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Publisher's Summary

Five years ago, a mysterious fire burned Edinburgh’s seedy Central Hotel to ashes. Long-forgotten and unsolved, the case reappears when a charred body - with a bullet in its head - is found among the ruins. Inspector John Rebus knows that his superiors would prefer he leave things alone. He knows that part of the answer lies somewhere in a cryptic black notebook. And he knows that to solve the case, he’ll have to peel back layer after layer of unspeakable secrets in order to arrive at the truth.
©1993 Ian Rankin (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By connie on 01-04-15

Rebus really gels here

If you are interested in Rebus but not attracted to the whole series, this might be your entry point.

I am rereading/listening to Rebus, in order this time since the unabridged audio of all is now available in my region. This seems to be the novel where Rebus becomes that character some of us love so much, fascist though he can be. Though I usually prefer lighter crime novels with justice for all, Rankin created my favourite detective of all time here.

Michael Page is NOT a favourite narrator of mine so I delayed listening to a couple of his Rankin novel narrations, but he's OK for Rebus - more restrained than in other novels, but he still goes too gruff to distinguish some male characters (less shrill for women than he can be). However, James MacPherson became the voice of Rebus to me, so I feel something missing with Page and others - if MacPherson versions are available to you, get them if you can understand a delightful Scots accent. But skip the abridgements, even with that narrator --they make little sense because too much plot and character is skipped (not to mention setting, a real star of the series' later novels).

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Maine Knitter on 05-10-17

Not my favorite but still good

Not my favorite Rebus story but the writing is so excellent that it overcomes a weaker (in my opinion) story. Rebus is a fabulous character but I got confused by all the other characters in this book. I think that's the one drawback with listening to an audiobook, one can't go back and see the previous paragraphs very easily.

This narration was great. Michael Page is one of my favorites.

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