Set in Darkness: An Inspector Rebus Novel Paperback – Jun 22 2010
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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?'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.
'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.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
"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.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2014 by Susan Schell
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.Published on Sept. 28 2013 by Geordie A.
After reading the other reviews, I wondered if I read the same book. Slow, complex, convoluted. Honestly, Edinburgh does not present the alure that it apparently does to... Read morePublished on Dec 18 2001
I heard that Ian Rankin was a very good writer, but I never picked up any of his books to read. That was my mistake. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2001 by Joseph A. Hines
Ian Rankin just gets better and better. His (anti-)hero John Rebus, an Edinburgh cop, never fails to fascinate. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2001 by incurable_bibliophile
Ian Rankin has been my favorite author ever since I discovered a remainder copy of "Strip Jack" at a bookstore four years ago; after reading that I found everything I... Read morePublished on March 14 2001
Farmer Watson has decided to keep Detective Inspector John Rebus out of trouble by assigning him to a committee concerned with the new Scottish Parliament's security. Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2001 by Mr. K. Mahoney