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Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus, #10)
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Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus #10)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,863 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
When an author is successful as Rankin has been with his tough and idiomatic Scottish thrillers, a problem sets in after several books: how to keep the formula fresh.

Rankin has delivered a powerful series of books featuring his beleaguered Detective Inspector John Rebus, and while never less than gripping, a certain tiredness seemed to be setting in. Thankfully, Dead Soul

Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 2001 by Orion (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike Gabor
Jul 25, 2013 Mike Gabor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british-mystery
I haven't read a Rebus novel that I haven't enjoyed but this one is so far the best. Rebus is really multi-tasking in this one. He's outing a pedophile, looking for the son of an old flame, also trying to figure out what's going on with a recently released killer. But, this book is much more than Rebus trying to solve these crimes. We learn about Rebus' teen years, the girl that got away, the friend he felt that he let down. It really shows why Rebus is the way he is today. It also shows him won ...more
Apr 03, 2015 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

As a high school teacher, there were many times a student's behavior would become crystal clear after meeting his parents. I'd run into problems with work ethic or attitude or whatever, and I'd think, "What's the deal with this kid?" Then I'd meet Mom and/or Dad in a parent conference and immediately realize, "Oh, of course that's why he [fill in the blank]." It would be some sort of weird mirror image, where son's classroom surliness was reflected in Dad's obvious displeasure at comin
Aug 07, 2014 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Another enjoyable read in this excellent series. Detective John Rebus is one of the best characters in detective fiction today. Maddening and likable all at once, his many flaws only serve to make him one of the more believable serial characters. The plot in this one moves along at a great pace beginning with Rebus heartlessly and selfishly "outing" a paedophile trying to turn his life around. Rebus does try to redeem himself by trying to help the unfortunate individual in the end but never over ...more
Nov 18, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been awhile since I read a Rebus mystery and it was a welcome return to his world. Gritty, interesting mystery peopled with an varied, excellent cast, headed by cynical, war weary Detective Inspector John Rebus of Edinburgh's crime squad. A variety of issues/ possible crimes featured in this story, but while there were twists and turns, the stories seemed believable. I enjoy Rebus very much; a character perfect in his imperfections, questioning whether being a police officer remains viable, ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
John Rebus is such a great character. I wish he wasn't such a tortured soul, but then he wouldn't be the same detective, I guess. Much is going on in this book, and you are not sure of how everything resolves until the end, if even then.
Aman Mittal
Mar 08, 2015 Aman Mittal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my fifteenth John Rebus novel, and before starting this book I had a question in my mind. When an author as successful as Rankin has been with his tough and idiomatic Scottish thrillers, a problem sets in after several books: how to keep the formula fresh?

One thing is that, after reading a John Rebus' book, I have an anguished feeling of visiting Edinburgh, see all those places describe the author with my own eyes. The series is set in Edinburgh and Rankin displays an unnerving knowledge
pierlapo  quimby
Mi ero lasciato invogliare dal commento di Ellroy: "il fondatore e il re incontrastato del noir scozzese" (che, in effetti, col senno di poi, lascia il tempo che trova).
Molto tempo dopo ho letto in un'intervista che l'unica ragione che spinge Ellroy a commentare i libri altrui è il fatto che viene pagato profumatamente per farlo.
Aug 13, 2014 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: most recently, Claude
Truly one of the very best Rebus books.
I remembered part-way through that I had read it several years ago, at a time when I was preoccupied and didn't give it my full attention. It needs that since the plot is complex, lots of characters, many locations in Edinburgh and the surrounding area to keep track of. But Rankin has done a fantastic job of fleshing all of them out so that, if you are attentive, it all makes perfect sense.
I did really want to SHAKE one of the characters - the poor newsman
Nov 15, 2010 Dorothy rated it it was amazing
After recently visiting the Edinburgh of Isabel Dalhousie in "The Careful Use of Compliments", I decided to linger a while. I've always liked Edinburgh, but I felt that I wanted to see a different side of it than the all thought and little action world of Isabel. Well, John Rebus is just the chap for that! No one could accuse him of living in a world of little action. As for thought, Rebus thinks a lot and usually gets to the answer to his problems in the end, but he is also known to act hastily ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Ever since I saw the BBC documentary charting Ian Rankin writing a novel I consider these tales in a different way. In that documentary Ian said that he sometimes gets to page 430 and realizes that there was some other person who "could have done it". No longer do I expect the tale to unravel in a planned way and that only adds to the enjoyment of Rankin's books. In this book one of Rebus's pals leaps to his death (or does he?)from an Edinburgh landmark at the same time that a time served pedoph ...more
Dec 27, 2012 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Peggy by: Judith Burke recommended Rankin in general, not this particular book
This is my first Ian Rankin mystery, and I have ended up enjoying it. I've been a fan of British crime fiction for a while, but admittedly women writers like Jacqueline Winspeare, Dorothy L Sayers and Louise Penny (OK, Canadian). I just happened to end up with a second hand copy of Dead Souls first, following a friend expert in the genre recommended Rankin - afterwards discovering that a few readers think this one doesn't meet his usual standards. I will have to try other earlier ones to compare ...more
Feb 15, 2016 RJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, u-k, crime
Strong entry in the Rebus series. A released pedophile becomes the target of Inspector Rebus, but things may not be as black and white as they seem. An old flame from Fife sees Rebus about her missing son who disappeared after clubbing in Edinburgh. To add to things a sadistic criminal is exported back from the U.S. to Scotland, and becomes a deadly nemesis to Rebus.

