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The Falls by Ian Rankin
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The Falls (2001)

by Ian Rankin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Rebus (12)

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1,761375,730 (3.86)36

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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Rankine writes for his cops. The mystery is a slog thru puzzles and peoples, but the detectives are the book's focus. They hold the stage. You know them better than any blood splatters or motives when all is over. These characters fit stereotypes of the genre--Rebus plays old dog but never rolls over for the crew or the boss, Shiv Rebus' protege is acquiring his traits, etc.--, but they are fleshy and human.

Endings happen quickly in Rankin's books--everyone is scratching around and then the big break comes and the book ends. This book is no exception.

A good read. Summer vacation, perhaps? ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Edinburgh police detective John Rebus, Ian Rankin's popular series detective, is a brilliantly realized character, as moody, dark, and melancholy as Edinburgh itself. In The Falls, he's almost certain that missing university student Philippa Balfour is dead, but he's less sure how she died or what her misadventure has to do with the tiny doll in a hand-sized coffin that turns up near a waterfall on the Balfour family estate. It's not the first coffin found near the scene of a crime; could Philippa be the victim of a serial killer?

In this installment of Ian Rankin's Rebus we find Farmer Watson has retired and Gill Templer has taken his place as Rebus' boss. She quickly learns that Rebus is hard to handle and Rebus begins to think about retirement. Philippa Balfour has been playing a fantasy type computer game with the Quizmaster and Siobhan Clarke decides to play along in order to find out what happened to Phillippa. Rebus soon finds out that there is a connection to the Burke and Hare case that was from the 1700. The model coffin found near the Falls of the Balfour Home also has a connection to the Resurrectionists and Arthur's seat. Once again there are a few sub-plots along with the murder of Philippa. I think I enjoyed this book more than I enjoyed the others. I found it very interesting and now I look forward to reading the next in the series. I would highly recommend this series to those who like mystery thrillers about Endinburgh, Scotland with action and adventure. ( )
  EadieB | Mar 24, 2018 |
Yet another great Rebus book. In this one, in addition to the actual case, Rebus has to contend with changes in the management: Farmer Watson has retired and Gill Templer has taken his place, and Rebus is faced with the prospect of himself being one of those retirees someday. There is also some romantic interest for Rebus (very discreetly written -- thank you, Ian Rankin, for giving them their privacy), some great lines about tea, and an A+ reference to a Northern Irish punk-rock band. This book is also entertaining for its being published in the early days of portable computers and the Internet. Recommended. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Sep 20, 2016 |
This has to be one of my favourite books in the Rebus series. Initially I had a bit of trouble getting into it, but once I was into it I just read and read and read. It has to be one of the more in-depth books in the series in my opinion, and has a bit of something for everyone - some history (Burke and Hare connections), puzzle solving and pure crime and trying to detect the killers, as well the ongoing saga of Rebus and his colleagues. It has a slightly different feel than many in this series as it is not rooted in the crime scene in Edinburgh and there is even some romance of some description for Rebus (as much as he ever does romance that is). It also marks a watershed point in the series as Gill Templar is now his boss, following the retirement of Farmer Watson. I definitely recommend this book if you want an in-depth crime fiction book which is high quality. I look forward to continuing the series next time I am in Scotland, it does add to the feel! ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
The Falls represents both Ian Rankin and John Rebus on mid-season form. We get to see all sides of Rebus - as a near-alcoholic seemingly stumbling from one crisis to another, a respectful and considerate lover, an obdurate, 'thrawn' colleague revelling in being a round peg in a square hole and, as always, a fine, incisive detective. Once again, the city of Edinburgh itself, and some of the grimmer episodes from its dark history, comes through as a principal character in the story, a beautiful yet also foreboding presence against which the action is played out.

Philippa Balfour, daughter of the wealthy owner of the exclusive private bank Balfour and Co, has gone missing. She had been studying the History of Art at Edinburgh University and had arranged to meet a group of friends. Shortly before the meeting she texts her friends to say that she has just had yet another big row with her boyfriend. Philippa is never seen again. Because of the prominence of her father the police are treating her disappearance as a priority.

The police remove her computer to search it for any possible clues to her disappearance, and Siobhan Clarke, Rebus's long-suffering sidekick, discovers that Philippa had been engaged in a role-playing game solving clues set by someone known simply as The Quizmaster. Clarke is sucked into undertaking the game herself, in the hope that it might shed some light on what befell the missing girl. She finds herself grappling with a series of increasingly more difficult cryptic clues.

Meanwhile, a model coffin turns up at The Falls, the Balfour family home. This has sinister echoes of a series of such coffins, now in the Museum of Scotland, that had been found on Arthur's Seat shortly after the Burke and hare murders. This gives Rankin the opportunity to deliver an enticing history lesson about the so-called Resurrectionists. This may sound contrived but Rankin handles it seamlessly.

I think that this might be the strongest of the series of Rebus novels.

( )
  Eyejaybee | Sep 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Rankinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Martin Arribas, FranciscoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Not my accent - I didn't lose that so much as wipe it off my shoe, as soon as I started to live in England - but rather my own temperament, the prototypically Scottish part of my character that was chippy, aggressive, mean, morbid and, despite my best endeavours, persistently deist. I was, and always would be, a lousy escapee from the unnatural history museum...

Philip Kerr, "The Unnatural History Museum"
Dedication
To Allan and
Euan, who set
the ball rolling.
First words
"You think I killed her, don't you?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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For more information on the miniature coffins from Arthur's Seat, see https://www.nms.ac.uk/explore-our-coll...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312982402, Mass Market Paperback)

Edinburgh police detective John Rebus, Ian Rankin's popular series detective, is a brilliantly realized character, as moody, dark, and melancholy as Edinburgh itself. In The Falls, he's almost certain that missing university student Philippa Balfour is dead, but he's less sure how she died or what her misadventure has to do with the tiny doll in a hand-sized coffin that turns up near a waterfall on the Balfour family estate. It's not the first coffin found near the scene of a crime; could Philippa be the victim of a serial killer? The only other lead the police have is a cryptic e-mail from someone called Quiz Master, inviting Philippa--and then constable Siobhan Clarke, who responds using Philippa's screen name--to join him in a bizarre scavenger hunt that might lead Clarke to Philippa's body, her killer, or her own death.

This time out Rebus has a new boss, who's no happier with his unorthodox style or impolitic attitude toward the Edinburgh establishment than his last one was. But even under department suspension, Rebus manages to tie a number of seemingly disparate and unconnected clues together and deliver a killer in a scene that even the most discerning reader may not see coming until it jumps off the page. A bestseller in the U.K., The Falls is Rankin's best yet. --Jane Adams

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:57 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

After a young student's strange disappearance, Inspector John Rebus gets a lead in the shape of a carved wooden doll in an eight-inch coffin and an Internet-based role-playing game.

» see all 9 descriptions

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