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Set in Darkness by Ian Rankin
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Set in Darkness (2000)

by Ian Rankin

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Rebus is still annoying and a jackass. The whole nemesis/soulmate shtick with Big Ger Cafferty is a total rip off from Block's Matt Scudder books. He's good at the weather, but that's about it. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
As usual a great mystery novel with three very different investigations and a return of Big Ger Cafferty. There is so much more to Rankin's books, especially the involvement of Scottish bureaucratic and parliamentary happenings. Edinburgh is just as much a character as Rebus or Siobhan Clarke, taking Rankin to a higher level than most police procedurals. The description of Hogmanay brought on a bout of nostalgia: first-footing, black bun, doing a turn, and more, although the bloody events that followed were even more shocking in comparison. Rebus's music choices are always of interest, often matching my own, from Wishbone Ash to Tom Waits, and of course his favourite, The Rolling Stones.

There wasn't a print version available at the library so I settled for the audiobook. Narration by Samuel Gillies was OK, but not noteworthy. As there was little differentiation between characters it was sometimes difficult to know who was speaking. I prefer Rebus in print.

My favourite line was the rebuttal to a claim for Scotland's first family status. Rankin states "Everybody knew Scotland's first family was The Broons". When I was a child, this was one of my favourite comic strips made famous in Scotland's Sunday Post, the other one being the companion strip Oor Wullie. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Aug 9, 2018 |
Another great installment in the world of Ian Rankin's Rebus. This book is once again set in Edinburgh and the author does an excellent job giving us a description of the city and some of it's nasty parts. I always enjoy the characters and their humorous dialogue and reaction to one another. Another re-appearance of arch enemy, Big Ger Cafferty (Strawman), adds a unique touch. In this story there are three different crime elements focused on; a man dead for twenty years found behind a wall in the renovated Parliament Building, a tramp who jumps off a bride and leaves behind a suitcase full of cash and Roddy Grieve, a political candidate is found dead. It is interesting how in the end these three instances are tied together. These subplots had all the ingredients to make this another remarkable and fascinating read. I look forward to the next book in the series and would highly recommend reading this series in order as the stories build one upon another. ( )
  EadieB | Mar 23, 2018 |
Synopsis: A body is found sealed up in a wall. A man who looks homeless but has a large amount of money commits suicide. A man standing for office is killed. Do all the cases fit together or has happenstance confused the issues? Inspector Rebus, still treated as an outsider, must bring all the clues together, protect Siobhan, and behave as a team member.
Review: While this is another dark study, the tying together of the crimes makes it interesting. ( )
  DrLed | Jul 1, 2017 |
Ian Rankin is one of my favorite crime writers and his guy, John Rebus, is one of the great characters in the genre. I've jumped around in the series, which is a long one, so I've grown to appreciate how Rankin has 'aged' Rebus, taking him from his early days as a newbie to the end. 'Set in Darkness' is sort of at the midpoint- his 11th in the series, published in 2000.

As with all of them, Darkness is set in Edinburgh, Scotland and Rebus is as he always is: a highly competent detective who's a loner, gets under everyone's skin, drinks hard, smokes, and has lots of issues that both hinder and in some ways help his chosen career path. In this novel, 3 incidents occur at nearly the same time: a corpse is found on the grounds of a historic building that's undergoing modifications, a politician is murdered, and an old man commits suicide. Rebus and others are assigned to investigate. Who is the corpse? Why was the old man living as a pauper while he had 400K in pounds in the bank? Are there connections between the cases? Complicating matters is a young relatively inexperienced investigator who's been picked by his superiors to rise quickly that's assigned to lead one of the investigations, the re-appearance of Rebus' bete noire and arch-criminal Big Ger Cafferty, and lots of political intrigue. In due time, it's all wrapped up but not without a lot of eggs being cracked to make the omelet, as it were.

Set in Darkness is a competently done procedural with great writing, fine dialogue, wonderful descriptions of Edinburgh and its environs, and believable interaction between all the players.

SPOILER ALERT: The only thing I didn't like, and this is a problem I have in general, not just with this book, is that the author sort of telegraphs the whole thing up front. 3 disparate issues occur and, if they aren't connected, you have to assume the writer won't spend a lot of time on them. On their faces, they didn't have an obvious connection other than occur in time and place proximity, but as the investigators worked through the cases it became somewhat apparent, at least based on the work put in by the author to follow each case, that there was something there between them. I suppose that's one of the beauties of the Rebus character in that he was able to recognize the possibilities of connections and doggedly followed his instincts. Anyway, another good effort by Rankin! ( )
  gmmartz | Dec 28, 2016 |
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Epigraph
Though my soul may set in darkness
It will rise in perfect light,
I have loved the stars too fondly
To be fearful of the night.

~ Sarah Williams, 'The Old Astronomer to his Pupil'
Dedication
For my son Kit, with all my hopes, dreams and love
First words
Darkness was falling as Rebus accepted the yellow hard hat from his guide.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312977891, Mass Market Paperback)

Edinburgh police inspector John Rebus's obsession--rock & roll--seems odd for a man whose dark, depressed side is so central to his character, but Ian Rankin always manages to work it gracefully into his noirish novels featuring Rebus. In Set in Darkness, Rebus has a fling with Lorna Grieve, a faded rock muse who's the sister of Roddy Grieve, an up-and-coming politico who turns up dead on the grounds of the boarded-up hospital that's being torn down to make way for the new Scottish Parliament. Grieve's body is the second in the space of days found at Queensberry House; the first was a skeleton bricked up in the fireplace. That decades-old murder seems to be tied to the suicide of a mysterious homeless man whose hefty bank balance is revealed well before his true identity.
'So what's the story with Mr Supertramp anyway?'

'He had all this money he either couldn't spend or didn't want to. He took on a new identity. My theory is that he was hiding.'

'Maybe.' He was rifling through the scraps on the desk. She folded her arms, gave him a hard look which he failed to notice. He opened the bread bag and shook out the contents: disposable razor, a sliver of soap, toothbrush. 'An organized mind,' he said. 'Makes himself a wash bag. Doesn't like being dirty.'

'It's like he was acting the part,' she said.

There are always plenty of subplots in a Rankin mystery. This time he adds a stalker who happens to be one of Rebus's colleagues, a couple of toughs who hang out in singles clubs and finish their evenings with a rape or two, and the ongoing story of Rebus's tortured past--a bitter divorce, a daughter still recovering from a terrible accident, and a drinking problem. Set in Darkness hit the bestseller list in Great Britain and should enjoy the same success in its U.S. edition. Rankin's ability to keep finding new dimensions in Rebus, handle intricate plot details brilliantly, and evoke the gloom and darkness of his setting keep winning him new admirers, with just cause. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:14 -0400)

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Inspector John Rebus investigates a body found in a Queensbury House fireplace, the suicide of a homeless man in possession of a fortune, and the murder of an ambitious politician--three deaths with ties to one of Scotland's most notorious criminals.

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