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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,693 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ian Rankin Narrator: Michael Page Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Inspector Rebus Series Release Date: December 2013 ISBN: 9781480523708
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A murdered oil rig worker. A copycat serial killer dubbed “Johnny Bible.” And a reopened investigation that doesn’t bode well for Detective John Rebus or his mentor, Inspector Lawson Geddes. Rebus’s Scotland, along with his malt-soaked psyche, is riddled with trouble. Now he’s got to tie up the loose ends if he wants to save his job—or live to see another dark Edinburgh day.

“Ian Rankin’s Scottish police procedurals are so gritty you have to pick the shards out of your teeth when you finish one, and Black and Blue is as flinty as they come.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Reading [Ian Rankin] is like watching somebody juggle a dozen bottles of single malt without spilling a drop.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ian Rankin is a novelist of great scope, depth and power and Black & Blue is a dark, intensely evocative and altogether riveting thriller.”

    Jonathan Kellerman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Brilliant...the kind of blistering police procedural that gives the genre a good name....Rankin’s prose is so graceful, the complicated plot so seamless, and the portraits of even minor characters so searing, it makes for an almost flawless performance.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Ian Rankin’s Scottish police procedurals are so gritty you have to pick the shards out of your teeth when you finish one, and Black and Blue is as flinty as they come.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The cases take Rebus to Aberdeen and an oil platform in the North Atlantic, but as usual the main action happens within the mind and soul of Rankin’s meticulously crafted creation.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “A powerfully complex crime novel that offers a panoramic portrait of modern Scotland, from Glasgow gangland to the oil platforms of the North Sea.”

    Mail on Sunday (London)

  • “Rankin excels himself here as Rebus comes of age…a first-rate and gripping novel.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “Rankin’s book is long and complex but rich in character and incident as Rebus dodges his investigators, follows his hunches into some violent confrontations, and explores the strange mid-ocean world of North Sea oil.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Rankin’s dexterity in juggling plots and threats and motives lights up the darkness with a poet's grace. Reading him is like watching somebody juggle a dozen bottles of single malt without spilling a drop.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This is crime fiction at its best.”

    Washington Post Book World, praise for the series

  • “A brilliant series…The work of a master.”

    San Francisco Chronicle, praise for the series

  • Finalist for the 1998 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel
  • Winner of the 1997 CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 2/14/2014

    " If you like hard boiled, hard drinking Scottish detectives then have I got a series for you.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Mclaughlan | 2/10/2014

    " The best of the Rebus books "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 2/7/2014

    " Maybe I'm old fashioned but I like a mystery book to present a mystery. A who-done-it? So many 'mysteries' seem to have the villain pop up out of nowhere therefore giving the reader nothing to go on to solve the crime. I come away vaguely dissatisfied. Like a dinner with a course missing. This falls into that category. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 1/31/2014

    " Good mystery. Took me ages to finish it because I kept getting sidetracked by other books, but it held my interest throughout. I had previously read another book from this serious which was a decent read, but not exactly a great one. This one was a pleasant surprise. A series I'll be reading more from. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Findley | 1/25/2014

    " I read several Rankin books in a row, which means they blur together a bit in terms of plot and characters (he also repeats various characters throughout the series, which adds to the confusion but also makes it a more believable world that Rebus lives in), but that's what happens when you find yourself in a genre you don't know with a narrator you instantly like and a series of plots and ruminations that continue to satisfy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aileen | 1/15/2014

    " A bit of a nostalgic trip for me as this one was partly set in my mum's home town of Aberdeen. Serial killer Bible John has resurfaced as Johnny Bible, or is there a copy-cat? Rebus can't keep his nose out as usual and upsets several police forces as he tries to ferret out the truth. He even gives up the drink and smokes, will that last into the next book?! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/11/2014

    " Another Rebus "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristina | 1/3/2014

    " A really good airplane/vacation read. I quite enjoyed it. Not high-brow literature but certainly entertaining, with intriguing characters and in a country I love. Better than your average pulp/mass market fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 1/1/2014

    " I had read a bad review of this book so had come at it expecting it not to be good. I have enjoyed EVERY book in the John Rebus series & this was no exception. I love Ian Rankin's style of writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen Doerr | 12/20/2013

    " Rebus saw more of his country this time round, Aberdeen and Shetland, which was a refreshing change. I was a bit disappointed in the ending, however. Don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, but some things just didn't add up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Malcolm | 11/23/2013

    " Gripping throughout, really enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Douglas Cook | 11/19/2013

    " Rather dark and complex mystery. Set in Scotland. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ross | 10/25/2013

    " The plot in this Rebus thriller is very complex. I found it best to read this book on vacation, away from my daily distractions.When I did so, I was able to follow all the twists and characters and found this to be one of the most enjoyable in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 8/10/2013

    " This book was written much, much better than Tooth and Nail (the only other Rankin book I've ever read), and I did enjoy it. That being said, it took me forever to read it, as I kept going to sleep... not exactly a suspenseful page-turner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/7/2013

    " Not a bad read. Multiple threads and most of them come together in the end. Disappointed by the apotheosis (x 2) that solved two of the cases, but...still kinda fund to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dwayne Mcintosh | 7/17/2013

    " First book of Rankin's I ever read. Great thriller and started me down the path of reading more of his work. He's a master. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 6/29/2013

    " A little over-plotted, but who doesn't love copycat serial killers in dreary northern Scotland? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roxane | 6/27/2013

    " This may be the best in the series... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Stimpson | 5/18/2013

    " yes rebus on the wagon and deep in it ..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 5/4/2013

    " Another good Rebus book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mckayd229 | 6/23/2012

    " Love this Scottish detective series which I just found out about now that the author has retired this character. Going to start with the 1st and read them all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 6/14/2012

    " another in the Rebus series...see other comments...when I am finally finished this series I will write and extended review of the series and Rebus. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 6/2/2012

    " Good police detective novel, but not great. Primarily liked reading about Scotland locations, most of which I have visited and enjoyed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Didi | 5/28/2012

    " So far, this is the best novel in the Rebus series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ice Bear | 5/26/2012

    " Rebus encounters Oil, Murder and a little bit of crime history. Once again he is the Outsider, travelling up and down the A9 and beyond to the Shetland Isles. We feel the texture of Scotland both beauty and beast. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Howard | 5/22/2012

    " Another good book in the Inspector Rebus series--this time taking Rebus from Edinburgh to Glasgow to Aberdeen. He himself becomes a suspect for a series of grisly murders, making his investigation much more complicated. "

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About the Author
Author Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin is an award-winning crime writer best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. He is a winner of the Edgar Award and the Crime Writers of America’s Gold Dagger Award, among others, and was the recipient of a Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship. He lives in Edinburgh with his partner and two sons.

About the Narrator

Michael Page has been recording audiobooks since 1984 and has over two hundred titles to his credit. He has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and in 2012 was a winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. As a professional actor, he has performed regularly since 1998 with the Peterborough Players in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He is a professor of theater at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.