if no one else knows.

There’s a killer loose in Scotland. One who is modeling his actions after a serial killer who was active in the late 60s, by killing women in a similar manner. Although Rebus wasn’t on that case, his mentor at that time was and had it in for the man who eventually locked up for the killings. Unfortunately, not everyone believes the real killer was caught, so when he commits suicide, the case is reopened and someone decides to investigate Rebus’ knowledge of the case–mostly since reporters are camping outside his apartment wanting a comment from him.

Despite the fact Rebus doesn’t deserve his current posting, he doesn’t complain about it, attempt to justify it, or even tell anyone what happened. He just does his work. It’s interesting, because I certainly couldn’t do that. I’d be bitching up a storm. But then Rebus I probably couldn’t have done what Rebus did to get himself into the situation in the first place.

He does, however, drink. A lot. More than in any other book. Enough to the point that those who care about him (and there are some people who care about him) keep noting how much he’s drinking and smoking. Rebus has drunk quite a lot throughout the series, but now, alcohol is his almost constant companion, and it’s obvious the situation cannot continue.

And the situation with Brian Holmes is coming to a head. Nell wants him off the force and is continuing to pressure him, leaving Holmes miserable.

All in all, a LOT happens in this book. Although you could, in theory, read this book without having read any of the previous books (after all, the story arc is completed within the book, and the mystery is fascinating in and of itself) many of the things that happen in the personal lives of the characters have more meaning when you know their past. So although this is a very good mystery, I really recommend you not start here, because knowing where everyone has been makes the story all the better.
Rating: 8.5/10

Published by St. Martin’s Minotaur

Categories: 8.5/10, British, Mystery, Police
Tags: ,
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