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The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin
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The Impossible Dead (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Ian Rankin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5783617,114 (3.87)36
Member:Amsa1959
Title:The Impossible Dead
Authors:Ian Rankin
Info:Orion (2012), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library, Crime
Rating:***
Tags:2013, crime, Scotland, police

Work details

The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin (2011)

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  1. 20
    The Complaints by Ian Rankin (Laura400)
  2. 00
    The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home (YossarianXeno)
    YossarianXeno: Both novels provide accessible, compelling crime stories set in contemporary Scotland, written with a simplicity of style.
  3. 00
    O homem que matou Getúlio Vargas: Biografia de um anarquista by Jo Soares (Cecilturtle)
    Cecilturtle: the lighter side of anarchy
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» See also 36 mentions

English (34)  Dutch (2)  All languages (36)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Someone close recommended Rankin, so although I do not read crime stories, I gave it a try and found it rather slow paced and not really interesting.
I am sure he is good, really, and knows what he is doing, and I will give another one of his works a try, if one ever crosses my path, but will definitely not go out of my way to get hold of one. ( )
  flydodofly | Nov 22, 2014 |
"The Impossible Dead" is the second in Ian Rankin's Malcolm Fox series, a series featuring "the Complaints." The Complaints is the Scottish version of America's Internal Investigations department, a department manned by cops who are largely despised, mistrusted, and avoided by the rest of the police force.

The series now consists of "The Complaints," "The Impossible Dead," and "Saints of the Shadow Bible." I read book three before reading book two but had no difficulty getting into the flow of this one at all. After all, police department internal affairs investigations often move slowly as the investigators cut through all the natural resistance and self-preservation instinct built into any organization that tends to believe itself to be in an "us against them" existence. That's the case, I suspect, of most police and military organizations.

This time around, Malcolm and his small two-man team are invited to a neighboring department to investigate a bad cop - one accused of trading sexual favors for freedom of several female suspects. He stands accused of being one of the worst kind of predators imaginable in a police force. Granted, the book - and the case - begin a little slowly, but once Malcolm begins to sense that much more is being covered up by the cop's friends than just his sexual history, it's game on. And what a game it turns out to be. Malcolm, while battling family demons of his own, is on a quest to expose some of the biggest frauds in Scotland. It won't be easy.

The most intriguing thing about the Malcolm Fox series to me is that Fox is exactly the kind of cop - doing exactly the kind of job - that Rankin's most famous fictional character, John Rebus, would probably despise and refuse to work with. I think that the contrast of these two characters, who have extremely opposing points-of-view, is what is going to make Rankin's second series a long lasting one. I hope I'm correct because I'm looking forward to many more Malcolm Fox books. ( )
  SamSattler | Jul 26, 2014 |
I enjoyed this a lot (3.5 stars at least). What captured my imagination was the web woven between individual histories, social and political history, and the present. I am just a little older than most of the characters, and graduated from a university in Scotland just before the past events so it stirred a lot of memories for me, but that was just a little extra enjoyment on such a well written book. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
Enjoyed the book but nearly as good as the Rebus books. ( )
  wendycartmell | Jun 8, 2014 |
I think Rankin’s Malcolm Fox novels haven’t taken off as the Rebus ones did as Fox is a pale shadow of Rebus. His non-relationship with the married Evelyn, for example, is totally banal and anti-climatic, ending as it does when her husband simply says to Fox on the phone ‘Whoever you are, just bugger off. She doesn’t need you’ which has Fox saying to himself ‘Fine then’. Rankin obviously felt the need to put in a bit of a love life but this one couldn’t even be called embryonic.

Plot-wise too I found it inadequate, straining to be more than it was by involving high-ranking people. Perhaps I’ve read a surfeit of this kind of time-passing novel but I know I don’t want to read another for a while. ( )
  evening | Jun 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
This is Rankin, so it's only to be expected that the plotting should be tight, the dialogue quick-fire, the crimes disturbingly believable, taking place as they do in a world that is so thoroughly and obviously our own, today. What the creator of Rebus also gives us in Fox – initially in the inspector's first outing, The Complaints, and again here – is another complex, driven policeman: difficult, largely miserable and lonely, but utterly real.
 

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316039772, Hardcover)

The Complaints: that's the name given to the Internal Affairs department who seek out dirty and compromised cops, the ones who've made deals with the devil. And sometimes The Complaints must travel.

A major inquiry into a neighboring police force sees Malcolm Fox and his colleagues cast adrift, unsure of territory, protocol, or who they can trust. An entire station-house looks to have been compromised, but as Fox digs deeper he finds the trail leads him back in time to the suicide of a prominent politician and activist. There are secrets buried in the past, and reputations on the line.

In his newest pulse-pounding thriller, Ian Rankin holds up a mirror to an age of fear and paranoia, and shows us something of our own lives reflected there.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:25 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A major inquiry into a neighboring police force sees Malcolm Fox and his colleagues cast adrift, unsure of territory, protocol, or who they can trust. An entire station-house looks to have been compromised, but as Fox digs deeper he finds the trail leads him back in time to the suicide of a prominent politician and activist. There are secrets buried in the past, and reputations on the line.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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