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Description - A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin

A shooting incident at a private school just north of Edinburgh. Two seventeen-year olds killed by an ex-Army loner who has gone off the rails. As Detective Inspector John Rebus puts it, 'there's no mystery'...except the why. But this question takes Rebus into the heart of a shattered community. Ex-Army himself, Rebus becomes fascinated by the killer, and finds he is not alone. Army investigators are on the scene, and won't be shaken off. The killer had friends and enemies to spare - ranging from civic leaders to the local Goths - leaving behind a legacy of secrets and lies. Rebus has more than his share of personal problems, too. He's fresh out of hospital, hands heavily bandaged, and he won't say how it happened. Could there be a connection with a house-fire and the unfortunate death of a petty criminal who had been harrassing Rebus's colleague Siobhan Clarke? Rebus's bosses seem to think so...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780752851105
ISBN-10: 0752851101
Format: Hardback
(242mm x 165mm x 40mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publish Date: 22-Aug-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin

UK Kirkus Review » Scotland is in shock. A gunman has walked into one of South Queensferry's best private schools and opened fire, killing two teenage boys and injuring another - the son of a Member of the Scottish Parliament - before shooting himself. Detective Inspector John Rebus is desperate to get out there and discover what has driven the man to do it, particularly when he discovers that one of the victims is his cousin's son. But he has problems of his own - his hands are badly burnt from what he claims was a freak domestic accident, while the man who's been stalking his younger colleague and protegee Siobhan has been found dead from an arson attack. It's not only Rebus's long-suffering boss Gill Templer who suspects a connection. Yes, Scotland's greatest dysfunctional detective is back, and Rankin's myriad fans will find here all the ingredients that have made his books the most popular crime novels of our time - ingenious plotting, sympathetic characterization, wry humour and a chillingly realistic depiction of the dark underbelly of Scottish social and political life. Blending the investigation of two seemingly separate crimes with practised ease, Rankin leads the reader down blind alley after blind alley, adding more and more characters with their own peculiarities and agendas until all seems hopelessly confused - and then suddenly drops into place to reveal the only possible solution. Rankin's trademark jaundiced view of Scotland - originally the most striking feature of his writing - is a given now, and in fact the theme that the loyal reader notices most in this volume is his delicate portrayal of the relationship between Rebus and Siobhan - mutually affectionate, protective, and fiercely, silently loyal. Intelligently written and enormously involving, this is a novel that fully deserves its guaranteed place at the top of the bestseller lists. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Once again up on charges, DI John Rebus defies suspension and scalded hands to work two difficult cases. Rebus's first problem is how to prove to his partner, Siobhan Clarke, and their boss, DCI Gill Templer, that despite severely burned fingers, he didn't set Martin Fairstone ablaze to avenge his stalking and brutalizing of Siobhan. Trying to circumvent Templer's wrath and needing Siobhan to drive until his hands heal, Rebus responds with her to DI Bobby Hogan's need for help with a pair of 17-year-old corpses in South Queensferry, one the son of a judge, the other the son of Rebus's cousin Allan. Also lying dead is the shooter, ex-SAS soldier Lee Herdman. Recovering at home with his dad, a publicity-hungry anti-gun Scottish MP, is the tragedy's sole survivor: wounded student James Bell. Why did Herdman target the youngsters, then kill himself? Rebus is stymied by two hostile SAS investigators who always seem to be in his way, perhaps covering up evidence, perhaps planting some. And too many people are distracted by nubile Teri Cotter's Web site, which shows her bedroom antics 24/7. Meanwhile, Siobhan has acquired a second stalker, and Rebus seems fixated on the antics of lowlife Peacock Johnson and his gofer, Evil Bob. A notch below quintessential Rankin (Resurrection Man, Feb. 2003, etc.) with a wrap-up that doesn't quite ring true and a Rebus too dependent on painkillers and single-malt. But Siobhan-now there's a lassie to admire. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin was born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960. In 1997 he was awarded the Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction for BLACK AND BLUE. His subsequent Rebus novels have all been international bestsellers. He lives with his wife and two sons in Edinburgh. In 2003, Ian received an OBE for his services to literature.

Books By Ian Rankin

Question of Blood by Ian Rankin
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Rather be the Devil by Ian Rankin
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Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin
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