Sunday, 8 July 2012
Rebus to report, this time number 8: Black and Blue. On this occasion, Rebus is pitted against a copycat serial killer, gangs in Glasgow and the fledgling drug trade in Aberdeen's booming oil industry. As usual, the book's an eminently readable tale, that both piggy-backs on the earlier novels while solidly building on the foundation they provide. And also as usual - irritatingly, repetitively so - Rankin again manages to turn out a better book than its already great predecessors, by turns clever, alarming and wry. I actually found this one even more of a step up in quality than I've gotten used to. One of the distinguishing features this time around, and one that Rankin handles very well, is the tying of the tale to a real case, that of the late-1960s serial killer Bible John. Rankin does a great job fleshing out one of the theories about this killer's disappearance, and nicely weaves this - and him - into the story, ultimately pitting Rebus and Bible John in a race to track down the copycat, Johnny Bible. I also really quite liked the flitting around between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, as well as the jaunt to the Shetlands and the Broch of Mousa. Anyway, roll on the next novel - will Rankin ever stumble?