By Ian Rankin
Read by James Macpherson
The first novel in Rankin's brilliant Malcolm Fox series. Abridged edition
Nobody likes The Complaints - they're the cops who investigate other cops. Complaints and Conduct Department, to give them their full title, but known colloquially as 'the Dark Side', or simply 'The Complaints'. Malcolm Fox works for The Complaints. He's just had a result, and should be feeling good about himself. But he's middle-aged, sour and unwell. He also has a father in a care home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship.
In the midst of an aggressive Edinburgh winter, the reluctant Fox is given a new task. There's a cop called Jamie Breck, and he's dirty. Problem is, no one can prove it. But as Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks. This knowledge will prove dangerous, especially when murder intervenes.
Read by James Macpherson
(p) 2009 Orion Publishing Group
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four CWA Daggers including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a No.1 bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. www.ianrankin.net Twitter @Beathhigh
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- Publication date:
10 Sep 2009
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Rising gloriously from Rebus's ashes is Malcolm Fox in the police complaints and conduct department. Dealing with the crime seething in Edinburgh's underbelly is tough ... Pure grit from the start.
Rebus is retired but here comes DI Malcolm Fox, Ian Rankin's great new protagonist ... James Macpherson is in fine form reading.
Unmissable Rankin, as gripping and involving as any Rebus story.
This is such a brilliant book it deserves a wider audience. No Rebus any more, alas, but Insp Malcolm Fox ... is every bit his equal as a character. As for the plot, I cannot heap it with greater praise than to say that it is as complicated and satisfying as Trollop's Dr Thorne.
Another pacey tale comes from the splendid Ian Rankin ... Fox may be tee-toral and childless but he's Rebus' spiritual heir, bending the rules, getting suspended but stil busily hunting down villains and flirting, rather hopelessly.
Like all good crime novels, it takes you to places that you did not know existed - and, even if you did, would not wish to visit. Fox, brave and kind beneath his world-weary exterior, makes for an excellent guide. Rankin's legion of fans will have no grounds for complaints
Rankin delivers, without the help of Rebus, an excellent cop novel full of action, good dialogue, well-crafted characters and an authentic backdrop
Rankin's touch for literary elements outwith genre expectations continues to be excellent. Even a brief paragraph about Fox's childhood contains as much nostagic fizz as a bubble of Irn Bru caught in a spluttering kid's nostril
The Complaints conclusively demonstrates that its author has still got it, and can put together an ample, satisfyingly complex detective novel without a Rolling Stones-loving, ex-SAS sleuth at its centre
On the evidence of The Complaints it looks as if Fox will be just as sure-footed a guide to the city as his grizzled predecessor
Rankin is a master at what, for me, is one of the important aspects of a crime novel: the integration of setting, plot, characters and a theme which, for Rankin, is the moral dimension never far from his writing. Here it is unambiguously stated on the cover of The Complaints: wh decides right from wrong?