Excerpt from A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Question of Blood

An Inspector Rebus Novel

By Ian Rankin

A Question of Blood
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Feb 2004,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2005,
    544 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Who with?" "The boss." Meaning Detective Chief Superintendent Gill Templer. Rebus nodded, satisfied that as yet it wasn't going any higher. "What will you say to her?" he asked.

"There's nothing to tell. I didn't have anything to do with Fairstone's death." She paused, another unasked question hanging between them: Did you? She seemed to be waiting for Rebus to say something, but he stayed silent. "She'll want to know about you," Siobhan added. "How you ended up in here."

"I scalded myself," Rebus said. "It's stupid, but that's what happened."

"I know that's what you say happened . . ." "No, Siobhan, it's what happened. Ask the doctors if you don't believe me." He looked around again. "Always supposing you can find one."

"Probably still combing the grounds for a parking space." The joke was weak enough, but Rebus smiled anyway. She was letting him know she wouldn't be pressing him any further. His smile was one of gratitude.

"Who's in charge at South Queensferry?" he asked her, signaling a change of subject.

"I think DI Hogan's out there." "Bobby's a good guy. If it can be wrapped up fast, he'll do it." "Media circus by all accounts. Grant Hood's been drafted in to handle liaison."

"Leaving us short-changed at St. Leonard's?" Rebus was thoughtful. "All the more reason for me to get back there." "Especially if I'm suspended . . ."

"You won't be. You said it yourself, Siobhan-you didn't have anything to do with Fairstone. Way I see it, it was an accident. Now that something bigger's come along, maybe it'll die a natural death, so to speak."

"'An accident.' " She was repeating his words. He nodded slowly. "So don't worry about it. Unless, of course, you really did top the bastard."

"John . . ." There was a warning in her tone. Rebus smiled again and managed a wink.

"Only joking," he said. "I know damned fine who Gill's going to want to see in the frame for Fairstone." "He died in a fire, John."

"And that means I killed him?" Rebus held up both hands, turning them this way and that. "Scalds, Siobhan. That's all, just scalds." She rose from the chair. "If you say so, John." Then she stood in front of him, while he lowered his hands, biting back the sudden rush of agony. A nurse was approaching, saying something about changing his dressings.

"I'm just going," Siobhan informed her. Then, to Rebus: "I'd hate to think you'd do something so stupid and imagine it was on my behalf." He started shaking his head slowly, and she turned and walked away. "Keep the faith, Siobhan!" he called after her.

"That your daughter?" the nurse asked, making conversation. "Just a friend, someone I work with." "You something to do with the Church?"

Rebus winced as she started unpeeling one of his bandages. "What makes you say that?"

"The way you were talking about faith." "Job like mine, you need more than most." He paused. "But then, maybe it's the same for you?"

"Me?" She smiled, her eyes on her handiwork. She was short and plain-looking and businesslike. "Can't hang around waiting for faith to do anything for you. So how did you manage this?" She meant his blistered hands.

"I got into hot water," he explained, feeling a bead of sweat beginning its slow journey down one temple. Pain I can handle, he thought to himself. The problem was everything else. "Can we switch to something lighter than bandages?"

"You keen to be on your way?" "Keen to pick up a cup without dropping it." Or a phone, he thought. "Besides, there's got to be someone out there needs the bed more than I do."

"Very public-minded, I'm sure. We'll have to see what the doctor says."

"And which doctor would that be?" "Just have a bit of patience, eh?"

Copyright © 2003 by Ian Rankin.  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and ambitious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.