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Publisher's Summary

When a close colleague is brutally attacked, Inspector John Rebus is drawn into a case involving a hotel fire, an unidentified body, and a long forgotten night of terror and murder. Pursued by dangerous ghosts and tormented by the coded secrets of his colleague's notebook, Rebus must piece together the most complex and confusing of jigsaws. But not everyone wants the puzzle solved - perhaps not even Rebus himself.

©2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited (P)2008 Ian Rankin

What listeners say about The Black Book

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fabulous

I loved it from start to finish! I've read the books now I am listening

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  • David Watson
  • 04-03-2013

Rebus is back and hes in great form

Its great to have Rebus back and this is a book and a performance worthy of him. A good story and and a good performance

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  • Rune
  • 27-01-2012

Good book, poor reading

Would you consider the audio edition of The Black Book to be better than the print version?

I think it is a great book,and I like Ian Rankin very much. Bit the narrator has a very clear accent, so if you a not scottish, it can be hard to understand the narration at times.

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  • liz
  • 14-06-2016

Well worth a listen

As always excellent, really enjoy the Rebus books. Well read and great to run to! Can get lost in the story whilst the miles go by!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Charlie T.
  • 06-12-2017

Not his best

Not the best Rebus. Long and complicated story with too many coincidences. But an enjoyable listen thanks to excellent narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan M.
  • 01-04-2021

Not great

The weakest in the series until this point, the book struggled to draw the reader in.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-10-2020

The best Rebus book so far.

I'm working my way through all the Rebus books, so my statement might change haha

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-07-2020

loved it

The best Reubus book so far in my opinion. Another great read, very much enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nina Couser
  • 06-05-2020

Entertaining after a slow start

I enjoyed this overall. Top class narration and well-written. Story was slow to crank up with a lot of similar characters I found hard to keep track of at times. It may not be your favourite listen of all time, but you will have enjoyed it while it lasted. 8/10

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gusty
  • 27-02-2019

Great build up, silly ending

Ive enjoyed all the Rebus books to date and this one had the makings of a cracker but it was not to be. It seemed like Rankin didn't know how to finish it so just dreamed a up a preposterous scenario. Very disappointing

1 person found this helpful

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  • Johnny106
  • 03-11-2018

One of my favourites so far

Rebus is a great character who is supported by other interesting and enjoyable characters. Super story with good plot lines and a few twists.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Traintraveller
  • 05-06-2017

Classic Rebus

A great listen. This book has all my favourite characters: Big Ger, Farmer Watson, Holmes and Clarke. McPherson as always great with the interpretation. If you known Edinburgh then you'll be looking out for all the haunts.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Graham G Grant
  • 26-11-2021

Old sins unearthed in a tangled tale of secrets and lies

Perhaps the greatest strength of The Black Book is the development of Rebus as a rounded character with a complicated personal life. He has relationship problems - both he and his girlfriend Patience Aitken spend more time working than they do with each other. And Rebus’s black sheep brother is out of jail, where he was serving time for drug-dealing. Meanwhile, the foundations are laid for the enduring partnership of Siobhan - ‘Shiv’ - and Rebus. The story itself is an ambitious blend of disparate strands - with Rebus’s nemesis Ger Cafferty at its centre. There are new leads on an old hotel fire where an unidentified corpse was discovered; one of Rebus’s colleagues is attacked and hospitalised; an undercover surveillance operation aims to take down organised crime rackets; in short, we’re knee-deep in Edinburgh low-life. Overall the rating should probably be 3.5 rather than 4 stars. The story is a bit too sprawling and a little too tangled. It was hard to care about any individual aspect of it. That said, the resolutions are neat, clever and unexpected. But it does hold your attention, and it’s Rebus - stoical, determined, wise-cracking, undaunted - who somehow makes it all work. The narration is as ever clear and well-paced, though Cafferty’s rasping voice is arguably overdone, and Shiv’s English accent is none too convincing. The Rebus series is beginning to find its feet here as the protagonists are fleshed out and we get to know more about Rebus’s often chaotic personal life. But the novel is saddled with a middling plot that quickly becomes fairly tiresome, and quite confusing…

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