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Set in Darkness: An Inspector Rebus Novel Paperback – Jun 22 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jun 22 2010
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1 Reprint edition (June 22 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780312629830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312629830
  • ASIN: 0312629834
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 640 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #874,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Edinburgh police inspector John Rebus's obsession--rock & roll--seems odd for a man whose dark, depressed side is so central to his character, but Ian Rankin always manages to work it gracefully into his noirish novels featuring Rebus. In Set in Darkness, Rebus has a fling with Lorna Grieve, a faded rock muse who's the sister of Roddy Grieve, an up-and-coming politico who turns up dead on the grounds of the boarded-up hospital that's being torn down to make way for the new Scottish Parliament. Grieve's body is the second in the space of days found at Queensberry House; the first was a skeleton bricked up in the fireplace. That decades-old murder seems to be tied to the suicide of a mysterious homeless man whose hefty bank balance is revealed well before his true identity.

'So what's the story with Mr Supertramp anyway?'

'He had all this money he either couldn't spend or didn't want to. He took on a new identity. My theory is that he was hiding.'

'Maybe.' He was rifling through the scraps on the desk. She folded her arms, gave him a hard look which he failed to notice. He opened the bread bag and shook out the contents: disposable razor, a sliver of soap, toothbrush. 'An organized mind,' he said. 'Makes himself a wash bag. Doesn't like being dirty.'

'It's like he was acting the part,' she said.

There are always plenty of subplots in a Rankin mystery. This time he adds a stalker who happens to be one of Rebus's colleagues, a couple of toughs who hang out in singles clubs and finish their evenings with a rape or two, and the ongoing story of Rebus's tortured past--a bitter divorce, a daughter still recovering from a terrible accident, and a drinking problem. Set in Darkness hit the bestseller list in Great Britain and should enjoy the same success in its U.S. edition. Rankin's ability to keep finding new dimensions in Rebus, handle intricate plot details brilliantly, and evoke the gloom and darkness of his setting keep winning him new admirers, with just cause. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In the 12th novel in the increasingly engaging Inspector Rebus series (Knots and Crosses; Dead Souls; etc.), Gold Dagger award-winner Rankin has woven a plot grittier and tighter than ever. When a body, long dead, is found on the site of the new Scottish Parliament and is soon followed by another, fresher kill, this time that of a leading candidate for the new governing body, Rebus is convinced of a connection between the two. Det. Siobhan Clarke witnesses a third death, the suicide of a surprisingly wealthy homeless man; the question of where his wealth came from seems related to the other deaths. Clarke, a determined young woman trying to make her way in the male world of police work, is a refreshing, complex addition to this series. Meanwhile, Big Ger Cafferty, arch foe of our hero, has been released from jail; he's terminally ill (or is he?) and apparently wants some quality time with Rebus in his final hours. By incorporating other strong characters, Rankin has saved the series from burrowing too far into the maudlin introspection associated with Rebus's drinking problem. Topical Scottish nationalism and the new Parliament, along with Rankin's consistently fascinating view of Edinburgh's seedy side, give the novel interest beyond its plot. And the plot is worthy of the series: raging and racing and teetering on the edge of falling apart, before Rankin slams the reader with a final masterful twist. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
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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By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 6 2010
Format: Paperback
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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