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Weary, wary, hard-drinking Detective John Rebus returns. As complex and unpredictable as the brooding mists that envelop his Edinburgh beat, Rebus is ever resourceful and determined-but this time, vulnerable and challenged as never before, with complications in his personal life, and events that shake him to the depths of his being... A colleague's suicide. Pedophiles. A m Weary, wary, hard-drinking Detective John Rebus returns. As complex and unpredictable as the brooding mists that envelop his Edinburgh beat, Rebus is ever resourceful and determined-but this time, vulnerable and challenged as never before, with complications in his personal life, and events that shake him to the depths of his being... A colleague's suicide. Pedophiles. A missing child. A serial killer. You never know your luck, muses Rebus. Driven by instinct and experience, he searches for connections, against official skepticism. But at night, unsoothed by whiskey, Rebus faces his ghosts-and the prospect of his daughter's possibly permanent paralysis. Soldiering through dank, desperate slums and the tony flats of the Scottish chic, Rebus uncovers a chain of crime, deceit, and hidden sins-knowing it's himself he's really trying to save. . .


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Weary, wary, hard-drinking Detective John Rebus returns. As complex and unpredictable as the brooding mists that envelop his Edinburgh beat, Rebus is ever resourceful and determined-but this time, vulnerable and challenged as never before, with complications in his personal life, and events that shake him to the depths of his being... A colleague's suicide. Pedophiles. A m Weary, wary, hard-drinking Detective John Rebus returns. As complex and unpredictable as the brooding mists that envelop his Edinburgh beat, Rebus is ever resourceful and determined-but this time, vulnerable and challenged as never before, with complications in his personal life, and events that shake him to the depths of his being... A colleague's suicide. Pedophiles. A missing child. A serial killer. You never know your luck, muses Rebus. Driven by instinct and experience, he searches for connections, against official skepticism. But at night, unsoothed by whiskey, Rebus faces his ghosts-and the prospect of his daughter's possibly permanent paralysis. Soldiering through dank, desperate slums and the tony flats of the Scottish chic, Rebus uncovers a chain of crime, deceit, and hidden sins-knowing it's himself he's really trying to save. . .

30 review for Dead Souls

  1. 5 out of 5

    Annet

    Great solid Rebus crime, 10th in the series. Just spent some time after midnight finishing this book. And it's my 50th book, closing my challenge, thank you Rebus :-) Great, dark & brooding crime series, set in the beautiful as well bleak Edinburgh surroundings.... full of character. Inspector Rebus remains to be a troubled soul but also a driven fighter against injustice and crime. I've said it before, will say it again, I love my Rebus. Going to sleep now :-).... And must revisit Edinburgh soon Great solid Rebus crime, 10th in the series. Just spent some time after midnight finishing this book. And it's my 50th book, closing my challenge, thank you Rebus :-) Great, dark & brooding crime series, set in the beautiful as well bleak Edinburgh surroundings.... full of character. Inspector Rebus remains to be a troubled soul but also a driven fighter against injustice and crime. I've said it before, will say it again, I love my Rebus. Going to sleep now :-).... And must revisit Edinburgh soon. Maybe even the Oxford bar ;-) Arguably no Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott has had the commercial and critical success that Ian Rankin now enjoys. He may even be said to have invented modern Scotland, or at least modern Edinburgh, for his readers, just as Scott did in his time... Rebus lives. So does Rankin's Edinburgh. (Spectator)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Terence M

    Audiobook - 14:45 hours - Narrator: Joe Dunlop 4.0 of 5.0 stars An excellent "Inspector John Rebus" novel by Ian Rankin. Despite the novels being set in totally different countries, for me it is quite easy to view John Rebus in much the same light as Michael Connelly's "Harry Bosch". They are both rather dour characters with strong codes of ethics and morals, yet both are prepared to bend the rules to achieve just or at least satisfactory, outcomes. Their immediate superiors tend to let Rebus and B Audiobook - 14:45 hours - Narrator: Joe Dunlop 4.0 of 5.0 stars An excellent "Inspector John Rebus" novel by Ian Rankin. Despite the novels being set in totally different countries, for me it is quite easy to view John Rebus in much the same light as Michael Connelly's "Harry Bosch". They are both rather dour characters with strong codes of ethics and morals, yet both are prepared to bend the rules to achieve just or at least satisfactory, outcomes. Their immediate superiors tend to let Rebus and Bosch operate somewhat independently, with little supervision, but as bosses they prepared provide the backup and support needed to ensure their 'star' detectives rein in the baddies in their own inimitable ways. Of course, the stories and the way they are presented, particularly on audiobooks, are usually quite different but as a descendant of British heritage, I find the Scottish language delightful, even if occasionally some of the 'Scottish Brogue' accents are difficult to understand clearly. One of the joys of audiobooks is to listen to books like "10 Souls" narrated beautifully by such a well-credentialed Scottish actor as Joe Dunlop.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus, #10) by Ian Rankin. Dead Souls is divided into two parts: Lost and Found. Darren Rough, a convicted pedophile,has been let out of prison and now resides in an apartment with a clear view of a playground. Rebus, while following Rough, observes him taking pictures of the animals or is the children at a zoo. Rebus has strong suspicions that won't let him rest. Barney & Janice Mee need a favor from Rebus-a huge favor indeed. Their son has gone missing...a mispers. They wer Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus, #10) by Ian Rankin. Dead Souls is divided into two parts: Lost and Found. Darren Rough, a convicted pedophile,has been let out of prison and now resides in an apartment with a clear view of a playground. Rebus, while following Rough, observes him taking pictures of the animals or is the children at a zoo. Rebus has strong suspicions that won't let him rest. Barney & Janice Mee need a favor from Rebus-a huge favor indeed. Their son has gone missing...a mispers. They were classmates of Rebus and feel the police have stopped trying to locate their son. ...And yet another case looms on the immediate horizon. Two-time murderer, Cary Oakes is on his way to Edinburgh after being released from prison in the States. The same day Rebus receives this news he is scheduled to testify in court on an abuse trial regarding a children's home. The list of responsibilities goes on and on. Rebus is involved and more than determined to bring each perpetrator to justice. After all that's his life's blood. His personal life is a sideline. Another fantastic entry in the Inspector Rebus series. I can only give Rebus the highest compliment by comparing my devotion to him as to my sincere devotion to Inspector Morse.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ammar

