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Set In Darkness (A Rebus Novel) Paperback – 22 Sep 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (22 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752877224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752877228
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 3 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 800,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Two masked men abduct women on their way home from singles bars; a mummified corpse turns up bricked into a fireplace in one of devolved Scotland's new government buildings; a prospective New Labour candidate is battered to death; and Inspector Rebus's old antagonist Ger Cafferty is allowed home from prison to die of cancer...Ian Rankin's gloomy new crime novel has all the usual ingredients of his Rebus series--Rebus's drinking, his messy relationships with women and his inability to get on with his superiors and more ambitious equals are traits more usually associated with private eye novels than with police procedurals, but they help explain why a cop with Rebus's high clear-up rate has avoided promotion to a desk.

Everyone told him that this was a sign, that he was here because the chiefs at the Big House had plans for him. But Rebus knew better. He knew that his boss had put his name forward because he was hoping to keep Rebus out of trouble and out of his hair...And if--if--Rebus accepted without complaining and saw the assignment through, then maybe the Farmer would receive a chastened Rebus back into the fold.
The Edinburgh atmosphere--from the forced politeness of smart dinner parties to the hair-trigger violence of slum pubs--is as admirable as ever, and Rebus's capacity for working things out slowly in his own head remains as plausible as ever as a description of a particular kind of dogged intelligence. Like several books in this series, this is also an intelligent novel of the New Scots Politics--part of what makes Rebus both a successful investigator and doomed to offend the powerful is his unerring instinct for the scandalous and the corrupt. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A beautifully written series"--"New York Times Book Review"
"A brilliant series"--"Entertainment Weekly"
"Crime fiction at its best"--"Washington Post Book World"


A beautifully written series "New York Times Book Review"

A brilliant series "Entertainment Weekly"

Crime fiction at its best "Washington Post Book World"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have read about 6 of the Rebus books and this is easily the the best of the lot. A huge array of characters all unique and identifiable, a complex plot with a stunning ending and as ever the stong sense of a location in time and space all add up a brilliant novel.
As others have said one of the great things about this book is the interaction between the characters I can't imagine any other 'genre' writer could handle such a large cast so well. Combine this with a strong plot which will hold your attention to the last page and you have an outstanding book.
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"Set in Darkness" is another impressive Rebus novel. Set once again in Edinburgh against a backdrop of the impending opening of the Scottish devolved assembly this novel features a typically labyrinthine Rankin plot. A long dead body is found behind a fireplace and a prominent politician is found murdered, both in the vicinity of the prospective new Scottish parliament.A homeless man also commits suicide and somehow all three deaths are linked. Rebus unties these intertwining strands and discovers criminal workings high up in the world of land speculation which ultimately involve his deadliest foe and nemesis the gangster Big Ger Cafferty. "Set in Darkness" is well written and tautly constructed and this series of Rebus novels are good examples of crime fiction , much superior to several dodgy novels in this genre that I have read recently.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Set in Darkness is the eleventh Ian Rankin book to be based on the life of his detective John Rebus. Set against the backdrop of the new Scottish Parliament building being built I found the book to be slightly too complicated and confusing at times.

In the early chapters we discover that with Rebus's boss retirement fast approaching 'The Farmer' has put him on a team linked to the new parliament building. Despite Rebus's opinion this is purely to make sure he causes no waves in the run up to his retirement, the move backfires when a body is discovered in the grounds of the new building, Rebus suddenly has a live case to be working on. Soon a prominent politician is found murdered outside the building and Rebus starts to ask questions as to if and how the two are possibly connected.

Meanwhile Siobhan is now free from her stint on the sex crimes squad and back on Rebus's team. Despite this she like her mentor is unable to let things go. We find her going to singles night in the city with one of the victims desperately trying to catch the two men that attacked her and a number of other women in the city. With this case going nowhere she is also the first officer on the scene at the suicide of a homeless man who has jumped off a bridge. Despite her bosses telling her to move on Siobhan is determined to discover more about the man, and when she discovers he had £400,000 in a bank account her resolve becomes stronger. Who was this man, what was his real name and why was he living rough despite his apparent riches.

I found this book slightly disappointing. The main Rebus story was simply too big and complex to be enjoyable. Too many characters, too many suspects and it is dealt with too quickly in my opinion.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was Inspector Rebus's second foray into the world of politics following his earlier brush with the corridors of power in 'Let it Bleed'. This time, the political context is the run up to the elections to the new Scottish Parliament, and Rebus finds himself with three mysteries to investigate

As part of the preparations Rebus has been co-opted onto the Police and Parliament Liaison Committee, more as a means of keeping him out of trouble than because of any deep political insight he might bring to the role. During one of the meetings of that Committee the members are shown around Queensberry House which will, when refurbished, house some of the parliamentary proceedings until the new, purpose built home is finished. During their tour of Queensberry House the Committee party discover a corpse hidden in one of the rooms that is undergoing renovation.

Shortly afterwards, a homeless man plummets to his death at Waverley Station. Among his meagre possessions is a building society passbook that shows his account had a balance of over £400,000.

Roddy Grieve, New Labour candidate for one of the Edinburgh constituencies in the first Scottish parliament is fond murdered, not far from the building site at Queensberry House. Grieve is a member of a prominent Scottish family: his elder brother is a Conservative MP at Westminster, his mother is a celebrated artist, and his sister was a leading model in the 1970s and is married to a successful progressive rock star. Their brothjer Alastair went missing some twenty years earlier.

As always, the city of Edinburgh itself looms as a significant character in the story, and Rankin captures the atmosphere perfectly.
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Format: Paperback
I am an Inspector Rebus fan and I am hooked. I also can understand that someone reading this book, as their first exposure to the genre, would be a little confused and perhaps disappointed. My advice is - "read this series in published date sequence, i.e. start at the beginning of the Inspector Rebus series Knots & Crosses" - it is well worth the effort. The storyline is fair but also fairly predictable, my pleasure was derived from the interaction of the characters. For instance "Big Ger" is a villain but has some affection and respect for Rebus which is not overtly reciprocated. The situations Rebus finds himself in, where the hierarchy in the police condemns him and his methods, is understandable but still evokes our sympathy for our hero. I loved this book and once again I cannot wait till the next installment. Superb.
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