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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus Novels)

by

Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus Novels) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

FROM this height, the sleeping city seems like a childs construc­tion, a model which has refused to be constrained by imagi­nation. The volcanic plug might be black Plasticine, the castle

balanced solidly atop it a skewed rendition of crenellated building bricks. The orange street lamps are crumpled toffee-wrappers glued to lollipop sticks.

Out in the Forth, the faint bulbs from pocket torches illuminate toy boats resting on black crêpe paper. In this universe, the jagged spires of the Old Town would be angled matchsticks, Princes Street Gardens a Fuzzy-Felt board. Cardboard boxes for the tenements, doors and windows painstakingly detailed with coloured pens. Drinking straws could become guttering and downpipes, and with a .ne blade—maybe a scalpel—those doors could be made to open. But peering inside . . . peering inside would destroy the effect.

Peering inside would change everything.

He shoves his hands in his pockets. The wind is stropping his ears. He can pretend it is a childs breath, but the reality chides him.

I am the last cold wind youll feel.

He takes a step forward, peers over the edge and into darkness.

Arthurs Seat crouches behind him, humped and silent as though offended by his presence, coiled to pounce. He tells himself it is papier-mâché. He smooths his hands over strips of newsprint, not reading the stories, then realises he is stroking the air and with­draws his hands, laughing guiltily. Somewhere behind him, he hears a voice.

In the past, hed climbed up  here in daylight. Years back, it would have been with a lover maybe, climbing hand in hand, see­ing the city spread out like a promise. Then later, with his wife and child, stopping at the summit to take photos, making sure no one went too close to the edge. Father and husband, he would tuck his chin into his collar, seeing Edinburgh in shades of grey, but getting it into perspective, having risen above it with his family. Digesting the  whole city with a slow sweep of his head, he would feel that all problems were containable.

But now, in darkness, he knows better.

He knows that life is a trap, that the jaws eventually spring shut on anyone foolish enough to think they could cheat their way to a victory. A police car blares in the distance, but its not coming for him. A black coach is waiting for him at the foot of Salisbury Crags. Its headless driver is becoming impatient. The  horses tremble and whinny. Their .anks will lather on the  ride home.

“Salisbury Crag” has become rhyming slang in the city. It means skag, heroin. “Morningside Speed” is cocaine. A snort of coke just now would do him the world of good, but  wouldnt be enough. Arthurs Seat could be made of the stuff: in the scheme of things, it  wouldnt matter a damn.

There is a .gure behind him in the darkness, drawing nearer. He half-turns to confront it, then quickly looks away, suddenly fearful of meeting the face. He begins to say something.

“I know youll .nd it hard to believe, but Ive . . .”

He never .nishes the sentence. Because now hes sailing out across the city, jacket . ying up over his head, smothering a . nal, heartfelt cry. As his stomach surges and voids, he wonders if there really is a coachman waiting for him.

And feels his heart burst open with the knowledge that hell never see his daughter again, in this world or any other.

 
Excerpted from Dead Souls by Ian Rankin.

Copyright © 2000 by Ian Rankin.

Published in March 2010 by St. Martin's Press.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction

is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or

medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312617165
Author:
Rankin, Ian
Publisher:
Griffin
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Series
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Rebus, inspector (fictitious character)
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Hard-Boiled
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series:
Inspector Rebus Novels
Series Volume:
No. 10
Publication Date:
20100331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.51 x 1.46 in

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Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus Novels) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.99 In Stock
Product details 528 pages St. Martin's Griffin - English 9780312617165 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Assigned to conduct surveillance over a convicted murderer just deported back to Edinburgh, Rebus finds himself in a game of cat-and-mouse with a cruelly clever criminal who turns the tables and begins to watch Rebus himself. Martin's Press.
"Synopsis" by ,
A colleague's suicide.  Pedophiles.  A missing child.  A serial killer.  Driven by instinct and experience, John Rebus searches for connections, against official skepticism.  Soldiering through dank, desperate slums and the tony flats of the Scottish elite, Inspector Rebus uncovers a chain of crime, deceit, and hidden sins--knowing it's really himself he's trying to save.
 
Ian Rankin's Dead Souls is "crime writing of the highest order" (Daily Express).
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