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The Falls (A Rebus Novel)
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VINE VOICEon 23 November 2012
I came to this in a roundabout way via the recent TV documentary that followed Ian Rankin as he wrote 2012's bestseller: Standing in another man's grave. Ian Rankin has been writing books for over two decades. He has a huge and devoted following, his books are primarily set in Scotland, in or around Edinburgh and he sells more books in the UK than any other author. That might be any British author. After the documentary I stampeded straight over to Amazon to buy 'Standing in another man's grave', a desire quickly undone when I saw the book was more expensive on the Kindle than in hardback. So that was that. But I got talking about the documentary with a colleague who urged me to read 'The Falls' as a great example of Rankin's main protagonist: Rebus. As I'm a sucker for a recommendation and it was half the price of the book I had intended buying, I bought it.

The Falls focuses on Rebus as he waves goodbye to retiring colleagues and looks over his shoulder at a young, smart breed of detective aided by technology. When a local socialite studying at Edinburgh University goes missing it's Rebus and Siobhan who head the investigation. As they dig deeper they discover clues that link the disappearance with several others over three decades and a mysterious internet role-playing game.

The Falls was for me much more a cerebral experience over a thriller read. There was very little in the way of suspense all the way through. The premise of the missing person, the historical crimes and the internet quizmaster were mildly engaging. The Fall's was written just after the Da Vinci code mayhem and felt like a weaker or enforced use of the puzzle format. The absolute strength of the book and I suspect of Rankin's writing in general, is the ability to convey the thoughts and personalities of the detectives, giving us soul and psychology as they deliberate the case and struggle to manage their private lives. The focus is always on the job so you don't get any of the tedious soap operatics found in many books currently trying to accomplish the same.

There is something almost cathartic about The Falls I suspect will resonate more with any audience that has knocked their heads against the obstacles life places in our way. The characters are flawed and hopeful, unique and smart. It is the characters that had me transfixed through the book not the whodunnit. When I turned the last page I wanted to read other books in the series to discover their journey.

Hope this was helpful.
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on 17 May 2017
Not the best Rebus I have read, it was not a "can't put down book" as many of Ian's are. Quite enjoyable but a predictable end. I have read many Rebus books and will continue to do so but I did not think this one of the best
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on 6 September 2014
The Falls is book number twelve in the Ian Rankin series which feature his Detective, John Rebus and is in many ways the end of an era as this book marks the retirement of Rebus's boss and mentor the Farmer. In my opinion one of the highlights of the series up to now has been the relationship between Rebus and his boss I know already I will miss this in the future books.

The plot itself focuses on the disappearance of the young and rich university student Philippa Balfour who seemingly has vanished into thin air. One moment plotting and getting ready for a night out the next gone. To add further pressure the Balfour family are the kind that have their own secrets and have enough money and influence to insure that the team are feeling the strain to get results and fast.
A fascinating part element of the book is once again seeing the way Rankin has developed Siobhan Clark. No longer just Rebus sidekick she is now a standalone member of the team and whilst her and Rebus still have a bond Siobhan in this book is following her own leads and keeping her own secrets.

All in all I found this book to be much easier to read than the previous Rankin book and a very enjoyable novel. The development of Siobhan her investigation into the internet game involving Quiz Master was a particular highlight and I would very much recommend this book to any fans of the crime genre.
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on 26 June 2013
I don't give 5 stars very often partly because they can be seen as insincere and partly because that means that it was one of the best. Yes, I think that this was one of the best detective fiction novels that I have read to date. It was an intriguing and involved story. There were plenty of twists and false leads and I fell for most of them. It was more than that though, Ian Rankin has made his characters so very real that now, in the middle of my Rebus fest I really feel that I know Rebus well and I feel for him, his fears, passions and sorrows touch me and I care about the others, Siobhan and Gill and each time he brings back an old character it's like meeting a friend again. This was a smashing book, I was riveted and the ending was just what I have come to expect, tense and then actually quite moving. - On to the next.
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on 17 June 2017
As brilliant as I've come to expect from Rankin. Riddles, clues, mysteries. Good to read more of Siobhan. Bit easier to recognise the baddies but still a decent read.
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on 22 July 2017
What you come to expect of rebus cantankerous stubborn but the perfect cop i love him all the new characters have depth and believability bravo
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on 27 March 2016
I started to read Ian Rankin's Rebus books a few weeks ago and I am addicted, brilliant plots, great characters and personalities, that you can follow from book to book. I am wondering how it will all end when Rebus retires. If you are a new reader then start with number 1 to get the full benefit of this excellent series of books.
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on 30 November 2016
I have liked Rebus stories for sometime and always visualise Ken Stott as the true Rebus ,this storyline was one I couldn't put down ,even if I woke up in the early hours I would reach for my I pad read for ten minutes or so before settling down again, excellent
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on 14 December 2016
All the Rebus books are fantastic, this particular one shows quite a bit of ageing so before you read it, it's good to know it was written in 2001... reading the whole series in order will dispel any confusion. All in all a fantastic book, based in Edinburgh.
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on 17 February 2014
I have given it 4 as although I loved it some others in my book club weren't that excited by it. (However I dont always get riveted by the ones that float their boat so some of this is subjective.)
This was my first Ian Rankin and I was hooked from start to finish. I was desperate to crack it myself and was completely unsociable for about 3 days. I have since bought other Ian Rankin on the back of it.
A really good holiday / travel read and certainly one if you are travelling to Edinburgh as you can really picture each place.
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