Summary

'And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you...?' 'That sort of thing' is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses - taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.
©2008 Ian Rankin (P)2011 Orion Publishing Limited
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 02-09-15

An uncertain beginning

This is the first of the Rebus novels and a relatively gentle introduction to the character, his flaws, his strengths and many of the themes that run through the whole series. These of course includes the vividly described Edinburgh, a struggle against authority, no little dark humour and the demons set to haunt Rebus across the coming decades.

Although expertly narrated by James Macpherson the story is not the best of Rebus, not the most chilling and possibly lacks a little in the usual length and depth. This is a series and character that grows in integrity and intensity as the series develops. It's a good enough start though and anyone new to the series is well advised to begin their journey into Rebus's mind here rather than with a later novel.

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19 of 22 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 29-04-16

Great Debut!

Living in Edinburgh and having worked in the Central Library featured in this book, i found the story very close to home. This was my first Ian Rankin book and i have to say i really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more about John Rebus.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By connie on 02-10-11

not as dark as his reputation

I've stayed away form Rankin previously because of his reputation for dark tales. While this was certainly not cozy, neither was it gruesome. Interesting character, narrative and atmosphere - almost in a league with PD James. If the other Rebus audiobooks are this engrossing, I'll soon use up my remaining annual credits - and between Rankin and McCall Smith, I'm developing an obsession to visit Edinburgh.

The narration was excellent, and looking ahead, I'm disappointed that Macpherson is not narrating the rest of the series.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Terje on 26-08-12

Good story well narrated

This is my first Ian Rankin book, and I enjoyed it enough to immediately buy his next one after I finished it. The story is original and interesting, and the narrator is excellent! He manages to tell the story with a fine Scottish accent that fits the setting of the story very well, and at the same time be clear enough to be easily understandable to me as a non-native English speaker.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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