Fifth in the series that I've read (not in order) and here are some other things of note:

- Rebus' lady friend Dr. Patience is flesh
Diane Dickson
May 28, 2013 Diane Dickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an even more tortured Inspector Rebus, indeed as the series has progressed I feel that I have watched him descend into a sort of hell largely of his own creation. He feels things deeply and in this one there are so many barbs coming at him from many angles that it is difficult to believe he is still left standing.

The book is very topical at the moment exploring as it does paedophilia amongst other transgressions and it is interesting that Mr Rankin says that he seeks to change Rebus' v
Jill Hutchinson
Sep 04, 2012 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it
The Rebus story moves on and just gets darker with each book. These are not "feel good" stories and the continuing characters in the series have weaknesses and secrets and the ghosts of the past are haunting them all. In this entry,as in most of the Rebus books, there is a lot going on and none of it provides easy answers for Rebus and his mates. He is assigned to watch the comings and goings of a recently released and very clever serial killer who is also suspected in the murder of the niece of ...more
Shirley Schwartz
Aug 22, 2013 Shirley Schwartz rated it really liked it
I found this book's plot to be a bit loose and disjointed and it left some unanswered questions. It also had me questioning how we got to a particular point at times. But the Rebus character is still great. I like the way Rankin depicts his uncertainties and foibles. While we read of these we never lose sight of the fact that he is a very brilliant copper. I didn't much care for one of the villains in this book and I didn't like how that particular thread was left at the end of the book because ...more
There is a lot going on in this book, maybe too much, but I found the various story lines to be quite compelling and though Rebus seems to be going through a particularly dark period this was one of the better books in the series so far.
Oct 31, 2012 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost gave this 5 stars. Still want to be able to give 1/2 stars. 4 1/2 for sure. My favourite Rebus so far. Ian Rankin just gets better with each story. The brilliance of a Rebus novel is the multiple cases all occuring at once. And just like Rebus, you don't know how or if they fit together. What I enjoyed even more about Dead Souls was the further developemnt of the character of Rebus himself with a lot more of his background revealed than in previous stories. An excellent story but if you'r ...more
Apr 27, 2014 Cindy rated it did not like it
Shelves: delete-able
Liked rest of series, not this one. It was read well by Ian Howard, that doesn't save it. Cannot recommend, so won't.
Mar 16, 2012 Manda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I enjoyed this book a lot, probably due to the many story strands that are weaved together. The book isn't an easy read - in part as I am not a non-Scottish person or familiar with Edinburgh, but also beacause there so many stories happening, all including so many people. I did enjoy the exercise of remembering what was happening in each tale, and guessing if there would be any overlap, and if so, where it may occur. Inspector Rebus is also an interesting character, I enjoyed being in his compan ...more
Paula Dembeck
Mar 11, 2015 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rankin weaves four narratives in this tenth addition to the John Rebus series.

