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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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'Because Rankin is a master story-teller, that means the reader is quickly swept up and carried along. I read this in one sitting, on a swelteringly hot beach in Greece; I kept meaning to do other things - find a beer, fetch a sunhat, check the BlackBerry - but somehow had to keep putting them off until I finished this chapter; and then the next; until I'd reached the end'—Andrew Marr, GUARDIAN on Doors Open

'It convincingly shows that he can move with aplomb into another crime form, and tell a story that's typically at once gripping and full of subtle effects, without his depressive detective holding it together'—SUNDAY TIMES on Doors Open

'Ian Rankin can pull off an audacious criminal caper even without his trademark detective'—SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY on Doors Open

'DOORS OPEN is a lot of fun. It's pacy, witty, full of action, twists and splendid dialogue'—THE TIMES on Doors Open

'An immensely satisfying, bloody and constantly surprising story of middle-class amateurs mixing it with the big boys. And, as usual, Edinburgh - 'a village masquerading as a city' - is a character in itself. So much so that 'you-know-who' is hardly missed!'—EVENING STANDARD on Doors Open

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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner April 20 2010
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
After retiring his famous protagonist John Rebus in "The Exit", Mr. Rankin is back in full force by audaciously unveiling a new detective Malcolm Fox, a man with integrity and dogged determination but at times hated and feared by his colleagues.

Malcolm Fox works at the Complaints and Conduct Department in Edinburgh, a section dedicated to sniffing out racism and corruption and other serious internal offenses. He also is a man with his own personal problems: a frail father in a care home and a sister living in an abusive relationship.

The story is paced chronologically chapter by chapter. After Fox and his team compile enough evidence to expose CID Glen Heaton for bending the rules to his own advantage they move on to Jamie Breck suspected of being a member of a pedophile ring. Fox is assigned to covertly forge a relationship with Breck but in doing so an atmosphere of respect and friendship develops...Others wonder if Fox has crossed the line and will he be professionally destroyed along with his prey... Simultaneously, his sister's boyfriend is found murdered and Fox is ordered to stay away from the investigation...but can he?

This is an interesting novel, a fantasized version of how police work and how they police themselves, a story based on morality, ethics, friendship, trust and respect. The characters are totally believable; Fox and Rebus have similar traits, they are committed to their jobs and thrive on complex cases. The plot is brilliant, it is a labyrinth of twists and turns providing endless intrigue, a roller coaster ride till the end. Fox is a refreshing change but I suspect Rebus with all his attributes will reappear at some point in the future

In my view, this novel is the lunch of a new series and I am looking forward to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its Ok July 27 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really wanted to enjoy this book. I need to be able to relate to a character or simple just like the character. I could do neither
with these characters.
I usually reread all his books. This won't be one of them though.

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4.0 out of 5 stars As good as any Rebus. Nov. 27 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is a little slow to start but the story as well as the characters are as good as any Rebus's. A great read. I could not let the book down after about 20 pages even if I felt like I had already read it !!!
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