Select one of the keywords
The Complaints    by Ian Rankin order for
by Ian Rankin
Order:  USA  Can
Reagan Arthur, 2011 (2011)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Having thoroughly enjoyed every one of Ian Rankin's Inspector John Rebus mysteries (that concluded in Exit Music), I picked up what looks to be the opening of a new series with great interest - The Complaints, starring Lothian and Borders internal affairs officer Malcolm Fox in Edinburgh, Scotland.

There was always a great deal of conflict surrounding the perennially insubordinate Rebus - with his superiors, his peers, and of course the villains he apprehended. And Rebus' demons were all out there on the surface. Fox is a different policeman altogether, his job in the Complaints (Scotland's equivalent of Internal Affairs) forcing him to play a much more circumspect role. He gave up drinking after over indulging when his wife left him and thinks carefully about what he says and does. His demons (and he definitely has them) are all internalized. Fox's father is in a nursing home and his sister Jude is in a relationship with a man, Vince Faulkner, who beats her.

As The Complaints opens, Fox is concluding a case against CID officer Glen Heaton, who'd been 'bending the rules to his own advantage' for over a decade. The case against one of their officers has not made Fox popular with Heaton's peers and superiors. His next assignment, in cooperation with Annie Inglis of the Child Protection group, is to investigate one of Heaton's peers, DS Jamie Breck, who's suspected of purchasing child pornography on the Internet. Before Fox can get started, he meets his suspect in another context - Jude's partner has been murdered and Breck is investigating.

The plot thickens - as Rankin's plots always do - to include Fox's surveillance and suspension, missing and dead property developers, mismanaged money laundering, and corruption in high places. Despite being under investigation themselves - and not quite trusting each other - Fox and Breck team up to play the endgame. Malcolm Fox is not John Rebus, but he is an intriguing new lead for Ian Rankin, and one I hope to follow in future episodes.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews