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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fictional detective meets real life mystery
Rankin combines history (references to Burke and Hare and the tiny coffins found on Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh in 1836 and thought by some to have been left as a memorial to the victims of aforementioned duo), and up to the minute internet e-mail gaming to produce one of the better Rebus thrillers. Rebus is his usual shambolic self, breaking the rules, drinking too much...
Published on 27 Mar 2001

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fall from grace I'm afraid...
This book is many things- topical, well characterised, full of album and gig reviews, as good a guide as any to Edinburgh's pubs on and off the tourist trail- but it's disappointing because the plot is ridiculous. Internet schminternet- Rankin must realise that his characters' dabblings in the web are no more intrinsically interesting than their holiday snaps. While...
Published on 2 April 2001


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fictional detective meets real life mystery, 27 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Rankin combines history (references to Burke and Hare and the tiny coffins found on Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh in 1836 and thought by some to have been left as a memorial to the victims of aforementioned duo), and up to the minute internet e-mail gaming to produce one of the better Rebus thrillers. Rebus is his usual shambolic self, breaking the rules, drinking too much too often and yet still managing to start a relationship! Siobhan Clarke gets a more prominent role as she starts to get hooked on the internet game set by "The Quizmaster" who may or may not be the abductor of a privileged university student. The nitty gritty police work undertaken as the officers search for the student allows Rankin to introduce a variety of characters which sets you racing to the finish in order to discover the level of significance they each hold (or don't hold). All this combines to make "The Falls" an exciting read with many a twist and turn. I was gripped from the outset, I enjoyed the historical element and felt it added to the tension of the fictional story. The tiny Arthur's Seat coffins can be seen in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and are all the more spooky for the fictional links Rankin introduces in this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB ... A CITY BUILT ON THE GRAVES OF THE DEAD ..., 18 Oct 2001
By A Customer
If you like Rebus, you'll love this novel. One of Rankin's best, right up there with BLACK AND BLUE & THE HANGING GARDEN. And there's an added bonus: the intriguing development of side-kick Siobhan Clarke. Is Ian Rankin grooming her as the next Clarice Starling? Can't wait to see ...
THE PLOT. When a young student disappears, something in Rebus's gut tells him she's not a runaway. For a start, she comes from a super-rich family. But there's also an intriguing clue: a coffin of a wooden doll found near her home. So Rebus embarks with Siobhan Clarke on an investigation that spans age-old crimes and modern technology in an Edinburgh built (almost literally) on the graves of the dead ...
I loved the use of Edinburgh, the old granite lady herself, as virtually an extra character. The premise that certain haunting places produce (and reproduce) particular crimes is one also brilliantly used in Dexter Dias's thriller "Power of Attorney", only that Dias uses London to equally compelling effect. James Lee Burke uses Montana similarly in "Bitterroot".
This is the best Rebus for some time. I can't recommend it too highly.
And if you like Rebus, I'd also strongly recommend Dias's cop/lawyer David Kilkenny in "Power of Attorney" and Billy Bob Holland in "Bitterroot".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rebus discovers the internet, 26 Mar 2003
By 
Lendrick (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Well not quite - as Rebus devotees might guess all the techie stuff is handled by Siobhan Clarke while Rebus concentrates on delving into the past. All the usual elements are in place - and the City of Edinburgh remains one of Rankins strongest charachters - though Rebus does seem to be mellowing a little with age.
Rankin is really a novelist who happens to write genre fiction and much of the pleasure is in the characterisation and backround detail. The plot is good, Rankin has clearly done his reasearch an the internet stuff stands up pretty well (I work in IT and often find the attempts of authors to work the internet in laughable). However the whole thing isn't quite up to the his best work but still a must for every Rebus fan.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Rankin read, 28 Mar 2001
By A Customer
A strong, plot-driven murder mystery and a further look into the life of John Rebus, and increasingly, the equally strong Siobhan Clarke.
Rebus's character has developed brilliantly, and the way characters from previous novels appear again is deftly handled, almost like a crime Dance to the Music of Time.
