The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus, #9)
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The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus #9)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  4,681 ratings  ·  155 reviews
Drugs. Extortion. Slavery. Organized crime is fighting for a hold on John Rebus's peaceful Scotland. And when Rebus rescues a young Bosnian girl forced into prostitution, he breaks a policeman's golden rule to never get personally involved in a case. Add to that the hunt for an elderly Nazi accused of slaughtering an entire French village, and Rebus wonders just how evil h...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 1998)
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Another excellent Ian Rankin novel that ranks high for me among the other books I've read in this genre. The character of John Rebus continues to appeal; his keen awareness of his shortcomings and failures and his unwavering loyalty to those he cares about and sense of duty to right, however possible, the wrongs of the world, make for continuously entertaining reading. This story focuses on gang wars and the collateral damage of such activity. It places Rebus in the interesting position of align...more
I love Rankin novels -- if no other reason the setting of Edinburgh and his attractive hero. But I thought this one was overly complicated. With Japanese and Russian gangsters, Nazi war criminals, trafficked prostitutes, pensioners ferrying drugs, hit and run accidents, and the usual family troubles, one wonders where Rankin was going with this one. I would have liked it better I think if he'd really built on one of these themes in more depths. For example, drawing together the Eastern European...more
James Smith
I'm reminded of why I love Rebus.

...A tough, uncompromising cop who doesn't always (ie never) plays things by the book butGoddammithegetsresults!! Maybe once he entered the force with illusions of a better world but by now his cynicism is ingrained. He doesn't care about pleasing his bosses, he doesn't care about playing nice, this loose cannon just cares about what's right, even if the line between good and bad is so fine, it's invisible. Unable to take a break from his work, his only respite...more
Shirley Schwartz
Ian Rankin's writing ranks right up there with Colin Dexter and Reginald Hill in my opinion. I am a great fan of this genre of mystery and this is probably the best book that I've read so far that depicts gang rivalries and outright gang wars. Rebus finds himself drawn right into the middle of the biggest gang war that his city of Edinburgh has ever seen. This to me is Rankin's best novel so far in this series. I can only hope that the others that follow will maintain this high standard. I could...more
You don't have to read the Rebus books in order since Rankin gives you the situation/time for each one. Sammy (Samantha) is 24 in this and has a journalist boyfriend who is researching a book on criminal history. In the course of his work on a wannabe crime lord Rebus meets a prostitute from Sarajevo. She speaks no English and this creates problems later in the novel. At the same time Rebus is looking into the possibility that a retired university professor is actually a former Nazi hiding out f...more
Kathleen Hagen
The Hanging Garden, by Ian Rankin, a-minus, Narrated by Michael Page, Produced by Brilliance Audio, downloaded from

Rebus becomes involved in trying to solve the problem of whether an elderly German male is really a Nazi criminal saved after the war and allowed to live in England. He also becomes involved in what has the likelihood of becoming a gang war between his old nemesis and a younger newer player on the field. This new gang, nastier than the other one, is involved with slaver...more
Chuck Slack
Another strong book in the series. I enjoy how Mr. Rankin incorporates several storylines that seem to be exclusive but tie together in the end. The Hanging Garden certainly does this well. A great read again! I highly recommend this series.
Not plausible. Japanese, Russian, Scottish gangsters with a possible WW2 war criminal in the background ...
Annoying and silly
This ninth book in the Rebus series finds our hero, never much of a team player, walking a dangerous line between the law and the bad guys. He is on the verge of collusion with the enemy in the name of seeing justice done, if that’s what it takes. This one is a little disjointed as there are three story lines: the human trafficking of refugees from Sarajevo, the suspected Nazi war criminal hiding under a new identity, and the hit and run incident involving Rebus’ daughter. Who would’ve thought t...more
Rebus' daughter Sammy is hit by a car and the DI cannot help but think it may be linked to a case he is working on, but which one? Rebus is simultaneously investigating whether a octogerian is a former Nazi and attempting to stave off a gang war. To succeed Rebus the still sober detective brings together a cast of characters including Jack Morton, members of the major crime squad, special branch and his frenemy Big Ger. Meanwhile Patience reappears in his life and we find out just how much he lo...more
Inspector Rebus can't help getting personally involved in his cases, but when he rescues a Bosnian refugee who has been forced into being a prostitute, his personal involvement reaches a new high water mark. The girl bears an uncanny resemblance to his daughter, Sammy. Rebus has to find a way to help her.

