Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8)
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Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus #8)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  6,733 ratings  ·  228 reviews
Bible John killed three women, and took three souvenirs. Johnny Bible killed to steal his namesake's glory. Oilman Allan Mitchelson died for his principles. And convict Lenny Spaven died just to prove a point. "Bible John" terrorized Glasgow in the sixties and seventies, murdering three women he met in a local ballroom--and he was never caught. Now a copycat is at work. Ni...more
Paperback, 498 pages
Published September 22nd 2005 by Orion (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Prime Rebus. This is exactly what I was looking for, and failed to get, when I read Mortal Causes. An extremely heavy, intertwined and self-inflicted case load dogs Rebus all across Scotland.
The best Rebus books offer a strong investigation - if not a mystery - and, more importantly, strong characterisation of the man himself. Rebus is the drawcard and he does not disappoint, the cover suggesting that Black & Blue is the novel that raised Rankin to the upper echelons of crime writing. Given...more
Apr 01, 2014 RJ rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction, u-k
As always, one can read a book in the Rebus series in any order, on its own. Still it is best to approach these in order. Rankin once again makes the reader long for an index; names pop in briefly, to be resurrected 200 pages later. Rebus is in bad shape at the beginning of this novel; drinking heavily and under investigation by his own people. A copycat serial killer is on the loose which takes Rebus to Aberdeen and the oil industry. Rankin excels in descriptions of the oil rigs and an eerie dr...more
Paul Darcy
by Ian Rankin, published in 1997.

This is the 8th Inspector Rebus novel from Ian Rankin and it’s a very good one. Rankin mixes a real life case of murder with his own twist on what may have really taken place.

We see Rebus involved in several cases simultaneously in ‘Black and Blue’, and you never know just how each will tie in to the other until quite far into it. There is the old case of Bible John (the real killings) that Rebus just happened to be a sergeant on and has a dark secret about the c...more
Sundarraj Kaushik
A earlier book of Inspector Rebus. I have not been reading them in the chronological order so this book takes us to an earlier era of Rebus when Gill Templar is not the boss and Siobhan has just lost her greenness in her ears.
The killing of a person in Edinburgh takes Rebus to Glasgow and Aberdeen. In Aberdeen the oil industry has boomed and is now bottoming out, but it still has a lot of money. And with money comes drugs and crime. The book is around crime in the cities of Glasgow and Aberdeen...more
I see you now, scratching your end and saying ‘I never heard of Ian Rankin’ and scouring the library to see what speculative fiction he has written. Stop – you won’t find any. Ian Rankin is a mystery/crime thriller writer and yes I am reviewing his book here.

So my secret is out – I read books other than sci-fi and fantasy. I endorse this vice in all of you as well. Do not get locked into just one genre. Reading classics and other fiction give you new perspective on the genre we love while also b...more
John Rebus gets in your face... and hits you hard. With drive, determination, emotion, stubborn attitude. He is a liar and an honest person at the same time. He takes life hard, rather a bleak and lonely outlook, has trouble with relationships, love, alcohol. Always gets into trouble with his superiors. But he's loyal to his colleagues, and a straight guy. And he's a damn good detective. I'm not by definition a crime book reader, but the Rebus' books I like. Story lines and characters are always...more
I picked up this novel to get some sense of Scotland, at least Edinburgh, before going there last month. I was interested in language, observations about social behavior, what is important in the varied lives of the characters, and a sense of the urban community. I was also interested in reading Rankin, as he has received a lot of praise for his writing.

I got all of that. In particular, the detective John Rebus is a complex character, an aggregate of dark and light, of good and questionable, of...more
Apr 11, 2009 Sandra rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery buffs
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I new detective for me, John Rebus. Your typical misfit, searching for justice at any cost. I think I am going to like this guy. Ian Rankin writes a multi-layered story, that can get confusing, and you need to keep a name on all the balls you are juggling as you read the book. The reviews tell us that it is not necessary to read the books in order, but each book does build on the personal world of Rebus. Seeing his marriage dissolve, and his daughter grow up, and meeting his co fighters in crime...more
Chuck Slack
What a great book!! Ian Rankin really put the whole series together in this book. We get more insight to Rebus, what makes him tick, his singleminded ness, his charm, and his foibles. Three cases that are seemingly separate but become intertwined with every page. All I can say is that turning pages in this read is bittersweet. With every page Rankin brings you one page closer to solving the case but sadly one page closer to the end. Loved it!
Ian Rankin's creation, Detective John Rebus is so much a wonderful depiction of the Scottish psyche for me. He's a kind of William Wallace for today in my eyes, albeit without the kilt, the saltire war paint and perhaps carrying a bit more weight than Wallace did!! And of course his books are a wonderful tourist guide to Glasgow's posh neighbour over the road - the good city of Edinburgh (although in fairness as a tourist guide it won't necessarily show you much tartan or shortbread or castles i...more
Dr Bob
This was my first Rebus novel as I often find pure police ‘procedurals’ contrived and cliched. On the advice if a friend I didn’t start with the first Rebus book as I was told this is the one where Rankin really gets into his stride and, from what I’ve seen, it was the right choice.

