Dead Souls (Inspector John Rebus Series #10)

Dead Souls (Inspector John Rebus Series #10)

by Ian Rankin


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A colleague's suicide. Pedophiles. A missing child. A serial killer. Driven by instinct and experience, John Rebus searches for connections, against official skepticism. Soldiering through dank, desperate slums and the tony flats of the Scottish elite, Inspector Rebus uncovers a chain of crime, deceit, and hidden sins—knowing it's really himself he's trying to save.

Ian Rankin's Dead Souls is "crime writing of the highest order" (Daily Express).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312617165
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 03/02/2010
Series: Inspector John Rebus Series , #10
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 136,251
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Ian Rankin is the worldwide #1 bestselling writer of the Inspector Rebus mysteries, including Knots and Crosses, Hide and Seek, Let It Bleed, Black and Blue, Set in Darkness, Resurrection Men, A Question of Blood, The Falls and Exit Music. He has won an Edgar Award, a Gold Dagger for fiction, a Diamond Dagger for career excellence, and the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contributions to literature. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.


Edinburgh, London and France

Date of Birth:

April 28, 1960

Place of Birth:

Cardenden, Scotland


Edinburgh University

Read an Excerpt

FROM this height, the sleeping city seems like a child’s construction, a model which has refused to be constrained by imagination. The volcanic plug might be black Plasticine, the castle

balanced solidly atop it a skewed rendition of crenellated building bricks. The orange street lamps are crumpled toffee-wrappers glued to lollipop sticks.

Out in the Forth, the faint bulbs from pocket torches illuminate toy boats resting on black crêpe paper. In this universe, the jagged spires of the Old Town would be angled matchsticks, Princes Street Gardens a Fuzzy-Felt board. Cardboard boxes for the tenements, doors and windows painstakingly detailed with coloured pens. Drinking straws could become guttering and downpipes, and with a .ne blade—maybe a scalpel—those doors could be made to open. But peering inside . . . peering inside would destroy the effect.

Peering inside would change everything.

He shoves his hands in his pockets. The wind is stropping his ears. He can pretend it is a child’s breath, but the reality chides him.

I am the last cold wind you’ll feel.

He takes a step forward, peers over the edge and into darkness.

Arthur’s Seat crouches behind him, humped and silent as though offended by his presence, coiled to pounce. He tells himself it is papier-mâché. He smooths his hands over strips of newsprint, not reading the stories, then realises he is stroking the air and withdraws his hands, laughing guiltily. Somewhere behind him, he hears a voice.

In the past, he’d climbed up here in daylight. Years back, it would have been with a lover maybe, climbing hand in hand, seeing the city spread out like a promise. Then later, with his wife and child, stopping at the summit to take photos, making sure no one went too close to the edge. Father and husband, he would tuck his chin into his collar, seeing Edinburgh in shades of grey, but getting it into perspective, having risen above it with his family. Digesting the whole city with a slow sweep of his head, he would feel that all problems were containable.

But now, in darkness, he knows better.

He knows that life is a trap, that the jaws eventually spring shut on anyone foolish enough to think they could cheat their way to a victory. A police car blares in the distance, but it’s not coming for him. A black coach is waiting for him at the foot of Salisbury Crags. Its headless driver is becoming impatient. The horses tremble and whinny. Their .anks will lather on the ride home.

“Salisbury Crag” has become rhyming slang in the city. It means skag, heroin. “Morningside Speed” is cocaine. A snort of coke just now would do him the world of good, but wouldn’t be enough. Arthur’s Seat could be made of the stuff: in the scheme of things, it wouldn’t matter a damn.

There is a .gure behind him in the darkness, drawing nearer. He half-turns to confront it, then quickly looks away, suddenly fearful of meeting the face. He begins to say something.

“I know you’ll .nd it hard to believe, but I’ve . . .”

He never .nishes the sentence. Because now he’s sailing out across the city, jacket . ying up over his head, smothering a . nal, heartfelt cry. As his stomach surges and voids, he wonders if there really is a coachman waiting for him.

And feels his heart burst open with the knowledge that he’ll never see his daughter again, in this world or any other.

Excerpted from Dead Souls by Ian Rankin.

Copyright © 2000 by Ian Rankin.

