August 2010 Book of the Month.
The complaints of the title is the ‘Complaints and Conduct Department’, a section of the police force which investigates the behaviour of other police officers. Rankin’s new character, Malcolm Fox, works for them. He’s very different from Rebus, being a moral and clean-living man but he is equally fascinating.
Rankin’s gritty Edinburgh is still central, and there is an evil, corrupt undercurrent to yet another brilliant police procedure thriller from a master of the genre. If you haven’t tried Rankin, this is an excellent place to start.
'Mustn't complain' - but people always do...Nobody likes The Complaints - they're the cops who investigate other cops. Complaints and Conduct Department, to give them their full title, but known colloquially as 'The Dark Side', or simply 'The Complaints'. It's where Malcolm Fox works. He's just had a result, and should be feeling good about himself. But he's a man with problems of his own. He has an increasingly frail father in a care home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship - something which Malcolm cannot seem to do anything about. But, in the midst of an aggressive Edinburgh winter, the reluctant Fox is given a new task. There's a cop called Jamie Breck, and he's dirty. The problem is, no one can prove it. But as Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks. This knowledge will prove dangerous, especially when a vicious murder intervenes far too close to home for Fox's liking.
|Publication date:||5th August 2010|
|Publisher:||Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Primary Genre||Thriller and Suspense|
Ian Rankin’s Doors Open, his first post-Rebus book, was much acclaimed, and demonstrated to Rankin fans that there would be much more choice material to follow from a favourite writer. And here is The Complaints, the first Rankin novel featuring a new central character, Edinburgh policeman, Malcolm Fox. Fox is a very different character from DI Rebus: he’s not a drinker (though he has been) and is more subtle in dealing with conflict than his predecessor. Fox works for the unpopular Complaints & Conduct department of the Edinburgh force (known as ‘The Complaints’) – a department not popular with coppers, as this is the section that deals with police corruption. Fox is after policeman Glenn Heaton of the CID, a man who has massaged the rules in the past; now he appears to have decisively crossed the line. Simultaneously, another detective, Jamie Breck, is under suspicion of being involved with a paedophile ring.
'Like all good crime novels, it takes you to places that you did not know existed - and, even if you did, would not wish to visit. Fox, brave and kind beneath his world-weary exterior, makes for an excellent guide. Rankin's legion of fans will have no grounds for complaints'
Mark Sanderson EVENING STANDARD
'Getting to know this man [Fox], an intriguing mix of apathy and action, is almost like a courtship - each new situation reveals something that makes the reader want to know yet more'
Rebecca Armstrong THE INDEPENDENT
'Rankin delivers, without the help of Rebus, an excellent cop novel full of action, good dialogue, well-crafted characters and an authentic backdrop'
Marcel Berlins THE TIMES
'Rankin's touch for literary elements outwith genre expectations continues to be excellent. Even a brief paragraph about Fox's childhood contains as much nostagic fizz as a bubble of Irn Bru caught in a spluttering kid's nostril'
Alan Morrison SUNDAY HERALD GLASGOW
'On the evidence of The Complaints it looks as if Fox will be just as sure-footed a guide to the city as his grizzled predecessor'
Barry Forshaw DAILY EXPRESS
'As is usually the case with Rankin, the plot is more layered than a tiramisu and here offers a depth that incorpoates teh impact of the credit crunch and the subsequent collapse of property values in Scotland'
Declan Burke IRISH TIMES
'Rankin is a master at what, for me, is one of the important aspects of a crime novel: the integration of setting, plot, characters and a theme which, for Rankin, is the moral dimension never far from his writing. Here it is unambiguously stated on the cover of The Complaints: wh decides right from wrong?'
PD James THE GUARDIAN
'Gordon Brown, who knows a thing or two about what it's like to live up to the memory of a charismatic predecessor, ought to give Fox his endorsement straight away'
Jake Kerridge DAILY TELEGRAPH
Ian Rankin was born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide. Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's ...More About Ian Rankin