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The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus Novels)

by

The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus Novels) Cover

 

 

Excerpt

JOHN Rebus kissed his daughter.

“Sure you dont want a lift?”

Samantha shook her head. “I need to walk off that pizza.”

Rebus put his hands in his pockets, felt folded banknotes be­neath his handkerchief. He thought of offering her some money— wasnt that what fathers did?—but shed only laugh. She was twenty-four and independent; didnt need the gesture and cer­tainly wouldnt take the money. Shed even tried to pay for the pizza, arguing that shed eaten half while hed chewed on a single slice. The remains  were in a box under her arm.

“Bye, Dad.” She pecked him on the cheek.

“Next week?”

“Ill phone you. Maybe the three of us . . . ?” By which she meant Ned Farlowe, her boyfriend. She was walking backwards as she spoke. One .nal wave, and she turned away from him, head moving as she checked the eve ning traf.c, crossing the road with­out looking back. But on the opposite pavement she half-turned, saw him watching her, waved her hand in acknow ledgment. A young man almost collided with her. He was staring at the pave­ment, the thin black cord from a pair of earphones dribbling down his neck. Turn round and look at her, Rebus commanded. Isnt she incredible? But the youth kept shuf.ing along the pavement, obliv­ious to her world.

And then shed turned a corner and was gone. Rebus could only imagine her now: making sure the pizza box was secure beneath her left arm; walking with eyes . xed .rmly ahead of her; rubbing a thumb behind her right ear, which shed recently had pierced for the third time. He knew that her nose would twitch when she thought of something funny. He knew that if she wanted to con­centrate, she might tuck the corner of one jacket-lapel into her mouth. He knew that she wore a bracelet of braided leather, three silver rings, a cheap watch with black plastic strap and indigo face. He knew that the brown of her hair was its natural colour. He knew she was headed for a Guy Fawkes party, but didnt intend staying long.

He didnt know nearly enough about her, which was why hed wanted them to meet for dinner. It had been a tortuous process: dates rejigged, last-minute cancellations. Sometimes it was her fault, more often his. Even tonight he should have been elsewhere. He ran his hands down the front of his jacket, feeling the bulge in his inside breast pocket, his own little time-bomb. Checking his watch, he saw it was nearly nine  oclock. He could drive or he could walk—he wasnt going far.

He decided to drive.

Edinburgh on .rework night, leaves blown into thick lines down the pavement. One morning soon he would .nd himself scraping frost from his car windscreen, feeling the cold like jabs to his kid­neys. The south side of the city seemed to get the .rst frost earlier than the north. Rebus, of course, lived and worked on the south side. After a stint in Craigmillar, he was back at St. Leonards. He could make for there now—he was still on shift after all—but he had other plans. He passed three pubs on his way to his car. Chat at the bar, cigarettes and laughter, a fug of heat and alcohol: he knew these things better than he knew his own daughter. Two out of the three bars boasted “doormen.” They didnt seem to be called bouncers these days. They were doormen or front-of-house man­agers, big guys with short hair and shorter fuses. One of them wore a kilt. His face was all scar tissue and scowl, the scalp shaved to abrasion. Rebus thought his name was Wattie or Wallie. He be­longed to Telford. Maybe they all did. Graf.ti on the wall further along: Wont Anyone Help? Three words spreading across the city.

knotsancorssmety

REBUS PARKEDaround the corner from Flint Street and started walking. The street was in darkness at ground level, except for a cafe and musement arcade. There was one lamppost, its bulb dead. The council had been asked by police not to replace it in a hurry—the surveillance needed all the help it could get. A few lights  were shining in the tenement .ats. There  were three cars parked kerbside, but only one of them with people in it. Rebus opened the back door and got in.

A man sat in the drivers seat, a woman next to him. They looked cold and bored. The woman was Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke, who had worked with Rebus at St. Leonards until a recent posting to the Scottish Crime Squad. The man, a Detective Sergeant called Claverhouse, was a Crime Squad regular. They were part of a team keeping twenty-four-hour tabs on Tommy Telford and all his deeds. Their slumped shoulders and pale faces bespoke not only tedium but the sure knowledge that surveillance was futile.

It was futile because Telford owned the street. Nobody parked here without him knowing who and why. The other two cars parked just now  were Range Rovers belonging to Telfords gang.

Anything but a Range Rover stuck out. The Crime Squad had a specially adapted van which they usually used for surveillance, but that  wouldnt work in Flint Street. Any van parked  here for longer than .ve minutes received close and personal attention from a cou­ple of Telfords men. They were trained to be courteous and menac­ing at the same time.

