MLA Platinum Award Press Release

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 by Ian Rankin X
A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2004, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2005, 544 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"I'm assuming it's about Martin Fairstone," she said, beating Templer to the opening jab of the bout. When Templer stayed quiet, she went in again. "I had nothing to do with--" "Where's John?" Templer interrupted sharply. Siobhan just swallowed.

"He's not at his flat," Templer continued. "I sent someone round there to check. Yet according to you, he's taken a couple of days' sick leave. Where is he, Siobhan?"

"I..."

"The thing is, two nights ago Martin Fairstone was seen in a bar. Nothing unusual in that, except that his companion bore a striking resemblance to Detective Inspector John Rebus. Couple of hours later, Fairstone's being fried alive in the kitchen of his house." She paused. "Always supposing he was alive when the fire started." "Ma'am, I really don't-"

"John likes to look out for you, doesn't he, Siobhan? Nothing wrong in that. John's got this knight-in-tarnished-armor thing, hasn't he? Always has to be looking for another dragon to fight." "This doesn't have anything to do with DI Rebus, ma'am." "Then what's he hiding from?"

"I'm not aware that he's hiding at all." "But you've seen him?" It was a question, but only just. Templer allowed herself a winning smile. "I'd put money on it." "He's really not well enough to come in," Siobhan parried, aware that her punches were losing much of their previous force. "If he can't come here, I'm quite willing for you to take me to him."

Siobhan felt her shoulders sag. "I need to talk to him first." Templer was shaking her head. "This isn't something you can negotiate, Siobhan. According to you, Fairstone was stalking you. He gave you that black eye." Siobhan raised an involuntary hand towards her left cheekbone. The marks were fading; she knew they were more like shadows now. They could be hidden with makeup or explained by tiredness. But she still saw them when she looked in the mirror. "Now he's dead," Templer was continuing. "In a house fire, possibly suspicious. So you can see that I have to talk to anyone who saw him that night." Another pause. "When was the last time you saw him, Siobhan?"

"Which one--Fairstone or DI Rebus?" "Both, if you like."

Siobhan didn't say anything. Her hands went to clasp the metal arms of her chair, but she realized it had no arms. A new chair, less comfortable than the old one. Then she saw that Templer's chair was new, too, and set an inch or two higher than before. A little trick to give her an edge over any visitor ...which meant the chief super felt the need of such props.

"I don't think I'm prepared to answer, ma'am." Siobhan paused. "With respect." She got to her feet, wondering whether she'd sit down again if told to.

"That's very disappointing, DS Clarke." Templer's voice was cold, no more first names. "You'll tell John we've had a word?" "If you want me to."

"I expect you'll want to get your stories straight, prior to any inquiry." Siobhan acknowledged the threat with a nod. All it needed was a request from the chief super, and the Complaints would come shuffling into view, bringing with them their briefcases full of questions and skepticism. The Complaints: full title, the Complaints and Conduct Department.

"Thank you, ma'am," was all Siobhan said, opening the door and closing it again behind her. There was a toilet cubicle along the hall, and she went and sat there for a while, taking a small paper bag from her pocket and breathing into it. The first time she'd suffered a panic attack, she'd felt as if she was going into cardiac arrest: heart pounding, lungs giving out, her whole body surging with electricity. Her doctor had said she should take some time off. She'd entered his office thinking he would recommend her to the hospital for tests, but instead he'd told her to buy a book about her condition. She'd found one in a pharmacy. It listed every single one of her symptoms in its first chapter, and made a few suggestions. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol. Eat less salt and fat. Try breathing into a paper bag if an attack seems imminent.

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" articles
  • 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 $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Good Neighborhood
    A Good Neighborhood
    by Therese Anne Fowler
    After fictionalized biographies of Zelda Fitzgerald (Z, 2013) and Alva Vanderbilt (A Well-Behaved ...
  • Book Jacket: Little Gods
    Little Gods
    by Meng Jin
    Little Gods, Meng Jin's intricate, emotionally intelligent debut, opens with a scene in which ...
  • Book Jacket: The Truants
    The Truants
    by Kate Weinberg
    The Truants opens with Jess Walker, a first-year university student in Norfolk, England, ...
  • Book Jacket: The End of the Ocean
    The End of the Ocean
    by Maja Lunde
    In The History of Bees, her debut novel for adults, internationally bestselling Norwegian writer ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Cartier's Hope
    by M. J. Rose

    A Gilded Age gem of ambition & betrayal from the author of New York Times bestseller, Tiffany Blues.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Remembrance
    by Rita Woods

    A breakout debut with modern resonance, perfect for fans of The Underground Railroad and Orphan Train.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
American Dirt
by Jeanine Cummins

"American Dirt is a Grapes of Wrath for our times."
—Don Winslow

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Lost Family

The Lost Family
by Libby Copeland

A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A F I Need I A F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.