    The tenth book in the Rebus series picks up from the end of the previous book. Rebus is faced with a moral dilemma of dealing with a freed pedophile And at the same time he is trying to keep an eye on a serial killer that returned to town And a son of a friend of his is missing Three cases for rebus to play with and takes us on a your of Edinbrughs underbelly Enjoyable Noir Dark Criminal And loving all at once

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    3.5 stars. As a high school teacher, there were many times a student's behavior would become crystal clear after meeting his parents. I'd run into problems with work ethic or attitude or whatever, and I'd think, "What's the deal with this kid?" Then I'd meet Mom and/or Dad in a parent conference and immediately realize, "Oh, of course that's why he [fill in the blank]." It would be some sort of weird mirror image, where son's classroom surliness was reflected in Dad's obvious displeasure at comin 3.5 stars. As a high school teacher, there were many times a student's behavior would become crystal clear after meeting his parents. I'd run into problems with work ethic or attitude or whatever, and I'd think, "What's the deal with this kid?" Then I'd meet Mom and/or Dad in a parent conference and immediately realize, "Oh, of course that's why he [fill in the blank]." It would be some sort of weird mirror image, where son's classroom surliness was reflected in Dad's obvious displeasure at coming to school for a meeting. Even so, I never felt this was a question of genetics as much as it was learned behavior. The nature vs. nurture question has always felt sort of beside the point. I mean, it's obvious to me that while some personality traits are clearly handed down from parent to child (case in point, I have my dad's social awkwardness and my mom's passive-aggressiveness – a winning combo!), much of the way we act day-to-day has everything to do with the way we were taught – explicitly or implicitly, by parents and other sources – to make our way in the world. I was taught by my parents to be civil and to err on the side of kindness, and those are two lessons that have served me well. As I grew older, I was able to extrapolate that into an understanding that I should appreciate diversity, keep an open mind, and, above all else, try to remember that not everyone sees the world the way I do. I don't think I won any kind of genetic lottery; I just know my parents and the way they tried to raise my brother and me. Some people aren't so lucky. In one of my other blog experiments, I wrote a review of Werner Herzog's death penalty documentary, Into the Abyss. It's an important movie for lots of reasons, but in this review I staked out why I'm against the death penalty, across the board. The biggest reason is this: Even though I absolutely believe we have free will and are wholly responsible for the decisions we make, some people are less capable of making informed decisions thanks to damage that occurred to them in their youth. At some point it feels like we have to admit that some people's capacity to make the right decision has been fundamentally weakened by forces out of their control. Childhood abuse and neglect. Parents whose own moral compasses are completely out of whack. Homelessness. Drug and alcohol abuse. Kids whose parents are just straight-up garden-variety assholes. Can we really hold everyone to the same standard of decision-making? For the first time in ten books starring Detective Inspector John Rebus, Ian Rankin explores this issue in Dead Souls. As with most of the books in this series, there are two cases that first seem unrelated but which eventually intertwine in ways that are compelling and inevitable, and in this case both of them touch on the question of how much a criminal's past is to blame for his present. The more obvious example is Darren Rough, a convicted pedophile (who himself was a victim of sexual abuse as a child living in an orphanage) who served his jail sentence and has now been set free. When Rebus discovers that Rough has been assigned an apartment with a view of a children's playground, he "outs" Rough to the other tenants with disastrous consequences. The other case – the focal point of the novel – involves Cary Oakes, a serial killer born in Scotland, imprisoned in the States, and released to his native country on a technicality. In the course of his investigation – what does Oakes have planned now that he's back in Scotland? – he learns how the killer's sense of morality may have been warped beyond repair by external factors over which he had no control. Rankin being Rankin, there are a panoply of other features with which Rebus has to contend: a third case involving the missing adult son of two of Rebus' childhood friends; a fling with an old high school flame; thinly-veiled criticism of the 1% (fifteen years before it was popular); the fallout from his daughter's near-death experience in the previous book; the responsibility of the media not to turn killers into celebrities; and so on. It's a little busy. But somehow Rankin keeps all the plates spinning, even while he attempts to explore larger issues of morality. It feels a little overdue for Rebus to suddenly stumble across the realization that – hey! – maybe people's lousy childhoods have an irrevocable effect on their adult lives. But when the results are this good, better late, as they say, than never. Read all my reviews at goldstarforrobotboy.net

