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The Complaints by Ian Rankin

The Complaints (original 2009; edition 2011)

by Ian Rankin

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1,300678,814 (3.76)85
Title:The Complaints
Authors:Ian Rankin
Info:Reagan Arthur Books (2011), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Complaints by Ian Rankin (2009)


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English (64)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
I read this one "out of order" having read two of the more recent Inspector Rebus books first, so my first introduction to Inspector Malcolm Fox was as a foil (and then partner) with John Rebus. So I was curious to see how Rankin had introduced the character of Fox. As with all of Rankin's stories, the plot and characters were compelling. Fox appears at first to be the exact opposite of Rebus (straight-laced, not a smoker, nor a drinker), and as somebody who works in The Complaints (as a cop tracking down and arresting bad cops), Fox was very far removed from Rankin's previous protagonist. However, as the story goes along and Fox is pushed into a corner, many similarities between Fox and the former DI Rebus come to light. When pushed into a corner, Fox is willing to bend (and even break) as many rules as he can to get to the bottom of the events that are affecting his life. (This was something that I thought was missing in Fox's character in Standing in Another Man's Grave, as he was on Rebus like a terrier after a rat, but his own actions that had previously transpired in this book seemed to be conveniently forgotten by Fox. But that's a minor quibble on my part.) I thoroughly enjoyed this story and enjoy to character of Malcolm Fox. ( )
  GeoffHabiger | Jun 13, 2018 |
Detective Fox breaks character and leaves his obsessive, careful life behind to almost get the girl, get the bad guy(s), and a bro. ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
I have to bow my head in shame as I admit that other than The Complaints, I had only read one other Ian Rankin book, Knots and Crosses, first book in his widely popular Inspector Rebus series. For that reason, I am not the best person to compare/contrast the Rebus and Fox characters. Based on a sampling of reviews I have skimmed, some reviewers categorize Malcolm Fox as an “anti-Rebus” character, in that Rebus and Fox “have little in common except integrity and a dogged determination to get the job done”. This distinction may be important to some readers. For me, The Complaints, with its complicated characters and plot web, brings to mind my recent reading forays into Tana French’s loosely connected Dublin Murder Squad series, a series I enjoy very much. The recession-suffering Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders area is captured with wonderful realism. Rankin characters – especially Fox and Jaime Breck – are credible and well developed. I really like how the interpersonal dynamics between these two characters come into play. As for the plot, I found it to be well-written, tightly woven and fast-paced, making full use of the complexities of the case Fox and Breck find themselves ensnared in.

Overall, a great character-driven crime fiction and a solid “first book in series” read that would probably appeal to Tana French fans. ( )
  lkernagh | May 14, 2018 |
The anti Rebus but I lived it. I also loved that it was a book about an internals affairs officer (complaints) as the hero. They are usually the villians which I have never understood. Crooked cops are still bad guys. Great story and looking forward to the next one. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Right up there with Rebus. For those who like their protagonists somewhat less flawed, maybe even better. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Ian Rankin is very good. But one question dances in front of me every time I open his latest novel: Is he that much better than everyone else? His sales, reviews, honours and reputation suggest that he is. Can it be possible? This year's novel, The Complaints, is set in Edinburgh, as usual, but has a new character, who looks a fair bet for a series. He shares much with John Rebus, who lived in real time and so retired after about 18 novels. Like Rebus, Malcolm Fox is divorced, depressed, decent and devoted to alcohol..... If the point of crime fiction is to make you think while entertaining you – and I believe it is – then Ian Rankin definitely does it better than most.
The Complaints is the second Ian Rankin novel since John Rebus retired in Exit Music, and readers who are still suffering from Rebus deprivation are likely to be heartened by the arrival of a cop who shows every sign of being as eminently suitable as his successor. The two men have little in common except integrity and a dogged determination to get the job done. Inspector Malcolm Fox is teetotal in a hard-drinking world, a cop who wears unfashionable braces without embarrassment because they are the most effective way of holding up his trousers, who is described by a boss as "a bear of a man", slow but steady, and only occasionally to be feared....Fox is so fully realised and interesting a character, his job in "the complaints" so fraught with fascinating possibilities, that we can surely hope to meet him again. And somewhere in Edinburgh is John Rebus, retired, but for Ian Rankin readers very much alive


» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Rankinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Martín, FranciscoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martín Arribas, FranciscoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There was a smattering of applause as Malcolm Fox entered the room.
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Nobody likes The Complaints--they're the cops who investigate other cops. It's a department known within the force as "The Dark Side," and it's where Malcolm Fox works. His new case: investigate a cop named Jamie Breck. As Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks--dangerous knowledge, especially when a vicious murder takes place far too close to home.… (more)

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