As head of Edinburgh’s CID, Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Skinner has seen it all…but even he is shocked by the savagely mutilated corpse discovered in a dark alleyway. The victim is identified as a successful young lawyer, and the motive for the brutal death remains a mystery. Then further seemingly random killings in the city begin to suggest a vicious serial killer on the rampage. But when the lawyer’s fiancée is also murdered, Skinner realises that someone is in deadly earnest.
What eventually emerges is an elaborate smokescreen shrouding a deep-rooted and intricate conspiracy. Now, whatever the danger to himself, Skinner is determined that in Edinburgh, at least, folk will abide by his rules.
©1993 Quintin Jardine (P)2013 Isis Publishing Ltd
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"A good story"
A litte far fetched, also it is my impression the author has a bit of national hubris...
Still, I enjoyed the book and purchased the next three in a 20 plus series.
"series starts here"
do check the UK reviews.
Police procedural, more at the higher end and involving different departments.
It reads a little like a series intended for a tv show as the story does have natural breaks where there is a resolution and then kicks off in a new direction.
Skinner is an over the top hero who is not really lovable.
There are a few plot weaknesses, when the whole story is considered. The introduction of the diplomatic and secret service is actually quite good as it does highlight the difference between English and Scotish law.
Not a bad listen.
"Serial Killer turned international spy?"
That's what seemed to happen to this story mid way it turned into an espionage novel complete with international, political back story. It was REALLY a disappointment considering that the serial killer part started out pretty good and kind of dramatic and detailed, almost Jack the Ripper worthy. Then BOOM embassy's and briefcases.
the whole beginning was good until the writer switched sub-genres
all the political figures and spys etc
not having the second half at all would have been an improvement at least it was the same story...
I was really enjoying this story, the main character - Skinner was such a nice honorable guy and the murder that happened was being investigated ........ then it slowly degenerated into over hyped political tension and crime. It really became boring, I also found the 'sweetness and light, lovey dovey' relationship he has a bit 'Mills and Boon'.
The narration by James Bryce was OK ish, but some of the voices he used were odd to say the least!
I don't think I will bother with following up on the series.
late arrival to Bob skinner this was the first in series if this was the standard then I am looking forward to the rest
"Scottish police are great"
My mum's been reading QJ's books for years, so I thought I'd better give them a try. I realised I had read this on Kindle a year or so ago - but enjoyed it so much more as the audio version. I can see how the characters will grow through a series of books - and looking forward to seeing how they develop.
The story in this was good, and I liked how the two investigations meshed together. Loved the Scottish setting - although am less familiar with Edinburgh than my hometown Aberdeen from McBride's books. The performance was mostly good - rather too many gruff voice characterisations, and the Aberdonian voice performance wasn't great - a bit of a caricature. But that's picky!
Have just ordered book 2 in the series.
"Introduction to Skinner"
The book gives a comprehensive introduction to the main characters in the ongoing series and has a fast paced storyline to boot. The twists and turns to the story were woven in brilliantly, just when you thought you were on the case off it would go in another direction.
Skinner and crew make understanding the job of the police much easier. Yes this is fiction but I was sucked into the story as if it was unfolding in front of me.
As a native of Edinburgh I could easily picture the places where the action was taking place which seemed to make the book more personal. For non Edinburghers the use of any online map would help if you are inclined to want to picture the scenes.
James tells the story brilliantly with slight changes of voice to determine which of the characters is speaking during dialogue. This allowed me to feel I was a fly on the wall listening in.
Edinburgh, the underside of the tourist city.
Quintin Jardine captures me as a reader in a way Ian Rankine never has. He stays true to the city in the most part without changing area or street names which adds greatly to the enjoyment of the story.
I had a funny feeling, that I was going to like the Skinner series, hence starting with the first book and boy, was I right, it was an absolute sensation.
I am really looking forward to listening to the rest of the series, I'm hoping they've all got the same narrator, he did a great job.
Quintin Jardine is an absolute master story teller.
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