“Undercover bloody surveillance,” Claverhouse growled. “Only were not undercover and theres nothing to survey.” He tore at a Snickers wrapper with his teeth and offered the .rst bite to Siobhan Clarke, who shook her head.

“Shame about those .ats,” she said, peering up through the windscreen. “Theyd be perfect.”

“Except Telford owns them all,” Claverhouse said through a mouthful of chocolate.

“Are they all occupied?” Rebus asked. Hed been in the car a minute and already his toes  were cold.

“Some of them are empty,” Clarke said. “Telford uses them for storage.”

“But every bugger in and out of the main door gets spotted,” Claverhouse added. “Weve had meter readers and plumbers try to wangle their way in.”

“Who was acting the plumber?” Rebus asked.

“Ormiston. Why?”

Rebus shrugged. “Just need someone to .x a tap in my bath­room.”

Claverhouse smiled. He was tall and skinny, with huge dark bags under his eyes and thinning fair hair. Slow-moving and slow-talking, people often underestimated him. Those who did some­times discovered that his nickname of “Bloody” Claverhouse was merited.

Clarke checked her watch. “Ninety minutes till the changeover.”

“You could do with the heating on,” Rebus offered. Claver­house turned in his seat.

“Thats what I keep telling her, but she wont have it.”

“Why not?” He caught Clarkes eyes in the rearview. She was smiling.

“Because,” Claverhouse said, “it means running the engine, and running the engine when  were not going anywhere is wasteful. Global warming or something.”

“Its true,” Clarke said.

Rebus winked at her re.ection. It looked like shed been ac­cepted by Claverhouse, which meant accep tance by the  whole team at Fettes. Rebus, the perennial outsider, envied her the ability to conform.

“Bloody useless anyway,” Claverhouse continued. “The bugger knows  were  here. The van was blown after twenty minutes, the plumber routine didnt even get Ormiston over the threshhold, and now  here we are, the only sods on the  whole street. We  couldnt blend in less if we were doing panto.”

“Visible presence as a deterrent,” Rebus said.

“Aye, right, a few more nights of this and Im sure Tommyll be back on the straight and narrow.” Claverhouse shifted in his seat, trying to get comfortable. “Any word of Candice?”

Sammy had asked her father the same thing. Rebus shook his head.

“You still think Taravicz snatched her? No chance she did a runner?”

Rebus snorted.

“Just because you want it to be them  doesnt mean it was. My advice: leave it to us. Forget about her. Youve got that Adolf thing to keep you busy.”

“Dont remind me.”

“Did you ever track down Colquhoun?”

“Sudden holiday. His of.ce got a doctors line.”

“I think we did for him.”

Rebus realised one of his hands was caressing his breast pocket. “So is Telford in the cafe or what?”

“Went in about an hour ago,” Clarke said. “Theres a room at the back, he uses that. He seems to like the arcade, too. Those games where you sit on a motorbike and do the circuit.”

“We need someone on the inside,” Claverhouse said. “Either that or wire the place.”

“We  couldnt even get a plumber in there,” Rebus said. “You think someone with a .stful of radio mikes is going to fare any bet­ter?”

“Couldnt do any worse.” Claverhouse switched on the radio, seeking music.

“Please,” Clarke pleaded, “no country and western.”

Rebus stared out at the cafe. It was well-lit with a net curtain covering the bottom half of its window. On the top half was written “Big Bites For Small Change.” There was a menu taped to the win­dow, and a sandwich board on the pavement outside, which gave the cafes hours as 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. The place should have been closed for an hour.

“How are his licences?”

“He has lawyers,” Clarke said.

“First thing we tried,” Claverhouse added. “Hes applied for a late-night extension. I  cant see the neighbours complaining.”

“Well,” Rebus said, “much as Id love to sit around  here chatting . . .”

“End of liaison?” Clarke asked. She was keeping her humour, but Rebus could see she was tired. Disrupted sleep pattern, body chill, plus the boredom of a surveillance you know is going no­where. It was never easy partnering Claverhouse: no great fund of stories, just constant reminding that they had to do everything “the right way,” meaning by the book.

“Do us a favour,” Claverhouse said.

“What?”

“Theres a chippy across from the Odeon.”

“What do you want?”

“Just a poke of chips.”

“Siobhan?”

“Irn- Bru.”

“Oh, and John?” Claverhouse added as Rebus stepped out of the car. “Ask them for a hot-water bottle while youre at it.”