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    The 10th novel in the Inspector Rebus series by Ian Rankin. Another excellent novel that further developes the character of Rebus and keeps these books fresh and interesting.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    This Orion Hardcover is signed by Ian Rankin.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eadie

    A colleague's suicide. Pedophiles. A missing child. A serial killer. You never know your luck, muses Rebus. Driven by instinct and experience, he searches for connections, against official skepticism. But at night, unsoothed by whiskey, Rebus faces his ghosts-and the prospect of his daughter's possibly permanent paralysis. Soldiering through dank, desperate slums and the tony flats of the Scottish chic, Rebus uncovers a chain of crime, deceit, and hidden sins-knowing it's himself he's really try A colleague's suicide. Pedophiles. A missing child. A serial killer. You never know your luck, muses Rebus. Driven by instinct and experience, he searches for connections, against official skepticism. But at night, unsoothed by whiskey, Rebus faces his ghosts-and the prospect of his daughter's possibly permanent paralysis. Soldiering through dank, desperate slums and the tony flats of the Scottish chic, Rebus uncovers a chain of crime, deceit, and hidden sins-knowing it's himself he's really trying to save. Another great Ian Rankin read. The subject matter of pedophiles and missing children is a hard one to deal with but when Rebus sends them away it makes it all better. This book has a realistic plot with many sub-plots that tie together and kept me engrossed. The book has a real sense of place and I can feel myself walking the streets of Edinburgh with Rebus. I enjoyed the past history of Rebus and his wife and daughter. It made Rebus feel like a real person. Rankin's books are a bit gritty but I like the fact that Rebus has a conscience and a determination to put the criminals away. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and I would highly recommend this series to those who love Scottish mystery.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Schwartz

    I found this book's plot to be a bit loose and disjointed and it left some unanswered questions. It also had me questioning how we got to a particular point at times. But the Rebus character is still great. I like the way Rankin depicts his uncertainties and foibles. While we read of these we never lose sight of the fact that he is a very brilliant copper. I didn't much care for one of the villains in this book and I didn't like how that particular thread was left at the end of the book because I found this book's plot to be a bit loose and disjointed and it left some unanswered questions. It also had me questioning how we got to a particular point at times. But the Rebus character is still great. I like the way Rankin depicts his uncertainties and foibles. While we read of these we never lose sight of the fact that he is a very brilliant copper. I didn't much care for one of the villains in this book and I didn't like how that particular thread was left at the end of the book because I really don't want to see this particular villain again. Anyway, the book is worth reading because it is part of this very remarkable series. I love watching Rebus as he faces and conquers his many demons. And I love the underworld look at modern-day Edinburgh. Oh, and be prepared for a zinger at the end of the book. Rankin always has these in his books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    It's been awhile since I read a Rebus mystery and it was a welcome return to his world. Gritty, interesting mystery peopled with an varied, excellent cast, headed by cynical, war weary Detective Inspector John Rebus of Edinburgh's crime squad. A variety of issues/ possible crimes featured in this story, but while there were twists and turns, the stories seemed believable. I enjoy Rebus very much; a character perfect in his imperfections, questioning whether being a police officer remains viable, It's been awhile since I read a Rebus mystery and it was a welcome return to his world. Gritty, interesting mystery peopled with an varied, excellent cast, headed by cynical, war weary Detective Inspector John Rebus of Edinburgh's crime squad. A variety of issues/ possible crimes featured in this story, but while there were twists and turns, the stories seemed believable. I enjoy Rebus very much; a character perfect in his imperfections, questioning whether being a police officer remains viable, and whether he can deal with the types of crimes with which he must be involved. Tests to his relationship with Patience as well, which you will have to read about to see if it is resolved satisfactorily. Add in a nasty, crafty villain, playing games with Rebus and his family and associates and you've got an excellent story. Can't wait to read Rebus # 11 next.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I enjoyed this book a lot, probably due to the many story strands that are weaved together. The book isn't an easy read - in part as I am not a non-Scottish person or familiar with Edinburgh, but also beacause there so many stories happening, all including so many people. I did enjoy the exercise of remembering what was happening in each tale, and guessing if there would be any overlap, and if so, where it may occur. Inspector Rebus is also an interesting character, I enjoyed being in his compan I enjoyed this book a lot, probably due to the many story strands that are weaved together. The book isn't an easy read - in part as I am not a non-Scottish person or familiar with Edinburgh, but also beacause there so many stories happening, all including so many people. I did enjoy the exercise of remembering what was happening in each tale, and guessing if there would be any overlap, and if so, where it may occur. Inspector Rebus is also an interesting character, I enjoyed being in his company, though he is inhuman in being able to keep going on as little sleep as he gets.

