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The Hanging Garden

(Inspector Rebus #9)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  9,420 ratings  ·  327 reviews
Tough and complex, Detective John Rebus gets personally involved in a case when he rescues a young Bosnian girl forced into prostitution. Add to that the hunt for an elderly Nazi accused of slaughtering a French village, and Rebus wonders just how evil humans can be. But when his daughter is mortally injured, he just might make a deal with the devil to find the culprit. ...more
Paperback, 411 pages
Published 2005 by Orion (first published 1998)
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Chrystyna Not strictly necessary, but will make more sense if you read them in order. Having said that, the first couple are not his best. The books and the…moreNot strictly necessary, but will make more sense if you read them in order. Having said that, the first couple are not his best. The books and the character of Rebus mature. If you've started with this one, just keep going in order from here. (less)

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'In the Hanging Garden/No one sleeps'
It's been a while since I read a Rebus novel. And this was another good one. I love DI John Rebus, always fighting and struggling with the temptations in life (especially alcohol), always fighting the darkest crime in Edinburgh and Scotland, always in a fight with his superiors. Always lonely in love.... Great character, always solid stories by Mr. Rankin. 4 stars solid. I love Edinburgh, but Rankin shows the dark and gritty sides of the city too.... Rankin
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad read though the Rebus/Rankin combination is rarely bad! This one did feel a bit dated compared to some. It was the surprise that "Eastern European women were being traffic to be prossies" that made it feel that way. It's not a bad book and given some of the content important to the series as a whole. Definitely recommended for those reading the series.
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
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 ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had several main threads: Nazi war crimes; Drug wars between major gang factions; personal tragedies for Rebus. There are some truly gnarly criminals in this book and Rebus does not escape physical torture in the midst of gang warfare. His daughter is the victim of a hit and run and the uncertain outcome of her condition hangs in the balance, forcing Rebus to make a deal with Cafferty to find the driver. I don't want to spoil the book for others so I will stop there.
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this 9th book in The Rebus series, John Rebus is at his most humane. His daughter is a target of an accident. He is in the midst of a drug lord war.. who are killing a lot of innocents and targeting each others' properties. Rebus is balancing all those, and on the prowl to find and hunt a Nazi war criminal who is a professor in a university.

A shorter novel than its predecessor, but straight to the point in its noir-ness and crisp dark prose.

Rebus is becoming one of those characters that one
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never saw it coming, but somehow mystery became my genre of choice. I read very little horror or fantasy anymore and, as I’ve written elsewhere, I’ve only dabbled minimally in science-fiction. I’ve never read a western I liked – unless we’re going to count Cormac McCarthy as a writer of westerns, in which case, okay, I like him – and I suppose most of my reading fits into that very nebulous non-genre of literary fiction. You know: T.C. Boyle, Russell Banks, Dave Eggers, Nick Hornby, Chuck ...more
The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus, #9) by Ian Rankin.

Inspector Rebus is entangled in a web of the Scottish underground. thug against thug-vice against vice. a war of the underworld that has the capability of reaching far into the civilian population. Cafferty, Rebus's old nemesis, is locked away thanks to Rebus...but it's Rebus who's been paying him visits. Big Ger's knowledge of the who and the why is essential if Rebus is to get to the bottom of the war elite among the worst criminals among
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"He looked at the city sometimes and saw a beauty his cynicism couldn't touch."

I really like this series. I can't tell the past storylines apart, but I always enjoy them while I'm reading. It's basically exactly like your favourite gritty tv crime series. Plus the fantastic bonus of it being set in Scotland. The whole disgruntled, washed-up policeman thing works so well with Esinburgh as its backdrop. The plot this time might be one of my favourites. It has organised crime, but also reflected on
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: u-k, crime-fiction
#9 in Rankin's Rebus series. The main character has gotten more fleshed out, as well as his musical tastes (one-liners from mostly classic rock songs are sprinkled in). Several stories going on at once in this one; his daughter and estranged wife figure prominently in one; two gangsters, one newcomer and the charismatic but deadly Cafferty. The latter is in prison and his cat-and-mouse relationship with Rebus is nothing new to this series.

A man wanted by Nazi hunters, a Bosnian girl forced into
Erin L
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hanging Garden is a bit of a no-holds-barred police procedural. Following the typical gritty, dark Edinburgh that Ian Rankin gives readers in previous books in the series, this one sees Rebus digging himself deeper and deeper into trouble. His life is collapsing around him and decisions he makes throughout this book don't stop the carnage.

He's still a decent anti-hero. He makes mistakes and we see the consequences affect him. The people around him truly care about him, but he forces them to
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid book from Ian Rankin in the Inspector Rebus series. This is the 9th Inspector Rebus book, and Rebus' personal life comes more in to play than it ever has before. There are several plots going on: returning gang leader Big Ger and his turf war, Rebus' daughter Samantha getting hit, and a supposed Nazi war criminal. This book keeps you wondering if these plot lines will intertwine and how it'll finish out. The pacing of the book was great, and there was always some action going on to ...more
Aug 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
Rebus couldn't get so excited. The whole enterprise had shown him a simple truth: no vacuum. Where you had society, you had criminals. No belly without an underbelly.

