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4.3 out of 5 stars
395
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 29 October 2011
How many readers approached "The Impossible Dead" with a degree of trepidation? I must confess that I did. I had enjoyed "The Complaints" in which Malcolm Fox had his debut. But it just wasn't Rebus. So I picked up the second in the Fox series wondering if Ian could be persuaded at some point to resurect John Rebus. I even developed a few vehicles he could use for that purpose: a new closure unit in which Rebus comes back to solve cold crimes (the role Michael Connelly has provided for Harry Bosch); or Siobahn Clarke, now promoted in Rebus's stead, enlists his help on a difficult crime requiring his delicate diplomatic skills; and finally he opens his own private detective agency (no I wasn't too enamoured of that one either). However, it does show how desperately I was seeking to get Rebus back into action.

But, by the end of "The Impossible Dead", I wasn't really so concerned to revive Rebus because Malcolm Fox had grown on me page by page. Rebus's absence became less noticeable as the sparkling repartit, usually reserved for Rebus, began to fill the pages. And then there's the storyline, one which Rebus might have killed for. It's Ian Rankin back to his very best pilfering from Scotland's recent political history and placing the complaints officer with a set of issues he can't even begin to anticipate when he is sent to Kirkaldy to consider corruption in the CID there.

So final verdict. Absolutely brilliant. A book which will do for Malcolm Fox just what "Black and Blue" did for Rebus. I feel sure most readers will feel, like me, that Malcolm Fox is now a character in his own right and as such we can mourn less for Rebus. However, that said, If Ian now has a bit of time on his hands I wouldn't gripe at all if he did decide that Rebus warranted another outing. After all I can still hear him in the background complaining, "the wee bastard didn't even have the decency to kill me off properly."
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on 11 July 2017
Fox is an excellent character and the storyline is well woven. The only reason that it failed to score 5 stars was because Fox bent the rules which didn't feel right for a senior officer in 'complaints'. A small niggle but nevertheless a great story.
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on 26 April 2017
Very apt title, bit of a slow start and abrupt ending but good in the middle. Looking forward to Malcolm Fox in the next book.
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on 10 February 2013
I only recently discovered Ian Rankin, and read a couple of Rebus novels. Malcolm Fox appeared in one, as a not very likeable but troubled character. Intrigued, I bought this book and I'm very glad I did. Good believable characters, a mystery slowly unraveling and twisting as the story progresses. Smiling at the end of each chapter, looking forward to the next one. Haven't finished it yet...
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on 8 April 2017
No matter how many other authors I read I'm always drawn back to Rankin. He would be my number 1 guest at my ideal dinner party.
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on 16 July 2017
Excellent Thank You
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on 3 June 2017
Not a bad read on the whole
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on 18 July 2017
Another belter from Ian Rankin. Couldn't put it down.
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on 26 March 2017
great
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on 6 January 2017
Had back at great price
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