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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
6974613,645 (3.83)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)

  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 (44)  Dutch (2)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Some of the domestic scenes were quite unnecessary, especially those between Fox and his sister. Ian Rankin need not add these scenes to make it a more well-rounded book. The plot was too convenient, making Malcolm a genius detective. But his guts at standing up to the higher-ranked is to be admired, although he does appear foolhardy ( )
  siok | Aug 12, 2016 |
This is the second book in Ian Rankin's Malcolm Fox series. I was told that I should read these two books before I go any further in the John Rebus series because the two wily policemen collide in the next Rebus book after the one that I've got lined up to read. I enjoyed Malcolm Fox. He's very different from Rebus, but in true Ian Rankin fashion, Fox is backed by some stellar secondary characters - his partners Tony Kaye and Joe Naysmith are wonderful counterpoints to the straight-laced, toremented Fox. In this book Fox and his Complaints staff (Tony and Joe) are investigating a corrupt cop and some of the policemen in the station that may or may not be a part of the cop's unsavoury activities. While doing so, Fox uncovers a 30-year old suicide which seems to somehow connect with his investigation. The more Fox, Joe and Tony dig, the more they think that the suicide was not a suicide and there is someone around now that very much wants to keep any investigation in this possible crime as quiet as possible. Fox goes to considerable lengths to investigate this, and puts himself in much danger as he does so. I enjoyed the story and the mystery. Rankin always makes his crimes intersesting and complicated, but I was a bit disappointed Fox's stand-offish demeanour. Somehow, it didn't make the ending as believable as it should have been. But the book is still worth a read, and I look forward to the fiery encounter between these two crafty policemen. ( )
  Romonko | Jul 30, 2016 |
I've enjoyed Rankin's Rebus character in a number of novels, and this is my first with Malcolm Fox, head of the Complaints (similar to IAD) in the starring role. It's a promising series, but definitely not the same as Rebus.

As with many good mysteries, The Impossible Dead starts out in one direction, a fairly easy role for the Complaints team to investigate a nearby department's improper handling of a citizen accusation against one of their own, and branches off into something considerably more complex. Without spoiling the plot, I'd say the story line is well done, I like Rankin's straightforward prose, the characters are developed nicely, and the conclusion is satisfying. It's a good mystery novel. Oh yeah, I also like the references to the Scottish setting... I've been over there and enjoy hearing descriptions of places I've actually seen.

The only 'complaints' I have were the relatively slow pace of the initial 2/3 of the book. There was a lot of activity, but little obvious movement toward the conclusion. The pace picked up eventually. Additionally, although we get a very good sense of the personalities of the members of the Complaints team, it's actually a pretty boring group. They get along well, joke with one another, chase skirts a bit, but there's not the little bit of tension that goes along with a more adventurous team.

All in all, a nicely done mystery by an author who does a great job cranking them out.



( )
  gmmartz | Jun 21, 2016 |
Overall entertaining and a quick read; Malcolm Fox is likeable yet ordinary character, the storyline was just a little far-fetched but made believable. Lots of trademark "grounding" touches, like chip paper, taking you in to the moment described. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Ax good as the Rebus series - and that's saying something! ( )
  stevebishop | Apr 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -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)

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