It's just that kind of chipper optimism that keeps readers coming back to the Rebus books, isn't it? The events in The Hanging Garden sure aren't going to change his mind. There are three investigations at the core of this book (although another is referred to repeatedly) --
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018, audio-2018
Detective Inspector Rebus is buried under a pile of paperwork generated by his investigations into a suspected war criminal. But an escalating dispute between the upstart Tommy Telford and Big Ger Cafferty's gang gives Rebus an escape clause. Telford is known to have close links with a Newcastle gangster nicknamed Mr Pink Eyes - a Chechen bringing refugees into Britain as prostitutes. When Rebus takes under his wing a distraught Bosnian call girl, it gives him a personal reason to make sure ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Frances by: Joanna Warrens
I used to be a great Ian Rankin fan, but somehow wandered away from him. This book was chosen for my mystery reading group by another member and I found that I had a copy in one of my many unread boxes.
It is everything one expects from this really good Edinburgh series - criminals and cops, murders and robberies, angst and love; and this time, even a little Nazi-hunter intrigue. John Rebus is a bit different in this outing, however; because his daughter is critically ill in hospital and because
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Feb 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story line and character development. Rebus is great.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Rebus is trying to lay low but he just can’t help it…
Walking a visitor to the door of the station he hears a WPC shouting for help. The young woman she’s brought in for suspected prostitution is shoving toilet paper down her own throat. She looks like his daughter, Sam, so Rebus helps. She’s Bosnian and doesn’t even speak English but he finds a translator and convinces the Police to offer protection. She might be able to give evidence against a local crime lord Telford. He’s young, smart and
Alex Rich
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rebus-series
This is next book in the series after the critically successfull 'Black and Blue', it's an understatement to say that my anticipations were high. Although, I was actually quite nervous. I was aware that the main plot was a gangland style plot and that is not a plot-type that I'm particualrly interested in. Thankfully Ian Rankin in bloody brilliant, and 'The Hanging Garden' turned out to be a gripping, intelligent and heart-wrenching thriller!

John Rebus continues to a brilliant
Peter Kobryn
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
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
James Smith
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Anne Fenn
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction, rebus
I'm so pleased to finally reread this book. It fills in a lot - what happened to damage Sammy, why is Jack Morton in Rebus' past. There's a long involved plot concerning a number of rival bad guys from near and far wanting to take over the Edinburgh crime scene. An important angle for Ian Rankin was the hunting down of Nazi criminals living comfortably in the UK. Rebus is mad with fear and rage over the hit run accident experienced by Sammy. He's caught up in a web of criminal warfare. There's a ...more
Hannah Polley
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, fiction, ian-rankin
It has been ages since I have read an Inspector Rebus book and I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I used to. However, my fears were groundless, as the book kept me gripped throughout.

I did struggle to remember what had happened before but I am very pleased that Rebus has now quit the booze. I am wondering if they will revisit the AIDs storyline in the next book.

In this book, Rebus' daughter is the victim of a hit and run and Rebus is trying to figure out who is reponsible but he
Shirley Schwartz
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first Ian Rankin book I read was far too gritty for my taste so I have avoided him for the past few years. This month I decided to give him another try and I'm glad I did. The prose is tightly written and the plot was exceptional. Rankin's characters are real people, and while the book is short, it definitely gives value for money.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Rebus's daughter is struck by a hit and run driver he vows to find the culprit while at the same getting embroiled in a war between rival gangs trying to gain a foothold in the area. More activity on the grittier side of Scottish life as he tries to find solutions to both the problems.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
War crimes. Drugs. Gang war. Yakuza. Rebus is sober. Someone will get hurt.
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-1000
5*, wasn't sure at the beginning, needn't have worried it's a good Rebus.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I wasn't in the mood, but this time round Rebus' Edinborough had just Too Many Baddies (Big Ger, stuck in prison but still able to run his show AND some new punk from Glasgow AND that new guy's old rival from Glasgow AND some Chechins or maybe Bosnians running prossies AND the Japanese Yakuza AND an aged suspected Nazi warcrimes guy AND the war crimes deniers AND a hit and run driver who actually turned out to be 12-yr-old j.d.from the slums) and I just: A-couldn't keep all the threads ...more
Feb 02, 2017 added it
Rankin continues to explore the 'overworld' of crime. People tend to think of criminals as easily recognizable skeets, some pretending to a degree of social sophistication. As Rankin's oeuvre develops, Inspector Rebus discovers with increasing frequency that the truly terrifying criminals are those in bespoke suits wishing to preserve their own connection to power. And coincidence is also ironically significant. The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley.
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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

Other books in the series

Inspector Rebus (1 - 10 of 22 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)
  • Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus, #10)
  • Set in Darkness (Inspector Rebus, #11)
“Strip the veneer, and the world had moved only a couple of steps from the cave.” 0 likes
“But you used to know a good thing when you saw it.

Trouble is, that’s never what I see when I look in the mirror.

What do you see? He looked at her.

Sometimes I don’t see anything at all.”
More quotes…