Darren Rough is a convicted pedophile who has done his time and been released into a community that has not been advised he is joining them. While he was doing his time, he went to the meetings and attended therapy, so the experts believe he is not at risk to reoffend. Several are trying to help him reintegrate into a society that is disgusted, wary and fearful of these types of criminals.

At the same time, Rebus is cal
Apr 04, 2014 PJ rated it liked it
Dead Souls is the umpteenth outing for Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus, the big hearted (or is that enlarged hearted), romantic, cynical, booze addled, chain smoking outsider, who won't let a case slip away from him, though his personal relationships may.

Rankin sets his story in his semi-fictionalised but ultimately recognisable Edinburgh once more, and as ever, John Rebus' life is about to get very complicated.

I have an interest in crime fiction, though more the hardboiled wit of Dashiell Hammet
Mar 08, 2014 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Edinburgh is a dangerous place with John Rebus around. It starts with a suicide - or is it murder - of a police friend of Rebus. Next, a convicted killer and suspected serial killer is released from prison in the US and returned to his home in Edinburgh. John and a few others are assigned to watch. A reporter decides he needs a good story and takes the killer to a quiet hotel to get his story. The killer is playing psychological games with everyone. He has something to finish. Next, John is call ...more
Fiona A
Apr 01, 2015 Fiona A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only started liking the story when I finished the first half. Not too bad, but I think I prefer Rankin's short stories more compared to his novels. I know I should be reading according to the correct sequence, which is to start from the first Rebus book, but for the time being, this one (the 10th book from the series) is the earliest that I have in my collection.

Rebus dealt with cases of paedophilia in this story. He was generally multitasking--there were about three separate crimes/cases which
Feb 03, 2011 CynthiaA rated it liked it
Shelves: pre-2008
It was ok. Kept my interest. A good beach or airplane mystery. Kinda dark though, but all Ian Rankin books are.
Feb 21, 2012 Mandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
Sucked me straight back into Rebus' world. What a complex and compelling character - and how black is grey?
Margaret Pagnotta
May 22, 2014 Margaret Pagnotta rated it liked it
This book didn't actually end as much as it just ran out of pages. Major things left unresolved.
Mar 09, 2015 Claude rated it it was amazing
The best Rebus I've read. It kept me reading and wanting to know, to the very end.
Ole Phillip
Jun 09, 2014 Ole Phillip rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for Rebus fans. It is far more complex in its plot and still manages to keep you at it without a hitch! For me this is one of the best Rebus novels I have read, and I am looking forward to whatever comes next on my reading list, as I still have a few to read or re-read (read quite a few translated to Danish). In a nutshell, this is one of those I might just pick up and read again in a few years time, it kept me awake at night when I should have been resting and preparing for ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DI Rebus wasn't my favourite character during the early part of this offering. He doesn't believe rehabilitation is the answer whilst I think it is the only answer, although even I admit that some are lost causes. He got better as the tale unfolded. Typically neither of the bad guys got what they deserved. Karma doesn't often enter into Rankin novels.

There were a lot of references to obscure tracks that I, a child of that era, had never heard and which *steps back in shock* are not available on
Paul Smith
Jan 05, 2015 Paul Smith rated it it was amazing
Yet another quality read from Rankin and Rebus, as ever a quality story. Several stories: Involves a serial killer jailed in USA returning to Scotland to write his memoirs, and playing a cat-v-mouse game with Rebus. A colleague of Rebus kills himself and he wants to know why. The son of an old school-friend of Rebus' has gone missing, and she asks to help find her son, the local police not wanting to know. These stories are interwoven beautifully, and the serial killer character is particularly ...more
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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 about Ian Rankin...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Rebus (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)
  • Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2)
  • Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus, #3)
  • Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus, #4)
  • The Black Book (Inspector Rebus, #5)
  • Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus, #6)
  • Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)
  • Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8)
  • The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus, #9)
  • Set in Darkness (Inspector Rebus, #11)

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