The Complaints

Ian Rankin

The Complaints

Nobody likes The Complaints - they're the cops who investigate other cops. Complaints and Conduct Department, to give them their full title, but known colloquially as 'The Dark Side', or simply 'The Complaints'. It's where Malcolm Fox works. He's just had a result, and should be feeling good about himself. But he's a man with problems of his own. He has an increasingly frail father in a care home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship - something which Malcolm cannot seem to do anything about. But, in the midst of an aggressive Edinburgh winter, the reluctant Fox is given a new task. There's a cop called Jamie Breck, and he's dirty. The problem is, no one can prove it. But as Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks. This knowledge will prove dangerous, especially when a vicious murder intervenes far too close to home for Fox's liking. 4.1 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
The Complaints

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Crime, Thrillers & Mystery
Format Hardback
Pages 400
RRP £18.99
Date of Publication September 2009
ISBN 978-0752889511
Publisher Orion
 

Nobody likes The Complaints - they're the cops who investigate other cops. Complaints and Conduct Department, to give them their full title, but known colloquially as 'The Dark Side', or simply 'The Complaints'. It's where Malcolm Fox works. He's just had a result, and should be feeling good about himself. But he's a man with problems of his own. He has an increasingly frail father in a care home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship - something which Malcolm cannot seem to do anything about. But, in the midst of an aggressive Edinburgh winter, the reluctant Fox is given a new task. There's a cop called Jamie Breck, and he's dirty. The problem is, no one can prove it. But as Fox takes on the job, he learns that there's more to Breck than anyone thinks. This knowledge will prove dangerous, especially when a vicious murder intervenes far too close to home for Fox's liking.

Reviews

The Guardian

PD James

Rankin is a master at what, for me, is one of the important aspects of a crime novel: the integration of setting, plot, characters and a theme which, for Rankin, is the moral dimension never far from his writing. Here it is unambiguously stated on the cover of The Complaints: who decides right from wrong? 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.

12/09/2009

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The Independent

Rebecca Armstrong

With its Edinburgh setting, suave crime lords and renegade officers, The Complaints will be familiar territory to Rebus fans - even if its hero isn't. In trading in his leading man for a younger model, Rankin is able, convincingly, to explore contemporary topics... Getting to know this man, an intriguing mix of apathy and action, is almost like a courtship – each new situation reveals something that makes the reader want to know yet more.

28/08/2009

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The Literary Review

Jessica Mann

It may be heresy to say so, but I was never very excited by Inspector Rebus. I am much more interested in Rankin’s new addition to the list of Edinburgh policemen-heroes... An interesting insight into human behaviour, not to mention a welcome tour of both the Edinburgh that visitors see and the parts they aren’t shown.

01/09/2009

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The Daily Mail

Carla McKay

Rankin explores both public and private morality in this well-plotted story, which is expertly executed but somehow lacks the dark menace of some of his earlier works.

08/09/2009

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The Times

Marcel Berlins

Rankin delivers, without the help of Rebus, an excellent cop novel full of action, good dialogue, well-crafted characters and an authentic backdrop. It’s unfair to keep harping back to Rebus days, but inevitable that Rankin enthusiasts will want to know how the new novel compares. What’s the verdict? The Complaints is in no sense a disappointment, but it lacks that added spark that would make Rankin’s post-Rebus career as scintillating as what came before.

22/08/2009

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The Sunday Times

John Dugdale

The Complaints conclusively demonstrates that its author has still got it, and can put together an ample, satisfyingly complex detective novel without a Rolling Stones-loving, ex-SAS sleuth at its centre. It leaves you, though, with a faint sense of disappointment that Rankin has not used the series’ end as an opportunity to sever himself from Rebus more fully — by switching to a protagonist who’s a woman or not a cop, to another genre, another city or country.

30/08/2009

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The Daily Express

Barry Forshaw

Some might regret that Rankin has not taken the opportunity with this change of direction to choose a city to chronicle other than Edinburgh... But who cares? Let’s face it, most Rankin admirers would be happy for him to take us down the mean streets of Auld Reekie for the rest of his career. And on the evidence of The Complaints it looks as if Fox will be just as sure-footed a guide to the city as his grizzled predecessor.

11/09/2009

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