The Complaints

Ian Rankin, Author
Ian Rankin, Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur, $24.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-03974-1
Reviewed on: 01/24/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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Fans of Rankin's Det. Insp. John Rebus will be disappointed by this so-so police procedural, his second stand-alone since Rebus "retired" (after Doors Open). Malcolm Fox—call him Rebus "Lite" (he doesn't drink, he broods less, and he has none of Rebus's wit)—works for the Scottish equivalent of Internal Affairs, "Complaints and Conduct" (aka "the Complaints"), which investigates corrupt cops. Fox looks into the case of Det. Sgt. Jamie Breck, who may be trading in child pornography over the Internet. Meanwhile, when Vince Faulkner, Fox's sister's lover and abuser, turns up dead, Fox becomes a murder suspect. A torturously complicated plot follows involving the suspicious suicide of a failing property developer, large-scale money laundering, and crookedness at every level of Scottish society, but nothing's really at stake. As always with Rankin, Scotland itself is a main character—"the whole of Scotland's in meltdown," says Fox—and that may be this tepid novel's main attraction. 10-city author tour. (Mar.)
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