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The Falls [Paperback]

Ian Rankin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.31
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Book Description

Aug. 17 2010 Inspector Rebus Mysteries (Book 12)
Ian Rankin's John Rebus, arguably the most realistic detective in crime fiction, is a brilliant but troubled man. When a young woman goes missing near his native Edinburgh, Scotland, Rebus finds himself just one small cog in the huge wheel of an inquiry set in motion by her powerfully rich father. Struggling to deal with both his own often-terrifying inner demons as well as the monstrous bureaucracy of the investigative team, Rebus finds himself drawn again and again into the case, desperately searching for the girl's salvation, as well as his own.

In time Rebus uncovers two leads: one, a carved wooden doll stuffed tightly into a tiny casket, and the other the missing girl's possible involvement in a dark, disturbing Internet-based role-playing game. He enlists the help of the tech-savvy DC Siobhan Clarke, who is young enough to know her way around the net, but who may not be old and wise enough to avoid potentially deadly pitfalls and traps. Meanwhile, Rebus tracks down stories of similar caskets and dolls turning up in the area deep into Edinburgh's past, some stretching back to a time when body-snatchers turned into brutal killers.

As Rebus and Clarke delve deeper and deeper into these perilous and obscure worlds, ancient and modern evils begin to converge and soon Rebus finds he's besieged by an impenetrable mass of secrets, lies, and deadly deceit that only he can make sense of. In The Falls, a brilliant addition to an award-winning series, both John Rebus and his creator, Ian Rankin, are at the top of their intense and satisfying form.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Success has a price, and the remarkable acclaim (both critical and commercial) that greeted the gritty Edinburgh-set crime novels of Ian Rankin has set the author a considerable problem. How does he maintain the freshness of detail and atmosphere that have made his books such riveting reading? And how does he keep his tough detective DI John Rebus from degenerating into a series of mannerisms? If Raymond Chandler grew tired of Philip Marlowe and Conan Doyle of Holmes, Rankin would have been in good company if he gave up on Rebus. Fortunately, his belief in the character clearly remains as powerful as ever, and The Falls is the most impressive Rebus novel in many a moon. The detective's personal problems--overused of late--are wisely sidelined in order to concentrate on a highly intriguing (and topical) plot.

When a student vanishes in Edinburgh, there is pressure on Rebus to find her, particularly as she is the scion of a family of extremely rich bankers. Needless to say, this is more than just the case of a spoilt rich girl breaking out of the cage of family responsibilities, and a carved wooden doll in a coffin found in her home village leads Rebus to the Internet role-playing game that she was involved in. And when DC Siobhan Clarke, a key member of Rebus' team, tackles the Virtual Quizmaster, Rankin finds himself struggling to save her from the same fate as the missing girl.

Consummate plotting has always been Rankin's trademark, and that skill is put to maximum use here. The balance between developing the characterisation of the ill-assorted team of coppers that Rebus assembles and the labyrinthine twists of the plot is maintained with an iron hand, and Rankin's mordant eye remains as keen as ever:

"You okay, John?" Curt reached out a hand and touched his shoulder. Rebus shook his head slowly, eyes squeezed shut. Curt didn't make it out the first time, so Rebus had to repeat what he said next: "I don't believe in heaven." That was the horror of it. This life was the only one you got. No redemption afterwards, no chance of wiping the slate clean and starting over. Rebus said "There is no justice in the world." "You'd know more about that than I would", Curt replied.

--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

A number one U.K. bestseller, Rankin's 13th novel featuring Scottish Det. Insp. John Rebus may be his breakout book in the U.S. Rankin's brilliant evocation of a moody Edinburgh, deeply human characters and labyrinthine plot give dimension to this always absorbing series. With his stubborn insistence on tying up the frayed ends of every knotty clue, and iconoclastic refusal to be a team player, hard-drinking Rebus is a bane to his superiors but a blessing to readers. University student Philippa Balfour, daughter of the powerful head of a private bank, disappears; the few clues are incongruous a puzzling Internet role-playing game she participated in and a doll in a tiny wooden coffin found near her discordant family's home. Rebus's assistant, Det. Constable Siobhan Clarke, tackles the mysterious Internet game; Rebus ignores his superiors by obsessively following the coffin's obscure historical implications, aided by museum curator Jean Burchill, a friend of newly appointed Det. Chief Supt. Gill Templer and a promising anodyne to Rebus's lonely personal life. Readers won't be able to skim this dark, densely written novel, but they won't want to. Artfully placed red herrings, a large cast of multifaceted characters and a gripping pace will keep them engrossed. And Rebus is a character whose devils and idiosyncrasies will leave them eager for more. (Nov. 8)Forecast: A bestseller in Ireland, Australia and Canada as well, this novel may achieve similar heights here, spurred by a tour by the Edinburgh author, winner of Britain's Gold Dagger Award.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
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 Intriguing plot Sept. 8 2007
By I LOVE BOOKS TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The Product Description above summarizes this intricate thriller well, with Detective Inspector Rebus following two different leads in connection with the disappearance of a student in Edinburgh.