Meantime, Edinburgh has become a battleground for two rival bad guys and their gangs and it seems that there may be some foreign groups mixed in as well. As if that were not enough to keep him b...more
Peter Kobryn
An enjoyable tradition is the annual reading of a Rebus novel while on holiday and the Hanging Garden fulfilled this role this year very well.

Rattled through in two days this was an engrossing complex story and possibly one of the best of the Rebus series that I have read to date.

A number of significant plot themes are developed, many of them sufficient for a novel of their own – the growing turf war between big Ger Cafferty and the new kid on the block, the War Crimes investigation that Rebus...more
Another intricate mystery from Rankin starring Rebus.
The hanging garden of the title may refer to Babylon, but it also refers to a war crime the dogged detective has been assigned to look into. Is the old German who takes care of the graves at the local cemetery the same man who took part in the hanging of the town leaders and the massacre of more than 700 residents of a French village during World Two.
He also decides to protect a Bosnian woman brought into Edinburgh illegally as a lady of night...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Darcy
by Ian Rankin, published in 1998.

This is the ninth Inspector Rebus novel and is not less fantastic than the last eight. In this volume we get to see more of Rebus’s family relationships, and it’s interesting to say the least.

Maybe this is a strange comparison, but I find Rebus akin to Captain Kirk in that their first loves are not other people, but a Starship in Kirk’s case or the cases in Rebus’.

There is a new player in Rebus’s town, and he is acting the bigshot. He is Tommy Telford, cool as a...more
Sundarraj Kaushik
Slowly Ian Rankin is making inroads into my reading habit and I am beginning to appreciate his writing. Though it comes nowhere close to the class of a John Le Carre or possibly even a Alistair McLean, Ian Rankin has his charm and style even though he limits himself to Edinburgh.

The Hanging Garden is a decent read for people who have developed a taste for Ian Rankin. Nothing untoward, nothing dramatic and like the town he describes is a quiet book.

The book is about gang rivalry in Edinburgh betw...more
Nach etwa zwei Dritteln, ins Buch vertieft, fand ich: Wow, was für ein toller, erstklassiger Krimi!
Kurz vor dem Ende, auf die Geschichte zurückblickend: Naja, doch da und dort etwas dick aufgetragen und nicht sehr plausibel. Auch war da und dort für die Auflösung ein „Kurzschluss“ nötig, um das Buch auf unter 500 Seiten zu halten.

Aber dann hat die Geschichte auf den letzten Seiten die Kurve doch noch gekriegt, die wichtigsten Fäden wurden zu Ende verfolgt, und ich bin im Ganzen wieder zur ersten...more
This book follows a recent theme in the Rebus novels about his family and friends taking collateral damage as he slogs through his cases and generally really angers people. In this book we have two stories that loosely connect to each other. The main line is a battle between a young mover who is trying to take over Cafferty's territory while he is prison. (For those of you who haven't read many of the Rebus novels there is a connection between Rebus and Cafferty that is hard to describe). The se...more
Paula Dembeck
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas Whyte

This Rebus novel got rave reviews in a couple of places, but I was not completely satisfied with it. It seemed more a novel of gangland politics than of police investigation; there is a horribly bungled police raid at one point which emphasises the relative powerlessness of the keepers of law in this story. There is a character who is a Bosnian woman victim of sex trafficking, but I felt that crucial details of her background didn't mesh with what little...more
Ole Phillip
I love it when Rebus is playing his dark and dirty games, borderline or over the line in terms of breaking the law himself and joining forces with the underworld of Edinburgh. This novel is great, it just reads like nothing and even if I think the plot is stretching a few facts and speculating at the unending willingness of the authorities to look through past crimes as long as the bad guys work for us kind of (A bit too far fetched some of it, or at least I innocently continue to believe)
After reading this Rankin John Rebus thriller I am totally hooked on his writing. Could not wait to make an excuse to run errands in the car while I listened to the fantastic voice of Michael Page reading the mystery. Rankin is a skillful writer who did an outstanding job of combining the setting, the characters, and the plot of infiltration of organized crime into Scotland into a thoughtful thriller. I also learned a great deal about World War II war crimes and the account of the slaughter of t...more
From cover:

