Karyn L. Barr
February 13, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Hard-boiled detective John Rebus is in hot water again. While investigating a double murder and suicide at a chichi Edinburgh prep school, the debauched cop is suspected of foul play when his partner’s stalker dies in an all-too-shady house fire (and when Rebus mysteriously appears with freshly scorched hands, natch). ”Blood” flowed off the shelves when it was first published in the U.K. last August. But on this side of the Atlantic, this lifeless whodunit with its needlessly jumpy narrative and generically predictable story line could use a transfusion.

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