  12. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    Dead Souls - VG Ian Rankin - 10th in series Stalking the streets of Edinburgh on the trail of a poisoner, Rebus hits upon a freed paedophile and his subsequent outing of the man leaves him with very mixed feelings. But another problem develops for Rebus: a convicted murderer has him in his sights for some lethal games. And the tabloid press lionising of Rebus won't help him in this situation. 3 cases which tie together, very well done Dead Souls - VG Ian Rankin - 10th in series Stalking the streets of Edinburgh on the trail of a poisoner, Rebus hits upon a freed paedophile and his subsequent outing of the man leaves him with very mixed feelings. But another problem develops for Rebus: a convicted murderer has him in his sights for some lethal games. And the tabloid press lionising of Rebus won't help him in this situation. 3 cases which tie together, very well done

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    When I was reading more Ian Rankin, I suggested him to my father, who got about halfway through one book and said he had to stop before the grim pessimism led him to jump off a bridge. Well, it's not a series with a sunny outlook, by any means, and Inspector Rebus is not an altogether sympathetic central character. This is a well-crafted thriller with three parallel lines of plotting, a bit dated by some of the hot-button social issues of the late nineties. 3 1/2 stars rounded up. When I was reading more Ian Rankin, I suggested him to my father, who got about halfway through one book and said he had to stop before the grim pessimism led him to jump off a bridge. Well, it's not a series with a sunny outlook, by any means, and Inspector Rebus is not an altogether sympathetic central character. This is a well-crafted thriller with three parallel lines of plotting, a bit dated by some of the hot-button social issues of the late nineties. 3 1/2 stars rounded up.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn (in SC) C234D

    John Rebus is such a great character. I wish he wasn't such a tortured soul, but then he wouldn't be the same detective, I guess. Much is going on in this book, and you are not sure of how everything resolves until the end, if even then. John Rebus is such a great character. I wish he wasn't such a tortured soul, but then he wouldn't be the same detective, I guess. Much is going on in this book, and you are not sure of how everything resolves until the end, if even then.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mara Pemberton

    I liked the book. Okay the narrator wasn't James McPherson, but he was okay. I liked the book. Okay the narrator wasn't James McPherson, but he was okay.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Rebus has multiple cases in this one. This shows how police work actually is more than one case at a time and it was fascinating. He is self effacing and self doubting as a detective.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hobart

    ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- For the best part of an hour, Rebus had been trying to blink away a hangover, which was about as much exercise as he could sustain. He'd planted himself on benches and against walls, wiping his brow even though Edinburgh's early spring was a blood relative of midwinter. His shirt was damp against his back, uncomfortably tight every time he rose to his feet. This might actually be the high point for Rebus in this nove ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- For the best part of an hour, Rebus had been trying to blink away a hangover, which was about as much exercise as he could sustain. He'd planted himself on benches and against walls, wiping his brow even though Edinburgh's early spring was a blood relative of midwinter. His shirt was damp against his back, uncomfortably tight every time he rose to his feet. This might actually be the high point for Rebus in this novel -- at least as far as the way he feels goes. The bad news is, this is from Chapter 1. Clearly, Jack Morton's influence has clearly ended. Rebus is moments away from doing something he'll regret almost instantly and that will have ramifications on everything he does for the foreseeable future, some of which will likely haunt him for more than that. Which almost seems par for the course, I realize as I type that. Anyway, Dead Souls focuses on crimes against children and what that can do to them -- not just at the moment they're victimized, but years later. There are also unintended (and fully intended consequences of crimes against adults throughout the book -- Rebus' own hands aren't entirely clean here. Rebus' actions in the opening pages cast enough of a shadow on him that his very brief involvement on another case is used by the defense to cast a shadow on the police's investigation. He's also tasked to investigate the apparent suicide of a police detective, informally, anyway. His main task is to work with Siobhan Clarke and a rookie to be a very obvious police presence to a convicted multiple-murderer, recently released and deported from the US back to Scotland. They really can't do anything other than be visible for a few days until money runs out on the operation, but no one who knows this killer has any doubt that he'll strike again, and the police are trying to discourage that. Unofficially, Rebus makes things uncomfortable for a pedophile in his new home -- an act that will not go well and will spiral out of control -- and he's helping an old girlfriend look for her missing son. Confused? Yeah, sure, I am -- and I wrote that summary. Somehow, Rankin is able to take all that mess and assemble it into a novel that actually makes sense -- with all of these stories being tied together, not just with over-lapping themes, but in reality in some sort of 6 degrees of separation fashion -- even excluding DI Rebus. It's really very impressive watching how Rankin weaves every strand of story and character in this novel -- it always is, but this web seems more intricate than usual. The other police in this novel interest me -- I won't go down the list, but those who can't see why he cares about something, those who can't understand why he'd do something with so little regard to consequences are on one end -- the other end is filled by people (like Clarke) who know exactly what kind of man he is, and without approving or participating in the less-than-savory aspects his methods, can use him and them for good. ...he wondered why it was he was only ever happy on rewind. He thought back to times when he'd been happy, realising that at the time he hadn't felt happy; it was only in retrospect that it dawned on him. Why was that? There's very little light in this novel, there's introspection, there's despair, there's hatred, fear, prejudice, and opportunists taking advantage of all of that. But somehow the book never seems slow or ponderous -- just Rebus chugging along, doing his thing. There's also some strong action -- some we see as it happens, but most we hear about after the fact (years or days alter). If you stop and think about how many criminal seem to "get away" with their crimes (as defined by not being charged/tried), it's not that satisfying. If you think about the book in terms of Rebus (and through him, the reader) understanding what happened and why -- it's satisfying, not really cheerful, but satisfying in that regard. The souls that are dead here have been killed by various means and methods over time -- some realize that's what they are, some haven't a clue -- some come to realize it in these pages (and some try to revitalize themselves). By and large, they're dead souls walking, and seem intent on taking others with them. The question is: is DI Rebus among them? I'm really not sure if I've said anything worthwhile about the book -- it's impressive, immersive and will not let you go -- even days after finishing it. I don't know that this is a bad one to be your first Rebus novel -- you may be willing to cut him more slack for his questionable actions if you've got a history with him than you would be otherwise, however. For me, this is just further proof that Rankin is one of the best and is getting better (or was, at this point in his career anyway)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    This is my first Ian Rankin mystery, and I have ended up enjoying it. I've been a fan of British crime fiction for a while, but admittedly women writers like Jacqueline Winspeare, Dorothy L Sayers and Louise Penny (OK, Canadian). I just happened to end up with a second hand copy of Dead Souls first, following a friend expert in the genre recommended Rankin - afterwards discovering that a few readers think this one doesn't meet his usual standards. I will have to try other earlier ones to compare This is my first Ian Rankin mystery, and I have ended up enjoying it. I've been a fan of British crime fiction for a while, but admittedly women writers like Jacqueline Winspeare, Dorothy L Sayers and Louise Penny (OK, Canadian). I just happened to end up with a second hand copy of Dead Souls first, following a friend expert in the genre recommended Rankin - afterwards discovering that a few readers think this one doesn't meet his usual standards. I will have to try other earlier ones to compare for myself on that. Meanwhile I started out thinking it a three-star book for a different reason: it just seemed so obtuse and difficult to get into initially. Multiple stories, some relating to each other more than others, are introduced so piecemeal and jumping about in unrelated snippets; a multitude of characters, several with similar names difficult to differentiate; along with a sort of exaggerated Brit/Scot street slang all worked to make the first fifty pages almost unintelligible to me. Each time I picked the book up I'd need to review what I'd already read to remind myself who was who, whether the character presently in the spotlight had previous mentioning; or I'd be bogged down attempting to decipher the "abbrevs" (to coin one myself!) serving as typical language of the roughish characters forming the narrative: inspectors, establishment owners, street people, cabbies, dockers, etc. I did have a bit of a heads up advantage in having a British cousin who speaks somewhat in that mode. My feeling was that, for instance you might take a break to smoke a "ciggie" once or twice - but never refer to it as a cigarette? And "fag" doesn't count. That's just one example of many. However, I did get into Dead Souls finally, learned the multitudinous characters and their fit into the narrative enough to progress more smoothly in the reading - and get hooked in the story and the various interweaving of parts I did! Enough that I was barely able to put the book down for the last day and a half of reading - and enough to want to give Rankin another try for sure. The initial difficulties mentioned, especially the "hard" language (not just hard as in difficult but as in rough, not literarily well wrought or aesthetic) keeps my rating a four though.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy

    After recently visiting the Edinburgh of Isabel Dalhousie in "The Careful Use of Compliments", I decided to linger a while. I've always liked Edinburgh, but I felt that I wanted to see a different side of it than the all thought and little action world of Isabel. Well, John Rebus is just the chap for that! No one could accuse him of living in a world of little action. As for thought, Rebus thinks a lot and usually gets to the answer to his problems in the end, but he is also known to act hastily After recently visiting the Edinburgh of Isabel Dalhousie in "The Careful Use of Compliments", I decided to linger a while. I've always liked Edinburgh, but I felt that I wanted to see a different side of it than the all thought and little action world of Isabel. Well, John Rebus is just the chap for that! No one could accuse him of living in a world of little action. As for thought, Rebus thinks a lot and usually gets to the answer to his problems in the end, but he is also known to act hastily and without much thought at times. That usually comes back to bite him and it does again in this book. The victims of his hastiness are the "dead souls" who haunt him. This is one of the darker Rebus tales (not that any of them are especially light!) involving, as it does, pedophiles (who may or may not be linked to the Church), the suicide of a colleague, a psychopathic serial killer, and a bittersweet trip down memory lane as he is drawn into the search for a missing person, son of two of his classmates in school. Scotland is a small country and Edinburgh still has something of a village culture. You just know that somewhere along the way all these disparate stories are going to intersect and the result will probably not be pretty. But it will be entertaining. Ian Rankin has created a compelling fictional figure in John Rebus. He is, at his core, a deeply moral character, but he has lost much of his faith, along with many friends and family members, along the way. Drink is his anesthetic of choice and he seems to require more and more of it to ease his pain. This cannot be leading to a good place. I have enjoyed all of the Rebus novels, but I must say this is my favorite of the lot so far. The writing is crisp, the plotting is tight, and the main character seems more fully realized here than in any of the previous books, and none of them were half-bad either. The ending of the book left me wanting to get on to the next chapter in the story, and so I think I may linger in Edinburgh just a bit longer.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Larraine