"Detective John Rebus-as tough and complex as they come-wages his own private war with the bottle in a Scotland as smokey, seductive, and multi-layered as a single-malt. And in Ian Rankin's growing body of work, readers can always find gripping suspense, a clever mystery, and raw, wry portraits of the human condition.

Drugs. Extortion. Slavery. Organized crime is fighting for a hold on John Rebus's peaceful Scotland. And when Rebus rescues a young Bosnian girl forced into prostitution,...more

Detective Inspector John Rebus has been assigned the task of investigating a suspected war criminal and feels out of the action until a dispute between upstart Tommy Telford and Big Ger Cafferty's gang soon gives Rebus an escape clause. Telford is known to have close ties to a man nicknamed Mr. Pink Eyes, a brutal gangster running a lucrative business bringing Chechen refugees into Britain to work as prostitutes.

Rebus takes under his wing a distraught Bosnian call girl that he feels sorry for....more
Wry wit, unforgettable characters, and snappy dialogue make Rankin very easy to read.

I fell in love with Inspector Rebus through the British TV series. Lemme tell you: the books are so much better! Rankin is a master at pacing, throwing surprises and curveballs, connecting the dots, and saying MORE with LESS--sometimes in a surprisingly elegant way.

Rebus is such a flawed, messed up character. You never know what he's going to do next. Plus, I really love how some moments are punctuated in Rebu...more
Diane Dickson

These are so much more than detective/crime fiction. Although the plot was multilayered and intriguing that isn't all that is on offer here. We are learning so very much about Rebus, he is so very fractured and disturbed as a father a husband/boyfriend and friend. He feel things deeply and he mourns and bleeds on such a human level. SPOILER He is beaten up yet again in this one, poor thing, but his anguish when his daughter is injured and his guilt in dealing with his w...more
Mike Gabor
The ninth entry in the John Rebus series. We have a lot going on in this book. Rebus is at first trying to ascertain if a retired professor is a wanted Nazi war criminal. He also is trying to prevent an all out gang war between Tommy Telford and Big Ger Cafferty. Also, while trying to protect a Bosnian prositute his daughter, Sammy, is run down by a hit and run driver. Was it an accident or a message for Rebus to back off, and if so, from which investigation?

I enjoyed this book because of the fe...more
Derek Baldwin
Whizzes along at a cracking pace, just about managing to juggle the multiple story lines, and Rebus really is put through an emotional wringer in this one. As the story draws to a close we see Rebus able to forgive someone who has inadvertently wronged him, surfacing from something of a nightmare period in his life. Good stuff and my pile of unread Rankins may not be down to ten or so....
A strong, enjoyable novel; easily the best of the Rebuses so far (by which I mean "so far of the ones I've read, in my chronological-order quest to read all of them". I think this is the ninth). As always, the plotting is impressive, but here he takes the time to develop real depth, and handles themes with a much lighter touch. The dialogue is much more natural - there was something stilted about it in the earlier novels - and relationships between characters feel much more organic. The story it...more
What is it that connects an alleged Nazi war criminal, a Bosnian prostitute, Japanese crime lords and a gang war in Edinburgh? John Rebus of course. John is mostly sober in this book and is a tiny bit more likable. His daughter Sammy is hit by a motorist in the beginning of the book and John reads it as retaliation by one of the gangs in Edinburgh. John, being John, makes a pact with the devil in the guise of Big Ger Cafferty - gang leader whom John put in prison. We get to see more of John's ea...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
More about Ian Rankin...
Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1) Exit Music (Inspector Rebus, #17) Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8) Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2) Let it Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)

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