Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Black And Blue by Ian Rankin (St Martins Paperbacks 1997)

"Somehow, fuelled by sheer terror, Allan Mitchison got to his feet, still tied to the chair. The kitchen window was in front of him. It had been boarded up, but the boards had been torn away. The frame was still there, but only fragments of the actual window panes remained. The two men were busy with their tools. He stumbled between them and out of the window.

"They didn't wait to watch him fall. They just gathered up the tools, folded the plastic sheet into an untidy bundle, put everything back in the Adidas bag, and zipped it shut."


Anonymous said...

A Rankin fan, I presume? Read all the Rebus bks and he still ranks (pardon th pun)top crime fiction writer for. He can write a well crafted story without having the usual distractions of blood and gore (though I like my blood and gore like the next person..).

Val McDermid, on the other hand, when she runs out of a storyline she reverts to gore as a form of distraction ("run out of ideas, so here is some blood an torture to be getting on").

Like I said I don't mind me blood and guts but I do also like it to revolve around a good story. You know, some meat on the bone (apols for the bad pun!)

Highlander said...

Completely off-topic but many, many thanks for the continued pointing-and-laughing at John Terry shenanigans. Much appreciated and long may it continue. Oh, and if you can post a picture of the glorious Reds with the European Cup that would be good too.

Darren said...


Yep, I'm a Rankin fan and (I think) I've read all the Rebus novels. (I can't keep up sometimes, he's so prolific.)

Black and Blue was the first Rebus novel I read - and I understand that it was his break out novel - and as I stumbled across it again recently second hand at Bluestockings bookshop in Manhattan, I thought I'd read it again after ten or so years.

I did enjoy it, but my slight qualifications would be that the Rebus wasn't completely fully formed as the character I now know and love (despite it being the 8th novel in the series?) I think Rebus as a character came into its own with the latter novels. I think at that point he was still the stereotypical out of step cop that you've seen in a hundred tv shows or detective novels.

I also felt a wee bit uneasy about the fact that 'Bible John' was a character in the book. I can't put my finger on it exactly but giving a fictional voice to a real life murderer who was never caught (or conclusively identified for that matter) left a wee bit of a sour taste in the mouth.

I'm just glad that the tv adaptations of the Rebus novels have always been crap, 'cos I don't have to sit and squirm my way through a tv version of the novel.

If Tartan Noir is your thing, you really must check out Denise Mina. Her Garnethill Trilogy and the Paddy Meehan series are simply wonderful. (Though I do expecially like Garnethill and its main character, Maureen O'Connell). I can't spread on enough superlatives to express how much I love her novels.

And in keeping with the politics of your blog, I'm sure you'll have a special place in your heart for some feminist crime fiction. ;-)

J.J said...

The Rebus books are wonderful. I have read them all but the last one which I keep putting off. I don't want to face the fact that Rebus really is about to retire!

Note to self - he's not real Jane.

Darren said...

Note to Jane:

I bet Rebus makes more comebacks than Maradona.