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Four moon gifSt Martins (Paperback), ISBN 0312974205
Dark, deadly and dangerous doesn't begin to describe Ian Rankin's protagonist, John Rebus. A CID detective in Scotland, Rebus embodies the image of the dour Scot, driven by personal demons and determined to get his man -- even if it means damaging what's left of his own reputation. In Dead Souls, Rebus Book: Ian Rankin, Dead Soulsfaces an evil almost beyond belief, an even darker counterpoint to his own dark thoughts, dogging his steps but staying in the shadows.

From pedophiles to missing children and even the suicide of one of their own, the Edinburgh police know that their plates are too full to contemplate more trouble. But fate takes a turn and stirs a serial killer into the mix -- an evil, twisted man, deported from the U.S. and requesting to come to Edinburgh. This killer nurtures a secret and a penchant for dancing with danger, keeping just inside the line without actually crossing it. And the killer's focus appears to rest squarely on John Rebus.

Book: Ian Rankin, The Black BookDead Souls speaks to the fear in all of us -- fear of despair, of our very lives crumbling into a morass of desolate days, wondering why. The depth and scope of this novel showcase the talent of Ian Rankin, who can take even such dark subjects, use some word polish and create this superb, moody piece that a reader can't put down. Rankin's protagonist reflects the dark side of police work, the mental torture of someone whose past mistakes come back in spades. Rebus's doggedness and resolve won't allow him to stop investigating a case which seems to lead nowhere. His intensity and brooding self-doubt force him to search for answers where there may very well be none. But search he does, and with such determination, that eventually he knows he'll find the object of his search -- whether or not he likes the answers.

Dead Souls proves that Rankin knows his stuff, pushing the limits of the standard British police procedural, throwing chiaroscuro light on both Rebus and his world, insisting we keep reading to discover what lies just beyond the illumination. This book goes far beyond a good read, landing in the realm of the unforgettable.

Maria Y. Lima