I really enjoyed this multi-stranded novel that starts with the murder of a North Sea oil worker in Edinburgh but ties in a creepily rendered old and new serial killer, a miscarriage of justice and Edinburgh’s gangla...more
Buyck Claire
When I started reading this award winning book of Ian Rankin, I was full of expectations. Multiple murders , different storylines intertwining with each other. I was so ready for this! This book has everything to make it a staggering thriller.

Except it never got exciting. Not even when with all these different victims and characters. I mean come on! Its al there, you just have to use it. No, instead the reader has to focus on all the non-plausible things. An addict just stops overnight? Yeah ri...more
This book takes Rebus all the way to Aberdeen to investigate the death of an off duty oil worker though that case soon takes a back seat to a couple of serial killer plots. Rebus is at his most obsessive and his dogged pursuit of justice was a bit wearing but overall a good solid read.
Yoni Vandenborne
Black and Blue is the eight John Rebus novel written by Ian Rankin. John Rebus is working on four cases trying to catch one killer, Johnny Bible. Johnny Bible got his name from Bible John, a killer in the late 1960s, they showed a lot of similarities. While investigating those murders he is under an internal inquiry and added to that there are TV cameras investigating a previous case in which Rebus had a great influence.

The book is written in two perspectives, the first being that of Bible John...more
The plot in this Rebus thriller is very complex. I found it best to read this book on vacation, away from my daily distractions.When I did so, I was able to follow all the twists and characters and found this to be one of the most enjoyable in the series.
Mike  Davis
Containing a few English/Scottish terms unfamiliar to this U.S. reader, this mystery held together quite well throughout the story. Rankin is worth another look as a mystery writer. The story was based on actual case files and fictionalized for the novel.
Excellent well-written thriller. Complex plot with lots of separate threads that somehow tie themselves together quite nicely by the end of the book. Rebus is at his imperfect but likable best in this one.
After challenging the higher echelons of power in Let it Bleed, Rebus is sent away from St Leonards Station to a grim Edinburgh outpost. He works on two cases one is a notorious copycat serial killer and the other a defenstration. Meanwhile he is subject to an internal investigation into a case that occurred when he was a young constable. The story is enhanced by his travels through Scotland and the reappearance of characters from the first Rebus mystery Knots and Crosses, namely DI Morton, Jim...more
Kathleen Hagen
Black and Blue, by Ian Rankin, B-plus, Narrated by Michael Page, Produced by Brilliance Audio, downloaded from

John Rebus has obsessed about a cold case never solved. The serial murderer is nicknamed by the press as Bible John. Now, a couple of decades later, another serial killer seems to have arrived on the scene, a copycat to the original Bible John who is nicknamed Johnny Bible. Rebus believes there is a connection between the two murderers. Rebus must work hard to solve these ca...more
Matthias Verschueren
The reason for reading this book, is because I liked The Knots and Crosses story. Again, there was a nice plot in this book. There are a lot of links between different people. That's what makes it interesting but also a bit difficult to understand.

I liked the story, but in my opinion the book has too many pages. I mean that there are too many pages without any relevant information. I couldn't find any links until page 350 I think. Then the story became more clear. But it was a little bit disapp...more
Deborah Stallaert
I have read the detective novel Black and Blue from crime/thriller writer Ian Rankin. To be honest I think it was not so easy to read. He use specific words in the police terms and not everybody will understand everything. The beginning of the story is a bit long and nothing special happens and you do not really understand what happens in the book. Because Sometimes I had to read a chapter twice before I understood it. But then from page 65 it begins to be more exiting.