This was the first book I read by Mr. Rankin and all I want to say is, it was truly captivating. An edge-of-the-seat book, gripping from page one. I'm looking forward to read some more of his work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Can't go wrong with Rankin April 4 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of the great things about the Rebus novels is the subdued character conflicts at play underneath the plots and subplots. Not only does one come away from Rankin's work, particularly the later Rebus books, with a wonderful sense of place and atmosphere, but the characterization is so strong that even the second and third level characters are developed enough to stand on their own. The downside of this, which is unavoidable, is that the book tends to grow long in spots. That notwithstanding, the Rebus series is an excellent one. DS Siobhan Clarke has become more prominent in these books as well, and I can't help but wonder if she isn't being lined up for a series of her own.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love Ian Rankin's Rebus series, even though I am constantly amazed at the extent to which Rebus is able to drink and hold down a job -- I think the Scots are more tolerant of heavy drinkers than American employers would be.
That having been said, reading this mystery was like a trip to Edinburgh as someone who lives and works there sees the city -- a city with very deep roots in history, still influenced by events that occurred hundreds of years ago, living under the shadow of a castle and with history in every building.
The plot involves the disappearance of a wealthy young college student, who was supposed to be meeting friends for drinks and never shows up. Because of who she is, all the stops are pulled out to find her, and Rebus finds himself one of many working on this case. He believes from the start that she has been killed and he is investigating a homicide. He also thinks there's some connection between her death and some miniature coffins that have been found from time to time, and there's a possibility that her death is connected to a puzzle-solving computer game she's been playing.
If you like mysteries that make you think, that really challenge your intelligence and are written with literary skill that will make them timeless classics, Rankin is an author for you. This is my fourth book by him and I'm relishing reading more in the series.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ehh, not bad, but nothing great. May 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of those books that you read, and after you're finished, you're not sure if you liked it or not. It wasn't great, but there is nothing really wrong with it. It wasn't boring, it didn't drag on, but it also didn't captivate you.
A detective is working on a case similar to those annoying rich girl missing girl cases that randomly appears everywhere. This book explores this Scottish case, along with some internal police politics, and the lives of a few detectives. Intermingling clues concerning dolls, autopsies, and an Internet game all come together to help solve the mystery.
As with any mystery, the main part is the ending, and even though not terrible, it is pretty contrived and non-climatic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Falls May 14 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The New York Public Library is suffering for lack of books - so I took out The Falls by Ian Rankin because there was not much to choose from (I'm not a fan of police procedurals from the UK usually, but in this book Edinburgh is to the UK as NY is to the US). What a lucky break - this book is character driven and even though you immediately realize that this is an ongoing series the book stands alone. I found another book by Ian Rankin in the libray - I have the Dead Souls and I'm glad I found him. I wonder if Ian Rankin ever read George Higgins?
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5.0 out of 5 stars It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This! April 2 2002
Format:Hardcover
As a longtime reader of British mystery books, I have many favorite authors, but I think Ian Rankin is at the top of the list. His books are not "cosies" like Agatha Christie, but darker, moodier stories, as far from the small village setting as thay can get. This latest book is another great example of Rankin's ability to spin a great mystery story while involving the reader in John Rebus' life, good and bad, and it usually is more the latter! Wherever you start in the Rebus series, here or an earlier book, just START! You won't be sorry and you won't need any encouragement to finish all of his books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rankin Rules March 19 2002
Format:Hardcover
The new John Rebus book is outstanding. The " Falls", the latest installment in the series, finds Rebus at his dark and brooding best. The cast of characters at the station and the pubs seem so real , it's almost like you know them, by sight. Siobhan Clark and John are surrounded by other great characters who also prove to be as believable and human as John is. There is also the cast of weasels that you'll just love to loathe. There are some wicked twist and turns in this book. The book is hard to put down...............................Read them all, I haven't found a bad one yet ...............
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