    Dead Souls was written in 1999 and depicts a John Rebus who is increasingly feeling dead inside and wondering if he should continue as a police officer. In the beginning of the book he is part of a stakeout of the Edinburgh zoo trying to find the person who is poisoning the animals. When he sees a known pedophile taking photos, he gives chase and, while he is going after the pedophile, the poisoner almost is able to do the deed yet again. Darren Rouse, the pedophile, claims that he is taking a p Dead Souls was written in 1999 and depicts a John Rebus who is increasingly feeling dead inside and wondering if he should continue as a police officer. In the beginning of the book he is part of a stakeout of the Edinburgh zoo trying to find the person who is poisoning the animals. When he sees a known pedophile taking photos, he gives chase and, while he is going after the pedophile, the poisoner almost is able to do the deed yet again. Darren Rouse, the pedophile, claims that he is taking a photography class and the zoo is his assignment. This claim is verified by his social worker. Rebus discovers that he is living in an apartment that overlooks a playground. He tells a reporter he knows about him who refuses to write the story, telling him that there is something inside him that has died. The book has a number of different stories that come together, as always, in an interesting way. A former girlfriend of Rebus' when he was in high school contacts him about her missing son. A fellow police officer commits suicide by jumping off a high wall in Edinburgh. Meanwhile there is a trial going on of a former school in which two of the principals were involved in child abuse. In addition, a convicted murderer who spent 25 years in an American prison has been released and deported to Edinburgh, where he grows up. He is seeking to settle old scores but not until he spends some time with a local reporter talking about his life for a series of articles. Then there is the case of a missing boy who goes missing right around the time that it is discovered that Darren Rouse, the convicted pedophile, is living in the same apartment complex. As always, it is complicated with a great deal of retrospection on Rebus' side as well as he examines his own conscience, wondering what has happened to him. As in so many of Rankin's books, it starts out a bit slow, but then things start to build up. It's really a great story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Aman Mittal

    This is my fifteenth John Rebus novel, and before starting this book I had a question in my mind. When an author as successful as Rankin has been with his tough and idiomatic Scottish thrillers, a problem sets in after several books: how to keep the formula fresh? One thing is that, after reading a John Rebus' book, I have an anguished feeling of visiting Edinburgh, see all those places describe the author with my own eyes. The series is set in Edinburgh and Rankin displays an unnerving knowledge This is my fifteenth John Rebus novel, and before starting this book I had a question in my mind. When an author as successful as Rankin has been with his tough and idiomatic Scottish thrillers, a problem sets in after several books: how to keep the formula fresh? One thing is that, after reading a John Rebus' book, I have an anguished feeling of visiting Edinburgh, see all those places describe the author with my own eyes. The series is set in Edinburgh and Rankin displays an unnerving knowledge of, seemingly, how crime works there. Rankin has a very unique of displaying simplistic events. His engrossing words will get under your skin. The novel, Dead Souls, starts on a greater node. In the prologue to the book, the suicide of one of Rebus' colleagues is detailed. Rebus chases a released pedophile when he is supposed to be trying to catch someone who has been poisoning the animals. Then there was the Shellion case, regarding young children abused by their custodians, and now his superintendent had saddled him with another case a violent serial killer, Gary Oakes, was deported back from US to Edinburgh. I wonder, is he never tired? I think so not. Rebus loves puzzles. And Rankin knows how to create a perplexed network out of dead bodies. What a delightful combination for the reader. The characterisation in Rankin's books are never disappointing, neither in this one. They are never sketchily drawn. He formulates a character by his actions and lets a reader's imagination to do the rest. DI Rebus is indispensable in the world of crime fiction. With each book, one can imagine the evolution of Rebus' world which is very tempting. Dead Souls is the part of that world. 4 out of 5