But actually the more I re...more
Cedric Noens
Black and Blue – a chilling story

The British crime writer, Ian Rankin, surpasses himself with his gripping, first class novel “Black and Blue”. During the whole crime story he knows how to attract your attention. He describes how Bible John and his copycat killer, frightens 3 Scottish cities. Inspector John Rebus is in charge of the four homicides, committed by one killer. But Rebus himself becomes a suspect.

This easily reading masterpiece contains a lot of descriptions. It seems like you are wa...more
There were times where this book was very intense and hard to put down, although there were also times the book dragged on a bit, I found it to be an engaging.

The author did a good job at setting up the plot line, linking things together and creating a solid story There was a lot to the story, including background information and constantly building the plot to make it a very exciting read at times. I did find that some parts were predictable, but others were a complete surprise for me, as cert...more
The opening setting for this Ian Rankin novel is the sixties and seventies in Glasgow, Scotland where a man dubbed "Bible John" murdered three women he met in a local ballroom and took an item from each for a souvenir. He was never caught and now a copycat is at work. He is called Bible Johnny and he has also murdered three women. John Rebus would be perfect to investigate this case, but he has been shunted to aside to one of Edinburgh's toughest suburbs after he had a run-in with a crooked seni...more
Not the best Rebus story, but only because he gets everything right this time. Rebus not only outwits serial killers, drug dealers and half the oil industry, but the combined wits of about 3 Scottish police forces. The main killer does get away in the end - just 1 step ahead of Rebus - to show that in life the police cannot always get their man even when they know who it is they want (and they may even have enough evidence to convict).
Unusually Rebus spends a lot of his time outside Edinburgh i...more
Inspector Rebus is in trouble again. Nothing new about that. This time he's suspected of complicity in faking evidence in a murder investigation long years before when he was still new to being a copper. The subsequently convicted murderer went on to become a noted writer while in prison and gained sympathy for his claims of innocence. Now an investigation into the long ago case is being reopened. The officer who "found" the evidence in the case is recently dead of suicide and the only one left...more
Peter Kobryn
A welcome, and now traditional, holiday time return to Ian Rankin and another of his Rankin opus. This is the twelfth of this titles that I have read and this was an intense, complex & enjoyable book.

Rebus is caught in the middle three, apparently unconnected, threads. He is seconded to a closing police station, finds himself under journalistic & police scrutiny when a high profile prisoner commits suicide after continuing well publicized claims of innocence following his conviction 20y...more
Recommended by my wife, and I liked it, it was a definite page turner, but didn't feel it excelled really. I thought there was a neat idea with the two serial killers and one as a character, but I didn't feel there was much to the characters. Rebus seemed a bit stereotyped as the good cop with problems like not following the law and drinking too much. Other than that I didn't feel there was much too him, but I'm also willing to rack that up to the fact that this is apparently the 8th Rebus novel...more
Joyce Lagow
Another grimy, gritty book, with much more of the Scots language in it making it difficult to follow at times.[return][return]The plot is complex, involving a current serial killer who is copycatting a never-caught one of 25 years previous (the latter based on a real serial killer, Bible John). Rebus becomes obsessed with both. Yet at the same time, he is investigating the murder of an offshore oil rig worker. Along with carrying out these investigations, which take him from Ediburg to Glasgow t...more
This was the first crime/mystery genre book I think I have ever read. Whilst backpacking I decided to consciously try to read stuff I wouldn't normally touch. This big idea ocurred to me in New Zealand, so I went and bought an Ian Rankin book, thinking I might as well go big and popular.

I reckoned without being stuck in the written-in-english-bookless deserts of South America, where all I can lay my hands on are bloody crime books.

What I found most notable about the book was actually Rankin's ow...more
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Goodreads Librari...: 2070423247 2 15 Sep 01, 2012 10:22AM  
  • The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse, #13)
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  • Malice Aforethought
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  • Exile (Gartnethill, #2)
  • One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night
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AKA Jack Harvey.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.

Ian Rankin has been elected a...more
More about Ian Rankin...
Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1) Exit Music (Inspector Rebus, #17) Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2) Let it Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7) The Complaints

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“Chialer, c'était bon quand on perdait au foot, qu'on vous racontait des histoires d'animaux héroïques, ou en entendant "Flower of Scotland" après l'heure de fermeture.” 1 likes
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