A car turned into the street, speeding up then screeching to a halt outside the cafe. The back door nearest the kerb opened, but nobody got out. The car accelerated away, door still hanging open, but there was something on the pavement now, something crawl­ing, trying to push itself upright.

“Get after them!” Rebus shouted. Claverhouse had already turned the ignition, slammed the gear- shift into .rst. Clarke was on the radio as the car pulled away. As Rebus crossed the street, the man got to his feet. He stood with one hand against the cafe win­dow, the other held to his head. As Rebus approached, the man seemed to sense his presence, staggered away from the cafe into the road.

“Christ!” he yelled. “Help me!” He fell to his knees again, both hands scrabbling at his scalp. His face was a mask of blood. Rebus crouched in front of him.

“Well get you an ambulance,” he said. A crowd had gathered at the window of the cafe. The door had been pulled open, and two young men  were watching, like they  were onlookers at a piece of street theatre. Rebus recognised them: Kenny Houston and Pretty- Boy. “Dont just stand there!” he yelled. Houston looked to Pretty-Boy, but Pretty-Boy  wasnt moving. Rebus took out his mo­bile, called in the emergency, his eyes .xing on Pretty-Boy: black wavy hair, eyeliner. Black leather jacket, black polo-neck, black jeans. Stones: “Paint It Black.” But the face chalk-white, like it had been powdered. Rebus walked up to the door. Behind him, the man was beginning to wail, a roar of pain echoing into the night sky.

“We dont know him,” Pretty-Boy said.

“I didnt ask if you knew him, I asked for help.”

Pretty-Boy didnt blink. “The magic word.”

Rebus got right up into his face. Pretty-Boy smiled and nodded towards Houston, who went to fetch towels.

Most of the customers had returned to their tables. One was studying the bloody palmprint on the window. Rebus saw an­other group of people, watching from the doorway of a room to the back of the cafe. At their centre stood Tommy Telford: tall, shoulders straight, legs apart. He looked almost soldierly.

“I thought you took care of your lads, Tommy!” Rebus called to him. Telford looked straight through him, then turned back into the room. The door closed. More screams from outside. Rebus grabbed the dishtowels from Houston and ran. The bleeder was on his feet again, weaving like a boxer in defeat.

“Take your hands down for a sec.” The man lifted both hands from his matted hair, and Rebus saw a section of scalp rise with them, like it was attached to the skull by a hinge. A thin jet of blood hit Rebus in the face. He turned away and felt it against his ear, his neck. Blindly he stuck the towel on to the mans head.

“Hold this.” Rebus grabbing the hands, forcing them on to the towel. Headlights: the unmarked police car. Claverhouse had his window down.

“Lost them in Causewayside. Stolen car, Ill bet. Theyll be hoof­ing it.”

“We need to get this one to Emergency.” Rebus pulled open the back door. Clarke had found a box of paper hankies and was pulling out a wad.

“I think hes beyond Kleenex,” Rebus said as she handed them over.

“Theyre for you,” she said.

 
Excerpted from The Hanging Garden by Ian Rankin.

Copyright © 1999 by Ian Rankin.

Published in January 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.v

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312617158
Author:
Rankin, Ian
Publisher:
Minotaur Books
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. 9
Publication Date:
20100131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.31 x 5.53 x 1.23 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus Novels) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.99 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Minotaur Books - English 9780312617158 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Detective Inspector John Rebus is buried under a pile of paperwork, but the escalating dispute between the upstart Tommy Telford and Big Ger Cafferty's gang gives him an escape clause. And when Rebus takes under his wing a distraught Bosnian call girl, it gives him a personal reason to make sure Telford takes the high road back to Paisley. Within days, Rebus's daughter is the victim of a professional hit and run and Rebus knows that now there is nothing he wouldn't do to bring down prime suspect Telford...
"Synopsis" by ,
Drugs.  Extortion.  Slavery.  Organized crime is fighting for a hold on John Rebus's peaceful Scotland.  And when Rebus rescues a young Bosnian girl forced into prostitution, he breaks a policeman's golden rule to never get personally involved in a case.  Add to that the hunt for an elderly Nazi accused of slaughtering an entire French village, and Rebus wonders just how evil humans can be.  Until his own daughter is mortally injured as a gangland warning for him to back off.  Then even a dedicated cop like Rebus might make a deal with the devil to find the culprit.  Not for justice.  For revenge. 
 
A chilling glimpse into the darkest extremes of human cruelty, The Hanging Garden is a page-turning literary thriller. This ninth entry in Ian Rankin's award-winning series confirms his reputation as a writer of rare and lasting gifts.
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