It's not the strongest in the series, perhaps because of the lack of a more apparent nemesis for Rebus, either in the police force or in the crime underworld. That said, the standard of the series is so incredibly high that this is not intended as a slight.
Highly recommended if you've already read Rebus, but if not, start at least with Black and Blue, if not at the beginning of the series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Rebus mystery yet..., 13 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Oh my, what a book. This is the best Rebus mystery yet, and by some distance. Rankin brilliantly interweaves a number of plotlines (again) and opens up the book (and the series) by giving other characters starring roles. Clearly, Siobhan Clarke is being groomed to take over as the star of the show when Rebus is forced to retire (or Rankin is forced to retire Rebus). Long may this series of fine detective novels continue...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spot-on crime fiction, as always, 19 Dec 2001
This review is from: The Falls (Audio Cassette)
Rankin keeps up his fine form with another slice of life with Edinburgh's finest copper, John Rebus.
As always the genuine locations and attention to detail (a correct reading of the Burke and Hare story) marry the fiction to the real world, giving the reader a mental hook to the scene of crime immediately.
The titular Falls are something of a red herring as most of the action is again set in Edinburgh and Rankin once again takes to the history-steeped streets and closes for his setting. The historical slant is played for maximum effect - the main thread is Rebus's preoccupation with a decades-old mystery - but juxtaposed very nicely with the Internet-based role-playing game that his younger colleagues tackle in the hunt for the mysterious 'Quizmaster', chief suspect in the murder of a wealthy University student.
A lengthy read, but impossible to put down as Rankin spins out multiple parallel plotlines and characters.
Heartily recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fall from grace I'm afraid..., 2 April 2001
By A Customer
This book is many things- topical, well characterised, full of album and gig reviews, as good a guide as any to Edinburgh's pubs on and off the tourist trail- but it's disappointing because the plot is ridiculous. Internet schminternet- Rankin must realise that his characters' dabblings in the web are no more intrinsically interesting than their holiday snaps. While reading, I kept thinking of that Sinead Cusack TV series about convoluted crossword puzzles which was clearly an influence on this story. Still, the passing cast- particularly the whisky priest, nymphomaniac potter and journo-with-imaginary-girlfriend are well sketched. And what better illustration of modern romance than borrowing her mobile phone charger...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling experiences in the real world, 12 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Rankin has managed to produce the feeling for the
everyday life which I have been longing for in modern thrillers. I'm tired of high-tech stuff and unbelievable plots, so this is refreshing!
Rebus is an ordinary copper, with ordinary problems and faults, a highly beliavable person.
The plot may be a little far fetched at first sight, but improves rapidly, when it's clear it's far more complicated than it seems, with both a historic clue and modern computer challenges.
This being my first Rankin, I am pleased to make the acquaintance,and I know where to find a good story when I want one!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another gripping story from the master crime writer., 29 Mar 2001
By 
R. LEWIS "Sandwick Bairn" (Shetland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ian Rankin's The Falls continues John Rebus's war against crime in Edinburgh. Again the story line had me hooked from the start and I didn't want to put the book down so the almost 400 pages proved an easy read. The plot involves Internet games, which regular readers of Rebus will not be surprised to learn that he leaves to others to play out, and the usual trying to link historical characters - Burke and Hare this time - with a modern disappearance of a wealthy Banker's daughter. He does seem to be getting a bit mellow in his old age however and looks to take the blame on a few occasions.
Ian Rankin always comes up with a plot that has everyone wondering - right through to the end and with the help of the usual cast of characters Rebus comes up with the answers.
Having read all of the Rebus series, at least twice, it's difficulat to know what a first time Rebus reader will think of the storyline. If I was comparing to other detective novels this would get another five star rating but I'm only going to give it four out of five as I'm comparing it to the other Rebus novels.
Good stuff.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Novel that you can't put down, 19 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This is the first Rebus novel I have read and it will not be the last. I have just ordered some of the earlier books. I thought it was a brilliant read which kept you guessing right till near the very end. The characters that have obviously appeared in previous novels were described enough to get to know them. I liked the pace of the book as it was more like real life, when crimes are not solved instantly. This book has definately turned me into a Ian Rankin/Rebus fan
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