VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 28 POSTED ON: 9/13/2011
Black and Blue Rebus Rebus: Name a puzzle where you decode a message consisting of pictures representing syllables and words He is trying to solve puzzles He, as a character, is a puzzle Violent Rebus occasionally is violent: “Rebus reached out a hand until it touched the man‟s forehead, faith-healer style. Then he pushed, not very hard. But there was no resistance…Rebus was kneeling in front of [Shand], hauling him up by the front of his shirt.” Here his behaviour seems controlled but at other times he acts angrily Third Person Limited Narration Rankin uses this technique to show the reader things from Rebus‟s point of view And help us empathise with him “Yes, Craigmillar was a choice posting.” (p6 ) “Another comedian, another waste of time.” (p7) Music Throughout Rebus thinks of songs and song titles which are relevant at that time: P27, “Pet Shop Boys: „It‟s a Sin‟. Segue to the Glimmer Twins: „Fool to Cry‟. “1968, Bible John‟s first victim. To Rebus it meant Van Morrison, Astral Weeks. 1969, victims two and three; the Stones Let it Bleed.” Music helps him make sense of the world Rebus‟s Thoughts “It gnawed at Rebus, as it had at so many before: why would Bible John leave such a good witness behind? ...Why had he been so reckless? Had he been taunting the police..? ...Australia, Canada, the USA?” (p96) We see Rebus‟s thought process as he tries to work things out Music P27: “Pet Shop Boys: „It‟s a Sin‟. Segue to the Glimmer Twins: „Fool to Cry.‟” “1968, Bible John‟s first victim. To Rebus it meant Van Morrison, Astral Weeks. 1969, victims two and three; the Stones, Let it Bleed.” Victims “The way a lot of them saw it, when you worked a murder investigation, your client was the deceased, mute and cold, but still screaming out for justice. It had to be true, because sometimes if you listened hard enough you could hear them screaming. Sitting in his chair by the window, Rebus had heard many a despairing cry. One night, he‟d hear Angie Riddell and it had pierced his heart, because he‟d known her, liked her. In that instant it became personal for him.” (p51) Ghosts “all the victims he couldn‟t help and would never be able to help.” (325) “surrounded by loss” “All the ghosts…yelling at him…begging him…shrieking.” (381) He feels haunted by the people he can‟t help “Why me?” (18) He sounds like he has had enough of the police but it is like an addiction: he needs his job Redemption “the act of delivering from sin or saving from evil” The closing words of the novel suggest he may be able to move on: “...pulled open the cupboard and lifted out the newspapers and cuttings. Dumped the whole lot of them into the bin. Grabbed his jacket and took that walk.” a man… who is not himself mean When Maclay calls Mitchison „Spike‟ he replies: “His name was Allan Mitchison” He is fiercely loyal to the few people he has respect for: “he didn‟t want Gill fucking up. He could see this was important to her” (114) A man of honour He sees it as his duty to fight for Justice: “the gig…was his [Mitchison‟s] reward – and memorial. “‟I‟ll see if I can do better,‟ Rebus said.” He does not compromise, when Ancram says: “‟Wake up to reality. This isn‟t a linoleum floor, big squares of black and white.‟ „No, it‟s grey silk suits and crisp green cash.‟” He hates the way other policemen are more interested in money and promotions than the truth The best man in his world Rebus sides with victims and underdogs: P256. He empathises with the protestors: “Rebus had half a mind – maybe more than half – to throw the torch over the side.” The torch is to be used to cut through the chains – they have chained themselves to the oil rig Pp321-322 He reminisces about a homeless man called Frank, “one old guy…Rebus saw every summer.” He wants to pay his respects to Johnny Bible‟s victims: P276: [Ancram] “‟all this interest is because you once bought a prostitute a cup of tea?‟ „Her name was Angie Riddell.‟ Rebus paused. „She had beautiful eyes.‟” He insists on seeing everyone as a person with an identity, not just as a statistic or a stereotype. Relatively poor man His obsessive nature and unconventional methods mean that he has lost out in both his career and personal life P225: he thinks that the bouncer at Burke‟s will see him as “a middle-aged lush, a pathetic figure in a cheap suit.” P361: “There was music, and there were books, but neither in great quantity nor of great quality. The clothes were utilitarian, one jacket much like another. No shoes. He found that bizarre in the extreme. Did the man possess only one pair?” Lack of respect He has no respect for the establishment. This is why he is posted to Craigmillar at the start of the novel: “He‟d upset some people, people who mattered. They hadn‟t been able to deal him a death blow, so had consigned him to purgatory.” (6) He is unimpressed by his own bosses and those made rich by oil: P173: he steps into the life where Minchell waits “with a slight bow” He will take no man‟s money dishonestly The officers from Glasgow are corrupt: P76: “Rebus thought of the fancy suits everyone seemed to be wearing, the good watches and shoes, the general air of prosperity and superiority. It was west coast dirt.” Rebus shows total contempt for this A proud man P373: “He [Jack Morton] might have changed – become a „yes‟ man, a pencil- pusher, a careerist – but John was the same as always.” He does not want to change A lonely man “…sometimes if you listened hard enough you could hear them screaming…One night he‟d heard Angie Riddell and it had pierced his heart, because he had known her, liked her.” Pp189-190: “Rebus had always found relationships with the opposite sex difficult…his job had proved more seductive, more all-consuming than the relationship.” Notice word choice like „seductive‟. Even Bible John, when he searches his flat “felt the loneliness of his life” Rude wit P179: “..interested in leasing one [oil tanker]? “Where would I park it?” “Can I ask you something, Major? Why did you name your oilfield after an oatcake?” (p209) Obsession He feels empathy with Kayleigh Burgess: “She needs a break, he thought, as in a rest. But she was obsessed with her job...He thought of a story: World War One, Christmastime, the opposing sides emerging from their trenches to shake hands, play a game of football, then back into the trenches, picking up their guns again.” (151) He compares their lives to a war with only temporary respite possible A disgust for sham Rebus is unimpressed by Ludovic Lumsden and his attempts to impress Rebus He describes “the fanciest hotel room he‟d ever been in” as “a bit rich for my taste” (167) When Lumsden suggests he can use his position to get certain privileges Rebus does not commit himself. (p169) In search of a hidden truth Rebus is motivated throughout not by self- interest or furthering his own career But by getting justice: “Rebus saw her picture again: Angie. Hoped she was getting ready to rest.” (462) The Dark Side “The problem lay somewhere inside him...Rape was all about power; killing, too, in its way. And wasn‟t power the ultimate male fantasy? And didn‟t he sometimes dream of it, too?” (p190) Here Rankin makes clear the parallels between the criminals and Rebus, And by extension all men Violence and cruelty are in everyone “Rebus was fidgeting. He wanted to be flippant, ironic, his usual self” (324) This is an admission that the humour he uses is a defence against his feelings getting the better of him However here he runs away from accusations that he wrongly convicted Lenny Spaven. He walks away and when Jack tries to stop him they fight “And then he started crying. Crying for himself…most of all for Elsie Rhind and all her sisters, all the victims he couldn‟t help and would never ever be able to help.” (p325) He gets out all the feelings he has been bottling up, letting him sleep without alcohol Meeting Bible John Pp179-181 They seem to hit it off „Ryan Slocum‟ says “Why do I still come to these things?” and downs whisky Links http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/c rime/article1760235.ece http://www.twbooks.co.uk/authors/starless. html
"Black and Blue Black and"