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Set in Darkness (Inspector Rebus #11) [Mass Market Paperback]

Ian Rankin
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book by Rankin, Ian

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Police Procedural Jan. 4 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a well written police procedural/hard boiled detective novel. Part of a popular series set in Edinburgh and featuring the distinctly hard boiled Detective Inspector Rebus. As with many novels in this genre, Rebus is flawed human being redeemed by his obsessive interest in pursuing the truth and establishing justice, features often unappreciated by his superiors. While hardly at the level of Raymond Chandler, these books are solid examples of the genre, written well with good plotting and creditable characters. Good entertainment reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! Another hit! Nov. 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the most satisfying series I have ever read and this one is a gem. The story about Scotland regaining its parliament and the history of Edinburgh are a superb backdrop to this dark chapter in the life and times of John Rebus. Rankin has really set up a puzzler this time--three murders (one old, new two) with no apparent ties. But as Rebus begins the hunt, the pieces start coming together into an extremely satisfying and well-constructed conclusion. As always, the supporting characters and subplots are as intricate and vital to the overall story as is Rebus and the initial crime.I finish each book and it takes awhile to come back to the real world. Rebus' ongoing personal and professional problems are beautifully woven into the story. His is so complex a character that I would suggest that, if you are thinking about reading the series, you start at the beginning. READ THESE BOOKS! You will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The problem with Ian Rankin Feb. 9 2001
By A Customer
The problem with Ian Rankin is that he makes all the other mystery writers I read (and I read plenty) look second rate. I believe he is the best writer active in this genre today, surpassing even Robert Barnard, Reginald Hill and Ruth Rendell.
Inspector Rebus is brilliant and flawed. The story is as close to perfect as a mystery gets. The dialog is unforced and natural. The description is mood-setting without being distracting. If you haven't read any Rankin, do yourself a favor by going back and reading them all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By and large, fictional detectives aren't a cheery lot. Kay Scarpetta spends her time contemplating the ugliness of humanity, surrounded by corpses which illustrate man's inhumanity to man. The brilliant Adam Dalgliesh isn't exactly the life of the party, though he's an extremely sensitive soul who writes poetry - an intriguing character facet.
But Ian Rankin's Edinburgh police inspector John Rebus is a breed unto himself. He loves the Rolling Stones and rock music in general. He has terrible luck with women and drinks far too much for his own good. He's stubborn, often rude and causes his superiors a great deal of worry. How many of us can identify with us on one level or another?
Yet I'm always glad to see him in any new novel by Mr. Rankin and "Set In Darkness" does not disappoint. Rankin's Rebus is one of the most memorable characters in 20th century crime fiction. Though his is a morose personality, his dark sides never eclipse his basic humanity. He makes mistakes and bad choices in his personal life, but when it comes to solving a crime he's dead on and often at odds with his long-suffering co-workers.
This time, Rebus must solve the mystery of the death of Roddy Grieve, an up-and-coming member of the Scottish Parliment who possesses a surname I found rather interesting, given his tragic fate. Grieve turns up dead on the same piece of land where a new Scottish Parliment building is going to be built. But he's not the first body to turn up in the ruins of the building on this property which is being demolished - an unknown skeleton has preceeded Grieve in death and has been walled up in the old building. Who put it there? Who is it? And what's being covered up?
Rankin sprinkles his main story with well-constructed subplots.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Jan. 26 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love Ian Rankin & Inspector Rebus & this book doesn't disappoint. The used condition of the book was OK & the book was actually cheaper with shipping & all than a similar used book locally. Surprised when it arrived & it was from the UK?
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars You have to like dark mysteries... July 6 2010
Ian Rankin's "Set in Darkness" is actually a reprint of a book he originally wrote and published in the late 1990's. As I have read all - I think, anyway - of his books about Inspector John Rebus, of the Lothian and Borders Police Department in Edinburgh, I was a little worried when I received this book from AmazonUSA that I had read it years before. I was glad to realise I hadn't - it was new to me.

"Set in Darkness" is definitely not Rankin's best Rebus book. It's good enough to enjoy - three plot lines are reduced by the end of the book - but to a novice Rankin-reader, it's a tough slog. John Rebus, a moody, go-it-alone kind of cop, is the bane of his supervisors' existence. Not a team player when it counts in solving a crime or two, Rebus is not a sympathetic character. He is, however, an extremely interesting one to read about. He's surrounded - loosely - by his fellow police officers and works with them, as needed. The "loner cop" is one we've all seen many times before. Rankin does a good job at fleshing out both the good guys and the bad guys in his work, and "Set in Darkness" doesn't disappoint in its nuanced character development. I think, though, the plot sort of fell a little short of great.

If you've never read Ian Rankin, I'd start with one of his other Rebus books. They're all described in Amazon fairly well.
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