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Strong entry in the Rebus series. A released pedophile becomes the target of Inspector Rebus, but things may not be as black and white as they seem. An old flame from Fife sees Rebus about her missing son who disappeared after clubbing in Edinburgh. To add to things a sadistic criminal is exported back from the U.S. to Scotland, and becomes a deadly nemesis to Rebus. Fifth in the series that I've read (not in order) and here are some other things of note: - Rebus' lady friend Dr. Patience is flesh Strong entry in the Rebus series. A released pedophile becomes the target of Inspector Rebus, but things may not be as black and white as they seem. An old flame from Fife sees Rebus about her missing son who disappeared after clubbing in Edinburgh. To add to things a sadistic criminal is exported back from the U.S. to Scotland, and becomes a deadly nemesis to Rebus. Fifth in the series that I've read (not in order) and here are some other things of note: - Rebus' lady friend Dr. Patience is fleshed out a little more than usual here, usually she is the woman Rebus is hardly with, often choosing to spend solitary time at his own flat. - No Brian Holmes in this installment, a bit of the "Farmer" and very little of Siobhan Clarke. - Mob mentality is nothing new to fans of U.K. crime/mystery fiction, see also Ruth Rendell's Harm Done. Fairly prominent here. - Rankin has a few too many balls in the air as usual it seems. By the end one feels the need for an index to keep track. - The depiction of the Fife couple is well done. Being drawn back to one's home town brings back a lot of nostalgia, but Rankin shows the bleakness facing those who have chosen to stay. As Rankin writes, one can visit the past, but it is not a place to inhabit. Overall it is a solid outing, I learn more about Edinburgh every time I read a novel in this fine series. I will be disappointed when I finish them all!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Ever since I saw the BBC documentary charting Ian Rankin writing a novel I consider these tales in a different way. In that documentary Ian said that he sometimes gets to page 430 and realizes that there was some other person who "could have done it". No longer do I expect the tale to unravel in a planned way and that only adds to the enjoyment of Rankin's books. In this book one of Rebus's pals leaps to his death (or does he?)from an Edinburgh landmark at the same time that a time served pedoph Ever since I saw the BBC documentary charting Ian Rankin writing a novel I consider these tales in a different way. In that documentary Ian said that he sometimes gets to page 430 and realizes that there was some other person who "could have done it". No longer do I expect the tale to unravel in a planned way and that only adds to the enjoyment of Rankin's books. In this book one of Rebus's pals leaps to his death (or does he?)from an Edinburgh landmark at the same time that a time served pedophile moves back to town. But why has he come back? Is it linked to the "suicide"? Is it anything to do with a case Rebus is a court witness for? Rebus has certain prejudices and a certain impulsive nature that we can all associate with and which makes matters worse. Oh and what on earth does the mass murderer deported from the US to Edinburgh have to do with all this? Interesting that I pick up this novel during the heat of the Jimmy Saville investigation as the main thrust of the story is historical child abuse and the ripples it has across families, societies and time. I'm not sure if the story unwound as Rankin first intended and maybe that is part of the appeal of Rankin's books. Great story, as usual I enjoyed reading it. I did like the knife fight towards the end. And it's true, people don't want to get involved.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Another enjoyable read in this excellent series. Detective John Rebus is one of the best characters in detective fiction today. Maddening and likable all at once, his many flaws only serve to make him one of the more believable serial characters. The plot in this one moves along at a great pace beginning with Rebus heartlessly and selfishly "outing" a paedophile trying to turn his life around. Rebus does try to redeem himself by trying to help the unfortunate individual in the end but never over Another enjoyable read in this excellent series. Detective John Rebus is one of the best characters in detective fiction today. Maddening and likable all at once, his many flaws only serve to make him one of the more believable serial characters. The plot in this one moves along at a great pace beginning with Rebus heartlessly and selfishly "outing" a paedophile trying to turn his life around. Rebus does try to redeem himself by trying to help the unfortunate individual in the end but never overcomes the feelings of guilt for what he brought upon this man as much a victim of his circumstances as anything. Also a key part of this plot is another nemesis who gets under Rebus' skin: Cary Oakes - a truly odious and amoral human being and one that nearly gets the best of Rebus on a couple of occasions and provides a truly frightening look into the mind of a complete sociopath. The side story, Rebus helping an old High School flame find her missing son, provides a glimpse into the past of a young Rebus just starting out in the world that definitely makes the reader appreciate and understand him and his good and not so good qualities more. This series is highly recommended to any fans of detective fiction with not a single disappointing book in the series so far.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jill Hutchinson

    The Rebus story moves on and just gets darker with each book. These are not "feel good" stories and the continuing characters in the series have weaknesses and secrets and the ghosts of the past are haunting them all. In this entry,as in most of the Rebus books, there is a lot going on and none of it provides easy answers for Rebus and his mates. He is assigned to watch the comings and goings of a recently released and very clever serial killer who is also suspected in the murder of the niece of The Rebus story moves on and just gets darker with each book. These are not "feel good" stories and the continuing characters in the series have weaknesses and secrets and the ghosts of the past are haunting them all. In this entry,as in most of the Rebus books, there is a lot going on and none of it provides easy answers for Rebus and his mates. He is assigned to watch the comings and goings of a recently released and very clever serial killer who is also suspected in the murder of the niece of a retired police officer. But that is just the easy part.....a pedophile is now living in the community, rousing the residents to violence; a fellow officer has committed suicide for no apparent reason; and Rebus's former girlfriend's son is missing. Most of the threads are pulled together but there are some questions left unanswered and the epilogue may set the stage for another book. It is not a pretty picture but it certainly is a good read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Diane Dickson

