Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin - Book Review

A Question of Blood, is a crime fiction, written by the British (Scottish) author Ian Rankin, best known for his John Rebus series. A Question of Blood is the sixteenth book featuring Detective Inspector John Rebus. The story takes place in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

John Rebus is in trouble, Martin Fairstone, a petty criminal, is dead, his house was burnt, and the last person to be seen with him was Rebus. Rebus already had a scuffle with him as Fairstone was assaulting his colleague, Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke. Another evidence against Rebus was that his hand was burnt and Rebus's claim was that he had scalded his hand. What made people think that he could have committed the murder is his background and personality. He smokes and drinks too much and keeps a lot of secrets to himself. Nobody knows anything much about him. He had separated from his wife years ago and his daughter was living in England. Since he was totally detached, people always had a suspicion that he may turn out doing something drastic any time.

Lee Herdman, an ex SAS (Special Air Services) personnel, walked into a school, brandishing a pistol. There were four casualties. Three dead, one injured. Anthony Jarvies, the son of a lawyer, Derek Renshaw, the son of Rebus' cousin and James Bell (injured, not dead), the son of a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), Jack Bell and the last one at whom he pulled the trigger was himself. He was also dead. There was no mystery in this, the only question remaining was “Why?”. Why did a retired personnel have to go on a shooting rampage and then kill himself? Revenge? Was he hired by someone else to take revenge? The question “Why?” led to so many other questions.

Although, as per police procedures, Rebus is not allowed to investigate since a relative is involved, however, this was also one of the many other unknown things about Rebus. So, Rebus was to investigate this case and win a personal battle, by finding the reason why his nephew was killed and punishing the other people behind it and at the same time, he had to clear him off his charges, regarding the Martin Fairstone case.

This is a good book, good language, good character description and it did live up to its tags, that is “crime”, “mystery” and “thriller”. But I also felt that this book was a little too dragging with its sub plot being too boring. The way some characters were closed out was also very poor. But for these, it is a good book and I give this is a rating of 7 / 10.

Rating – 7/ 10

Have a nice day,


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