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Complaints [Hardcover]

Ian Rankin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 3 2009
'Mustn't complain' - but people always do...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'. It's where Malcolm Fox works. He's just had a result, and should be feeling good about himself. But he's a man with problems of his own. He has an increasingly frail father in a care home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship - something which Malcolm cannot seem to do anything about. But, 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. The 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 a vicious murder intervenes far too close to home for Fox's liking.

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'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' -- Mark Sanderson EVENING STANDARD 'Getting to know this man [Fox], an intriguing mix of apathy and action, is almost like a courtship - each new situation reveals something that makes the reader want to know yet more' -- Rebecca Armstrong THE INDEPENDENT 'Rankin delivers, without the help of Rebus, an excellent cop novel full of action, good dialogue, well-crafted characters and an authentic backdrop' -- Marcel Berlins THE TIMES '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' -- Alan Morrison SUNDAY HERALD GLASGOW 'Rankin's trademark pace and descriptive eye are as sharp as ever, while the post-banking collapse setting, full of worried property developers and dodgy money men, gives the book a strong contemporary feel. It's a gripping police thriller' -- Aaron Lavery METRO 'It may be heresy to say so, but I was never very excited by Inspector Rebus. I am much more interested in Rankin's new addition to the list of Edinburgh policemen-heroes...An interesting insight into human behaviour, not to mention a welcome tour of both the Edinburgh that visitors see and the parts they aren't shown' -- Jessica Mann LITERARY REVIEW 'Rankin explores both public and private morality in this well-plotted story' -- Carla McKay DAILY MAIL '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' -- John Dugdale SUNDAY TIMES 'The Complaints is very, very good indeeed and will be greedily devoured by anyone suffering from Rebus-withdrawal symptoms...I will be dismayed if this turns out to be a one-off, as the ensemble cast and the police procedural set-up, not to mention the Rankin/Edinburgh synergy and his eagle-eyed observation, simply cry out for a series' -- Mike Ripley SHOTS 'The action that follows writhes and twists ilke a bucketful of worms and Rankin handles them with his customary aplomb' -- David Connett SUNDAY EXPRESS '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' -- Barry Forshaw DAILY EXPRESS 'Reliably readable as ever, Ranin truly rocks' -- Paul Blezzard THE LADY 'This is an archetypal Rankin novel - a meaty mystery as well as a forensic investigation of how the consciences of ordinary, decent people react to extreme stress' -- Mat Coward MORNING STAR 'As is usually the case with Rankin, the plot is more layered than a tiramisu and here offers a depth that incorpoates teh impact of the credit crunch and the subsequent collapse of property values in Scotland' -- Declan Burke IRISH TIMES '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?' -- PD James THE GUARDIAN 'Rankin displays his customary droll humour and uses Edinburgh as a character in its own right: it's a city in gridlock, thanks to the owrk installing a new tram system, with new housing projects blighted by the credit crunch' -- Peter Gutteridge THE OBSERVER 'By half way through - if I even stopped to think - my only quibble would be whether this is as good as Rebus at his best or whether it's the best he's ever written. It's a close call but I think it's the best' THE BOOK BAG 'As much a state-of-Scotland novel as a conventional thriller' -- John Williams MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Gordon Brown, who knows a thing or two about what it's like to live up to the memory of a charismatic predecessor, ought to give Fox his endorsement straight away' -- Jake Kerridge DAILY TELEGRAPH 'The precisely rendered police procedure is impressive, but it is what lies beneath - the heartbeat of Midlothian, the quiet cunning of Malcolm Fox - that resonates. Rankin's strength resides in a kind of fingertip search of the urban scene, exposing the underbelly of a city scarred by violence' -- Willy Maley TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'It's a must for Rankin fans and new reader alike' SHORTLIST 'a substantial and satisfying novel with the skillfully orchestrated narrative that Rankin does so well' -- Andrew Taylor THE SPECTATOR 'Rankin's social and political eye is as acute as ever' -- Sharon Wheeler reviewing the 'This book is a terrific read, a true page turner - Read, savour and enjoy!' JOURNAL OF THE LAW SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND 'The Complaints is very, very good indeed and will be greedily devoured by anyone suffering Rebus-withdrawal symptoms. I will be horrified (though not necessarily surprised) if it isn't in the running for next year's Gold Dagger and dismayed if it turns out to be a one-off, as the ensemble cast and the police procedural set up, not to mention the Rankin/Edinburgh synergy and his eagle-eyed observations, simply cry out for a series' DEADLY PLEASURES 'A proper page-turner that continues Rankin's chronicling of his home city , this time in the wake of RBS's shaky year, it will keep fans happy - and rightly so' -- Alex Heminsley INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 'The story that unravels is exciting, sinister and extremely complicated. The Complaints has the quality of a good mystery in that you believe yourself to be solving it, when in fact the truth lies in the other direction' THE LADY 'It goes without saying that we all miss Rebus, but it's time to move on. Though it is unclear whether THE COMPLAINTS is intended as the first in a new series, the ending leaves that possibility open and I would be very happy to see Malcolm Fox return very soon' -- Yvonne Klein

About the Author

Ian Rankin's first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers on several continents. Ian is the recipient of four CWA DAGGER AWARDS and in 2004, won America's celebrated EDGAR AWARD. He is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Hull and Edinburgh and also 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Complaints Nov. 25 2009
By Ted Feit TOP 500 REVIEWER
This new novel by Ian Rankin is what is hoped is the first in a new series, introducing Inspector Malcolm Fox. It must be said without further ado that John Rebus, declared by the author to have made his last appearance in print [newly published, that is], will be sorely missed. But his new protagonist promises to be equally splendid and sure to quickly find a place in the hearts of Mr. Rankin's myriad fans.

There are many similarities between the two Edinburgh cops, among these a history of drinking and a broken marriage. Fox has been five years dry; he has a father in a care home, and a sister in what can best be described as an abusive relationship, both being important in his life, but the latter becoming central to his job. He has worked for the past 4-1/2 years for the Complaints and Conduct department of Lothian & Borders Police, more particularly the Professional Standards Unit, referred to variously as The Complaints or, more informally, The Dark Side, the equivalent of the Internal Affairs Bureau in the US, cops who investigated other cops. The "other cops" tend to look at those in The Complaints with disdain, and Fox is told at one point "Stick to watching the detectives, Malcolm. Let us other cops do the real work."

Fox's nickname was "Foxy," "but he didn't think of himself that way. 'A bear of a man' - that's the way one of his previous bosses had described him. Slow but steady, and only occasionally to be feared." The supporting cast in the current book includes colleagues Tony Kaye and Joe Naysmith, CID head "Bad Billy" Giles, DCS Adam Traynor, and DC Gilchrist and DS Annie Inglis, both with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Dept. [CEOP].
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3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Rankin April 24 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rankin starts a new series with the character Malcolm Fox. Problem is, I found this character hard to differentiate from his Rebus character. Rankin's style is the same, the setting is the same and the background cast of characters is the same...they just have different names. Stick with the Rebus series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, and at times great, author Sept. 28 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was on a Rankin kick when I bought this book. Got through about half of his catalog and moved on. I think it's time to finish off the rest of his books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Complaints Nov. 17 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rankin book was very fine.
We met him in Britain this Spring and
he spoke about the shift from Rebus
to Fox and the evolution of his interest
to the Complaints Department. A good
read and the condition of the book plus
the process of mailing was A-1. Thanks.
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