    This was an even more tortured Inspector Rebus, indeed as the series has progressed I feel that I have watched him descend into a sort of hell largely of his own creation. He feels things deeply and in this one there are so many barbs coming at him from many angles that it is difficult to believe he is still left standing. The book is very topical at the moment exploring as it does paedophilia amongst other transgressions and it is interesting that Mr Rankin says that he seeks to change Rebus' v This was an even more tortured Inspector Rebus, indeed as the series has progressed I feel that I have watched him descend into a sort of hell largely of his own creation. He feels things deeply and in this one there are so many barbs coming at him from many angles that it is difficult to believe he is still left standing. The book is very topical at the moment exploring as it does paedophilia amongst other transgressions and it is interesting that Mr Rankin says that he seeks to change Rebus' view on this particularly issue. Does he do it well I don't want to spoil the book but it is certainly explored deeply. I was left slightly disturbed by the ending and a tiny bit dissatisfied but I have a feeling that this was the authors intention and so well done yet again. I was hooked to it, it was different in some subtle way than the others, darker and more threatening. I am on now to the next one my enthusiasm for the series still undimmed.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Truly one of the very best Rebus books. I remembered part-way through that I had read it several years ago, at a time when I was preoccupied and didn't give it my full attention. It needs that since the plot is complex, lots of characters, many locations in Edinburgh and the surrounding area to keep track of. But Rankin has done a fantastic job of fleshing all of them out so that, if you are attentive, it all makes perfect sense. I did really want to SHAKE one of the characters - the poor newsman Truly one of the very best Rebus books. I remembered part-way through that I had read it several years ago, at a time when I was preoccupied and didn't give it my full attention. It needs that since the plot is complex, lots of characters, many locations in Edinburgh and the surrounding area to keep track of. But Rankin has done a fantastic job of fleshing all of them out so that, if you are attentive, it all makes perfect sense. I did really want to SHAKE one of the characters - the poor newsman so consumed with ambition that he can't see the danger he's in. But the look into Rebus' earlier life is affecting and rewarding. I'd given up the Rebus series - but I think I'll start again. Not right away though. You can't put these down...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    Almost gave this 5 stars. Still want to be able to give 1/2 stars. 4 1/2 for sure. My favourite Rebus so far. Ian Rankin just gets better with each story. The brilliance of a Rebus novel is the multiple cases all occuring at once. And just like Rebus, you don't know how or if they fit together. What I enjoyed even more about Dead Souls was the further developemnt of the character of Rebus himself with a lot more of his background revealed than in previous stories. An excellent story but if you'r Almost gave this 5 stars. Still want to be able to give 1/2 stars. 4 1/2 for sure. My favourite Rebus so far. Ian Rankin just gets better with each story. The brilliance of a Rebus novel is the multiple cases all occuring at once. And just like Rebus, you don't know how or if they fit together. What I enjoyed even more about Dead Souls was the further developemnt of the character of Rebus himself with a lot more of his background revealed than in previous stories. An excellent story but if you're like me, you still need to start at #1 and work your way up to this one #10. Looking forward to reading Set In Darkness next.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pam Baddeley

    Many strands weave together in this complex story where Rebus must balance multiple cases and also face up to some of his own flaws. Early in the story he encounters a paedophile who has been released from jail and, discovering that he has been housed on an estate in a flat overlooking the children's playground, "outs" him to the neighbourhood, ultimately with tragic consequencies despite Rebus' guilt ridden attempts to help. Meanwhile, a high profile case of historical child abuse is currently Many strands weave together in this complex story where Rebus must balance multiple cases and also face up to some of his own flaws. Early in the story he encounters a paedophile who has been released from jail and, discovering that he has been housed on an estate in a flat overlooking the children's playground, "outs" him to the neighbourhood, ultimately with tragic consequencies despite Rebus' guilt ridden attempts to help. Meanwhile, a high profile case of historical child abuse is currently on trial with possible connections. Rebus is asked for help by two old school friends whose son has gone missing in suspicious circumstances, and has to resist the draw of a rekindled attraction to the mother, Janice. He is also troubled by the apparent suicide of a colleague who appeared to 'have it all' with a loving family and a rapid rise in the police career structure, in total contrast to Rebus. And to finally add to his problems, a serial killer and sociopath is released from custody in the USA and heads for Edinburgh to settle old scores - Rebus' role in keeping surveillance on this man leads to his becoming a target for the man's manipulative behaviour and draws into the killer's ambit three women who are significant to Rebus: Janice, Rebus' girlfriend Patience, and his daughter, still recovering from the accident in a previous book which left her unable to walk. A complex book which manages to keep all the plates spinning and portrays a truly chilling sociopathic character, keeping the suspense level high. The only thing I missed is the relationship with Siobhan, Rebus' colleague, who has only a bit part in this book. So a 4 star rating overall.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin L

    Well then, Ian Rankin has taken an old, white, set-in-his-ways male and shaken up his world. Does it make Rebus a better person or even a more sympathetic character? Um, not really. As he flirts with his past, ignores his present and tries to save the future, he carries on in his usual way. That isn't to say there is no change in Rebus. In this 10th book in the series, he's showing some growth that even his contemporaries notice. And I wonder if the author in the bar is meant to be Rankin himself Well then, Ian Rankin has taken an old, white, set-in-his-ways male and shaken up his world. Does it make Rebus a better person or even a more sympathetic character? Um, not really. As he flirts with his past, ignores his present and tries to save the future, he carries on in his usual way. That isn't to say there is no change in Rebus. In this 10th book in the series, he's showing some growth that even his contemporaries notice. And I wonder if the author in the bar is meant to be Rankin himself :) But I liked this book. I liked what the author did here. Watching the ripples caused by actions spread out across a community, a city, a country on a larger scale while watching Rebus himself wrestle with his actions and the ripples he created was captivating.

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