128 of 137 people found the following review helpful
As good as Rebus...,
This review is from: The Impossible Dead (Kindle Edition)I didn't think that Ian Rankin would ever be able to create another character who could compete with Rebus. I was wrong.
The first book in his new series, The Complaints, was good but this second one is even better. As members of the Professional Standards team, Inspector Malcolm Fox and his team are in Fife, looking into possible misconduct in the force there. When an ex-copper is found dead, Fox becomes aware that he had been looking into an old case - the death of a political activist which at the time had been classed as a suicide. Now Fox and his team have two cases on their hands.
One of the things I like most about Rankin is the way he sets his books firmly in the real world. With references to actual events and people, his plots become entirely convincing. He tells modern Scotland like it is - neither all good nor all bad. The short period in the eighties when Scottish nationalism turned briefly into terrorism is used for the main strand of the book. Rankin shows the contrast of those days, when fervent nationalists felt the democratic process held no hope for them, to the Scotland of today, with its devolved government, more confident and comfortable in its skin, with nationalism a question to be debated rather than won by force.
Malcolm Fox is turning into just as interesting a character as Rebus, if less of a maverick. Working in the Complaints, he has to face the obstruction and sometimes contempt of fellow officers, but he believes in what he's doing and wants to do it well. This time though a comment of his father makes him wonder if he has what it takes to investigate a real crime and that doubt acts as a spur to him to step outside his normal boundaries. In this book we also get to know more about his colleagues, Kaye and Naysmith. The interactions between them come over as convincing and enjoyable - three team players working well together. Fox's relationships with his father and sister are further developed and this glimpse into his life outside work makes him into a more rounded and believable character.
I'm delighted to hear that Rankin may bring Rebus back to us but I sincerely hope that Malcolm Fox is here for a long run too. Highly recommended.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Mar 2012 13:35:15 GMT
I must admit, I found it difficult to imagine that Ian Rankin could follow Rebus with an alternative i.e. Malcolm Fox but having read The Complaints (in paperback) and having read your review, I'll be buying The Impossible Dead on Kindle.
Thanks for a clear, objective review.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2012 14:42:40 GMT
Thanks for the comment, Mr Daykin. I hope you enjoy The Impossible Dead as much as I did:-)
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2012 08:59:26 BDT
I guess the absolute summum would be a novel with Rebus and Fox... think about it Mr. Rankin!
I am a fan... have read them all
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2012 10:12:11 BDT
I Flesh Housecouldn't agree more, what a combination. Rankin could even join forces with Stuart Macbride, i.e. Flesh Market/Flesh House
In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2012 23:53:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Jun 2012 23:54:04 BDT
I saw an interview with Rankin where he suggested he was working on that very thing :-)
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 06:14:41 BDT
Which was Rankin referring to, Fox and Rebus or Rankin and Macbride?
I reckon both could have an interesting result!
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 19:35:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Jun 2012 19:40:04 BDT
Haha! Fox and Rebus only sadly - I wonder what Rebus would make of DI Steele!
PS Have you tried any Gordon Ferris? His Douglas Brodie series is getting better and better - nearly up there with Rankin IMO.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jun 2012 20:29:24 BDT
As if Rebus needs an excuse to start drinking, I think a few choice one liners from DI Roberta Steel would have him heading for the nearest bar.
Haven't read any Gordon Ferris, I'll give him a try - on your recommendation, Thanks
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