Nobody likes The Complaints - they're the cops who investigate other cops. It's a department known within the force as "The Dark Side," and it's where Malcolm Fox works. He's a serious man with a father in a nursing home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship, frustrating problems about which he cannot seem to do anything.
Then the reluctant Fox is given a new case. There's a cop named Jamie Breck, and he's dirty. The problem is, no one can prove it. As Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks - dangerous knowledge, especially when a vicious murder takes place far too close to home.
In The Complaints, Rankin proves again why he is one of the world's most beloved and bestselling crime writers, mixing unstoppable pacing with the deeper question of who decides right from wrong.
©2010 Ian Rankin (P)2011 Hachette
This was my introduction to Ian Rankin. I love British detective fiction and have listened to every Stuart MacBride book available on Audible. So I thought I'd give Ian Rankin a try. And I'm really glad I did. He is a terrific author who really knows how to weave a great mystery. The character he introduces in this book, Malcolm Fox, is nothing like John Rebus. I have since listened to a few audiobooks in his Rebus series and love them as well. There is another Malcolm Fox book, "The Impossible Dead" that is also really good. I hope this is a continuing series as I would really like to know what happens to Malcolm next.
The narrator, Peter Forbes, does a very good job as well. I think he should read all of the Malcolm Fox books so as to provide continuity. I would buy more books read by him.
I can't imagine why Ian Rankin stopped writing about Rebus, his long running series character, as it was as though he had found his voice - so why toss it away? The first non-Rebus book was simply dreadful. But The Complaints is heading in the right direction. Not surprisingly, the main character has some Rebus-like characteristics, and perhaps that's what makes it a decent book. Good mystery, the reader is on target, and it had some characters I could see developing into people I would want to follow in future books. He (Rankin) will hopefully get his feet under him again, and we will have more years of Rankin audio books to enjoy. I have every one of the books available in audio, and find them fun to return to when I know I want a book I can rely on.
I mostly listen to books while exercising, which pretty much explains all of the action/thrillers on my list.
I am a huge Ian Rankin fan and am a bit sad that he has given up on his previous series. Although I was also getting a bit tired of the self-destructiveness of John Rebus. I tried one of the ones about the spy types and didn't really like it. But I liked this. I guess I just like his treatment of sort of everyday life in Edinburgh in addition to the police procedural bit. I hope there are more.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I was wary about starting this book because I didn’t think I could enjoy a story about Internal Affair type police procedurals. I should have known that Ian Rankin would do it right as I was delighted to find out that the story was an excellent listen from the very beginning. Just like Rankin’s best known series about John Rebus, Edinburgh’s Inspector Malcolm Fox of “The Complaints” is someone you will care about deeply before the book ends. Fox, like Rebus, will do the right thing and diligently follow every lead – no matter who will get hurt. The story starts with a “complaint” that Fox is requested to take by a special group concerning Det. Sgt. Jamie Breck. That complaint is soon followed by an investigation into the death of Fox’s sister’s partner – by Breck. Soon both events appear to be related.
I could not wait to hear each segment of the story and enjoyed the narration by Peter Forbes, including the Scottish brogue. I especially loved the scenes with his elderly father, abused sister and the accused Det. Sgt. Jamie Breck. Fox is the type of guy you wish were part of your family.
I'm a retired professor of geography. A few years ago my health deteriorated and I had to give up reading. Audiobooks are my life-saver.
Five stars are not enough to rate this brilliant book. It's well-plotted and beautifully written, with a word-perfect reading.
Two things bothered me about this book. #1 it had very little action. Almost the entire book was people talking and figuring out the mystery of this murder. Talk, talk, talk. #2 when the whole mystery is finally solved, it is a bit unbelievable. So many people and moving parts involved in this plot and cover up, it just would never be conceived in real life.
I did enjoy the Scottish humor and banter. Also the characters were likable and well developed.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
This was a story that I liked because of the well written characters and excellent reading. The plot was a good one, but a bit overly complicated with so many players that at times it was hard to keep track. The one weakness that became a distraction for me was that the main character, Malcomb Fox, works for the police department that investigates other police for misconduct. Effort was made in the beginning of the story to explain how important it is for members of this team to at all times be above reproach in their conduct and adherence to the book. Then Malcomb spends the rest of the story essentially breaking all the rules with little hesitation and using all of the rationale other crooked cops use. He is not a bad person, in fact he is very likeable and easy to root for. But the ease with which he goes against everything he is supposed to stand for resulted in a disconnect that was a little hard to overlook.
This is not an action thriller, it is a police procedural in which the reader learns clues along with the investigators. It is very well written, the characters are vivid (but there are too many of them) and the wrap up made sense. It is not an emotional or exciting story. It was like a puzzle that you want to keep working at until you get it right, then you can put it away, satisfied that it is finished. Because I like puzzles, I will likely try the next in the series to see how it plays out.
I love books!
I was wondering, like a lot of people I suppose, what it would be like to listen to an Ian Rankin story that wasn't Detective John Rebus. I bought this one on faith that Rankin could do it. And, I wasn't disappointed! The book took right off and got into good intrigue quickly. It was easy to get caught up in the characters and the plot. The author spun a good yarn. The Scottish brogue takes some getting used to but in the end I feel it added to the story, hearing it in the local dialect. I have no idea if Rankin plans more Malcolm Fox tales but I'd look forward to it if he did. Maybe he'd even get some romance in the next one.
I was trying to put my finger on what i liked here, and i'm still not sure. I just know the story had me pretty engaged and i enjoyed the listen. It moved right along, and the characters seemed like-able, and/or believe-able. I'd say the story was more like 3.5 stars, but not 4.
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