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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
5563417,948 (3.87)35
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)

2012 (11) 2013 (5) audiobook (3) British (4) complaints (5) corruption (3) crime (44) crime fiction (21) detective (10) ebook (6) Edinburgh (25) fiction (51) Fife (5) Kindle (4) Kriminalroman (3) Malcolm Fox (19) murder (6) mystery (55) Mystery/Thriller (4) novel (5) police (7) police procedural (8) politics (3) read (4) Rebus (5) Scotland (52) Scottish (7) series (7) signed (3) to-read (11)
None
  1. 20
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  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 35 mentions

English (32)  Dutch (2)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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 |
Ian Rankin really knows what he's doing, and for people who like the kind of thing he does (including me)--strong characters, intricate but compelling plots, specifically rendered settings, twists and conspiracies opening up the political dimensions of crime--this is exactly the kind of thing we like. Perhaps because I've known Rebus longer, I still find Fox less convincing, somehow, but I'm finding the development of his family and other relationships interesting.
  rmaitzen | Feb 7, 2014 |
The Impossible Dead is the second Malcolm Fox thriller from Ian Rankin and is an enjoyable read, if somewhat far-fetched. I liked the overall story - familiar Rankin territory of old cases, un-investigated sudden death and Scottish idealism. An internal affairs investigation by Fox and his complaints team soon becomes much bigger and takes on another dimension, this time involving politics, the security services, and a trail that leads to the very top.

As usual for Rankin this was a well-written novel, with believable characters and a fairly convincing set of initial circumstances. But there were just too many coincidences for my liking, and there were a couple of times when I really struggled to suspend my disbelief. In the hands of a less competent author, the book would have been a total hash, but Rankin somehow transcends the limits of his plot and maintains the momentum, staying just the right side of believability.

I enjoyed meeting Inspector Fox again, a much less abrasive character than Rebus, with a more believable personal life. The family elements were enjoyable and added depth...his father in a residential home and fighting the onset of dementia, a high-maintenance sister, and convincing work friendships. That said, I just wish that the investigation hadn't had quite such a personal link to the Fox family. And it would be great to read a Rankin police novel where the protagonist manages to solve the crime without pissing off his bosses and getting himself suspended. A good read though, and I am sure hardened Rankin fans won't be disappointed.
© Koplowitz 2012

( )
1 vote Ant.Harrison | Apr 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (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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