Monday, June 4, 2012


Ian Rankin’s A Question of Blood gets better as it goes along. Edinburgh Inspector John Rebus and his sidekick Siobhan investigate a murder-suicide at a local school. 

Authorities are about to accuse Rebus of another murder. Someone tied up and then burned to death the man who was stalking Siobhan. Rebus was with the man shortly before his death. Then Siobhan begins to get threatening letters “from the grave.”  All this time the political establishment and local newspapers accuse the police of covering up abuse and failing to do their job.

The case-breaking clue in the school murders is “a question of blood.”

For me, the story started slowly. Too much description. But then the complex story began to come together. The subplots include drug running, a previous airplane crash, and Rebus’ long-term connections to many of the characters. 

The school murder involves a Rebus relative. Rebus struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, to use a more recent term. PTSD plays a part for other characters in the story too.

Rebus is another Jack Frost-like character--the cop with the right values but the wrong behavior. I’m coming to believe that is a type.

I can see why these books are popular with many police procedural readers.  

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