Published in March 2010 by St. Martin's Press.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction

is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or

medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Customer Reviews

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Dead Souls (Inspector John Rebus Series #10) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost one year ago I was browsing through books at Walmart looking for a 'good book'. I stumbled upon 'Black and Blue'. I read it through in no time and fell in love with Rebus. Since then I have purchased or borrowed every book by Rankin and have thoruoghly enjoyed each on. Dead Souls is as engrossing as the rest and again the results are not what you expect, it is full of twists and turns. Rebus seems to be a 'real' person with his own complicated personal life life as well as a full caseload. He is not your usual detective who sees everything in black and white. He questions all he sees and is not always happy about the results. I have read all the books that Ian Rankin has written and am anxiously waiting another Detective Rebus novel to find out rebus is handling his cases as well as his life.
Heptonj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent read. Inspector Rebus has to confront his beliefs when he realises he may not have been right in 'outing' a reformed paedophile. He also has to confront his past when a couple he went to school with request his help with their missing son. All is not well with his personal and family life.But this does not detract from a superb tale of perverts and killers on the streets of Edinburgh and the dangers this leads Rebus and his friends and family into.
the.ken.petersen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ian Rankin gets it just about right, for me: Rebus is flawed, it's a dirty world but, we don't have to put up with too much detail.This is a cracking tale. Rebus is helping a girlfriend, from his past, to find her run away son, he is keeping an eye upon a released paedophile, in whose murder he plays an unwanted part, and trailing a psychopath returning from years in an American prison.Just an ordinary day, then.
edwardsgt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this Rebus novel he finds himself involved with a paedophile he spots at the zoo whilst stalking a poisoner. Usual well-plotted, highly developed characters and sense of time and place.
-Eva- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rebus' natural disgust for pedophiles causes him to endanger a man who may be less than dangerous and Rebus is then left to somehow manage a violet mob, set on murder. This is Rankin's tenth book about Inspector rebus, and there are just no signs of slowing down. As usual, Rankin's descriptions of the working-class neighborhoods of Edinburgh, its people, it's language, its desperation, are so spot on that it's easy to get lost in the emotions and the action. With a realistic and somewhat inconclusive ending, it's even easier to lose yourself in the characters since the frustration isn't only theirs, it's yours.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The son of an old flame of Rebus' goes missing and he's asked to find the young man. Rebus 'outs' a pedophile recently released from prison to the media when he finds out his apartment faces as children's playground. A dangerous killer called Carry Oakes makes his way back to Edinburgh to settle old scores after having been held in prison in the States. These cases may or may not be related, but the only thing that's absolutely certain is that Rebus takes all of it very personally, though even with all the pressure, he's somehow managing to keep his drinking in check. It's hard for me to say whether the book itself was lacking or if I might be the one getting a bit bored with the formula. I've had to read several Rebus novels under pressure recently because I had promised to send them to someone, which is NOT the best way to read a book in the best of circumstances. All I know is that this one felt like it dragged on and on and on... and on, and I've rarely felt more relieved to finally reach the end. I'll be taking a break from Rankin for a while, and hopefully get back to him inspired anew. If not, it's not as if there was a shortage of other crime series to discover out there, is it?
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
#10 in the Inspector Rebus series.The book opens with the seeming suicide of one of Rebus¿ young colleagues who is also a friend, and a chase by Rebus in the zoo after a convicted pedophile who has been newly released from prison. To complicate his life even further, a serial killer who has been released from an American prison on technicalities having to do with his trial, is being returned to his ¿home¿ in Edinburg; he is considered nearly certain to kill again, but there is no cause to hold him. In addition, old friends out of his past ask him to find their son who has suddenly gone missing.These four separate, seemingly unrelated incidents form the complex, well thought through plot. Unfortunately, the writing and the characterization does not live up either to the plot potential or to the standard of Rankin¿s earlier books in the series. Rebus has degenerated into an alcoholic, blurring at least one distinction between him and other protagonists in the hard-boiled genre. People important in his past emerge, but are not terribly interesting, nor do they really add much to the story line. His love life is also a matter of indifference, both to him, his lover, and to us. What does lift the book up from boredom in this area are his relationships with his colleagues, especially his immediate supervisor and his partner.But there is no getting away from the fact that the book is a disappointment.
miketroll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels set in the grim, dour, downbeat side of Edinburgh that the Festival tourists rarely see, and probably don't want to.
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