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Publisher's Summary

Stalking a poisoner at the local zoo, Inspector John Rebus comes across a paedophile taking pictures of children.

When the social workers claim he is there for legitimate educational reasons, Rebus is faced with a dilemma - should he be outed to protect local kids or given a chance to start anew?

As the locals begin a hate campaign, Rebus gets a call from the past: The son of a friend has gone missing, and no one else will make time to ask the right questions. And then a fragment of Scotland's criminal history is repatriated at the end of a life sentence for murder.

Once more Rebus' cup of trouble runneth over, and the ghosts of past misdeeds return to haunt Edinburgh's streets.

©1999 John Rebus Ltd (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Didn't grab me

Very long and not very exciting. I really disliked how Carey had it all over the police, especially when he was taken to a supposed kill site and begged to say if he killed the copper's niece. I actually skipped to the next chapter because it was too ridiculous. Have read better

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favorites. Rankin and Rebus.

Having read the first half of the series in print form, the switch to audio book took some getting used to. Hearing the voices, with the accents chosen by the narrator, was almost jarring at the beginning. However, by the second chapter I had settled in and will finish out the series in audio books. Highly recommended.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dee Murray
  • 10-19-16

Vintage Rebus... Rankin on top form

A complex storyline with many devious twists and turns. Edinburgh, again, features heavily with day trips to the Kingdom. The story kept us guessing up to the end but, for us, the best thing about this book is James MacPherson's narration. He is convincing as both male and female characters but his dark, creepy psycho will make your flesh crawl. He brings Rankin's many characters to life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Timedout
  • 03-27-17

took a few chapters but great in the end

I was thinking of giving up on this to begin with. It took a while to get going with information I just wasn't interested in. I'm glad I persisted as in the end I couldn't put it down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • L. Lomax
  • 07-21-15

LIKE A BIT OF REBUS

Would you listen to Dead Souls again? Why?

As I like Ian Rankin and the Rebus character, I did enjoy this. He drinks too much, is cantankerous and would like to cut corners, but in the end he always comes up teumps.

Which character – as performed by James Macpherson – was your favourite?

It was all good. It's what makes the book so easy to listen to,

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No I don't tend to do that.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-05-17

Compromised Rebus Fights Back

Enduring fascination whether the central character DI Rebus will be able to win against believable, evil characters in this procedural meditation on child abuse and misplaced love and desire. The novel's structure takes elements from Nikolai Gogol's book of the same name, according to the writer's short introduction. Through familiar friends and colleagues, Rebus weaves a satisfying solution to several crimes whilst fighting ghosts of his own. I kept thinking the story had ended about halfway through the book. It's surprising how much detail I missed in the writer's premise. Interesting atmosphere and humorous comment on local and national events with colourful, knowing depictions of Scottish types. I shall listen again to this excellent reading.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • 07-25-17

Not the best Rebus

Really gripping story, but the ending felt rushed and unsatisfactory. Would recommend but definitely not the best Rebus novel.

James MacPherson's narration is excellent as always.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • mollyeyre
  • 12-21-15

Enjoyable

I found this book fast paced, and gripping as is usual for Ian Rankin's novels. However, I felt it was a bit 'unfinished' with several points left in the air.

Overall I enjoyed it though, and I do like James Macpherson's narration, apart from his 'posh' D S Clarke's voice. (trouble with audio is that I don't always know how to spell the names)