This Ian Rankin is a very clever guy. I’d forgotten how sly his plots are. I read the entire Rebus series a few years ago (all except for the last one – I couldn’t bear to see the end of Rebus) and loved the convoluted and complex plotting. This latest book, The Complaints, takes place in familiar territory for Rebus fans, the police force of Edinburgh, and also has so many twists your head spins with the craziness of it.
Malcolm Fox is a middle-aged loner who works in the Complaints office of the police – I think the American version would be called internal affairs. They are charged with investigating rotten police officers and when the novel opens they’ve just closed a case against a corrupt officer who was in with all sorts of bad characters. Malcolm is almost immediatley after called on to investigate an officer who is suspected of being into child pornography. At the same time, his sister’s boyfriend is found murdered and he can’t help himself from butting into the investigation of his death. Before long, Malcolm is breaking many policies and rules himself and soon finds himself on the other end of the complaints office investigations.
With his usual humor and fast-pacing, Rankin has crafted another riveting and fascinating police thriller. He has a talent for creating atmosphere in this novels, making this Southwest US residing reader (who’s never been anywhere near Edinburgh) feel like I know the city and its people. That might be my favorite aspect of Rankin’s writing, yet I obviously also love his knack for plot.
This is another great story from Rankin and I hope he continues it as a series.