Sunday, January 21, 2018

Four top novels for crime lovers

Joseph Knox's new novel is Sirens.

One of four top books for crime lovers he tagged at the Waterstones blog:
Black and Blue
Ian Rankin

What a writer, what a series, what a book. Black and Blue is the 8th Rebus novel, Rankin’s favourite of his own works, and a great starting point for new readers overwhelmed by a large backlist. I remember reading it so clearly, in the boozy drizzle of a Mancunian winter. Absolutely freezing cold with a broken boiler and not a penny to my name, wrapped in a bed sheet, watching my breath in the air, TEARING through the pages.

Rankin tells a serial killer story here like no other and, in a move that perhaps predicted and ensured his longevity, absolutely never takes the obvious, easy route. Sometimes cinematic is a word which, when applied to novels, can feel belittling. In this case it seems only fitting. As we race through four intersecting plotlines, as Rebus’s own past and temper catches up with him, and as he begins to get some sense of quite what he’s up against, the book becomes thrilling in a very special way. It feels vital and new, forcing itself into the back of your brain like a bullet to the head.
Read about another entry on the list.

Euan Ferguson called Black and Blue, the eighth Rebus novel, Rankin's finest book and put John Rebus on his list of the ten best fictional sleuths; it is one of the ten most popular Scottish novels of the last 50 years.

--Marshal Zeringue