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Publisher's Summary

As head of Edinburgh’s CID, Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Skinner has seen it all…but even he is shocked by the savagely mutilated corpse discovered in a dark alleyway. The victim is identified as a successful young lawyer, and the motive for the brutal death remains a mystery. Then further seemingly random killings in the city begin to suggest a vicious serial killer on the rampage. But when the lawyer’s fiancée is also murdered, Skinner realises that someone is in deadly earnest.

What eventually emerges is an elaborate smokescreen shrouding a deep-rooted and intricate conspiracy. Now, whatever the danger to himself, Skinner is determined that in Edinburgh, at least, folk will abide by his rules.

©1993 Quintin Jardine (P)2013 Isis Publishing Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    12
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    21
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    13
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    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

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    17
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    16
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    10
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    3
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Story

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

A good story

A litte far fetched, also it is my impression the author has a bit of national hubris...

Still, I enjoyed the book and purchased the next three in a 20 plus series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

series starts here

do check the UK reviews.

Police procedural, more at the higher end and involving different departments.

It reads a little like a series intended for a tv show as the story does have natural breaks where there is a resolution and then kicks off in a new direction.
Skinner is an over the top hero who is not really lovable.

There are a few plot weaknesses, when the whole story is considered. The introduction of the diplomatic and secret service is actually quite good as it does highlight the difference between English and Scotish law.

Not a bad listen.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Serial Killer turned international spy?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

That's what seemed to happen to this story mid way it turned into an espionage novel complete with international, political back story. It was REALLY a disappointment considering that the serial killer part started out pretty good and kind of dramatic and detailed, almost Jack the Ripper worthy. Then BOOM embassy's and briefcases.

Would you ever listen to anything by Quintin Jardine again?

Probably not

Which scene was your favorite?

the whole beginning was good until the writer switched sub-genres

What character would you cut from Skinner's Rules?

all the political figures and spys etc

Any additional comments?

not having the second half at all would have been an improvement at least it was the same story...

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dr. R. Taylor
  • 08-10-17

Very engaging

What did you like most about Skinner's Rules?

Some deviations on procedural. Is based in I guess the 1980s and reflects that in some of the technical detail.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Maggie - one of the DCs and very sympathetic

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The scene at the Edinburgh debate - believable in many ways, although the set up is somewhat obvious - bringing 'staff' in so late with a single point of failure would simply not have been done and the delay could have been dealt with by getting them to walk!

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

Listened over several journeys in the car

Any additional comments?

A good listen, although some of the more frustrating procedural moments (thinking that they could not/would not have done this turns out to be the means by which the author concludes the plot. Fun though.

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
  • Jockette61
  • 08-28-14

Scottish police are great

My mum's been reading QJ's books for years, so I thought I'd better give them a try. I realised I had read this on Kindle a year or so ago - but enjoyed it so much more as the audio version. I can see how the characters will grow through a series of books - and looking forward to seeing how they develop.
The story in this was good, and I liked how the two investigations meshed together. Loved the Scottish setting - although am less familiar with Edinburgh than my hometown Aberdeen from McBride's books. The performance was mostly good - rather too many gruff voice characterisations, and the Aberdonian voice performance wasn't great - a bit of a caricature. But that's picky!
Have just ordered book 2 in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin
  • 04-08-13

Absolutely Fantastic.

I had a funny feeling, that I was going to like the Skinner series, hence starting with the first book and boy, was I right, it was an absolute sensation.

I am really looking forward to listening to the rest of the series, I'm hoping they've all got the same narrator, he did a great job.

Quintin Jardine is an absolute master story teller.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geg
  • 01-16-18

I'm hooked!


I was gripped from the start, loved the characterisation; it promises to be an enjoyable series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • mollyeyre
  • 07-12-16

Started well

I was really enjoying this story, the main character - Skinner was such a nice honorable guy and the murder that happened was being investigated ........ then it slowly degenerated into over hyped political tension and crime. It really became boring, I also found the 'sweetness and light, lovey dovey' relationship he has a bit 'Mills and Boon'.

The narration by James Bryce was OK ish, but some of the voices he used were odd to say the least!

I don't think I will bother with following up on the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kevin Innes
  • 06-21-16

first book

late arrival to Bob skinner this was the first in series if this was the standard then I am looking forward to the rest

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs
  • 07-08-13

Introduction to Skinner

What made the experience of listening to Skinner's Rules the most enjoyable?

The book gives a comprehensive introduction to the main characters in the ongoing series and has a fast paced storyline to boot. The twists and turns to the story were woven in brilliantly, just when you thought you were on the case off it would go in another direction.
Skinner and crew make understanding the job of the police much easier. Yes this is fiction but I was sucked into the story as if it was unfolding in front of me.

What did you like best about this story?

As a native of Edinburgh I could easily picture the places where the action was taking place which seemed to make the book more personal. For non Edinburghers the use of any online map would help if you are inclined to want to picture the scenes.

What about James Bryce’s performance did you like?

James tells the story brilliantly with slight changes of voice to determine which of the characters is speaking during dialogue. This allowed me to feel I was a fly on the wall listening in.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Edinburgh, the underside of the tourist city.

Any additional comments?

Quintin Jardine captures me as a reader in a way Ian Rankine never has. He stays true to the city in the most part without changing area or street names which adds greatly to the enjoyment of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Roberts
  • 03-10-18

gave up narrator terrible

story slow. narration awful and patronising with the worst character voices I've ever listened to. listened to 17 chapters but can't go on. dull and poorly performed.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Craig
  • 04-27-17

Sorry not for me

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A more realistic story, To be fair the story started really well but quite quickly went into the realms of the unbelievable, I could have coped with that but I felt the narration was dreadful and some of the main voices did not ring true.

What will your next listen be?

Probably a Rebus as the storylines are tight and the narrator James MacPherson is excellent.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Greatly I am afraid. The characterisations did not work for me at all,

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • 04-27-18

Started out great but

Started out great but got boring fast, too much exposition and politics. This is the first in a long series but I’m not keen to try another. Sadly, I stopped an hour short of finishing, just couldn’t get there.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • 12-05-17

well worth a read

started a bit slow, but picked up and ended with a bang. Hero's love interest a bit silly .