The Complaints (Malcolm Fox, Book 1)

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Did that make him a coward? He didn't think so. Less of a copper? It's not only those he's investigating who want Fox to stop: his colleagues, his boss — nobody thinks he should be digging up the past. It's neither; nor is it Rebus. Topics Ian Rankin The Observer. Thrillers Crime fiction Fiction reviews.

Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. The home was private. Lauder Lodge was better. Some of the money Fox had shelled out had gone into the pot and come out as Anaglypta and pine freshener.


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He could always smell talcum powder, too, and the lack of any unpleasant aromas from the kitchen was testament to quality venting. He found a parking space around the side of the building and announced himself at the front door. It was a detached Victorian house and would have been worth seven figures until the recent crunch. There was an annex, built onto the original structure about ten years back. Light and airy and no stairs, plus en suites for the lucky few.

Ian Rankin: Das Edinburgh von Malcolm Fox

It was a good strong name. Fox took a deep breath, knocked, and walked in. His dad sat by the window, hands in his lap. He looked a little more gaunt, a little less animated. They were still shaving him, and his hair seemed freshly washed. Fox smiled at that, as was expected. You injured your back at the factory where you worked; you were on disability for years; then cancer came along and you got treated successfully, if painfully; your wife died soon after you got the all-clear; and then old age crept in.

You never asked if he liked what he did for a living. You never thanked him for the fees he paid on your behalf. He was pretending to look for messages but actually checking the time. Why do I do that? Why do I lie to him?

Detective Inspector Malcolm Fox Returns in 'The Impossible Dead'

They would have been chosen by the staff; his father had never been much of a reader. The TV was attached to a bracket in a corner of the room, high up toward the ceiling—difficult to watch unless you were in bed. The door to the bathroom was ajar. Fox pushed it open and looked in. No bath, but a shower cabinet fitted with a foldaway seat.

Malcolm Fox Series by Ian Rankin

The family home had needed to be cleared. His attic was full of boxes of photographs and other mementoes, the majority of which meant little or nothing to him. Names he felt he should have known had been wiped from his memory. Items had lost their significance. Mitch Fox nodded and was thoughtful for a moment. Malcolm Fox pretended to be checking his phone again. Fox was outside, standing beside his car. It was a silver Volvo S60 with three thousand miles on the clock. I was bringing some stuff downstairs and I fell. Did I thank you for the flowers? Fox had taken a packet of mints from the passenger seat; popped one into his mouth.

Another wasted opportunity.

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He started the engine and headed home. Home being a bungalow in Oxgangs. When he and Elaine had bought the place, the sellers had called it Fairmilehead and the solicitor Colinton—both neighborhoods seen even then as being more desirable than Oxgangs—but Fox liked Oxgangs fine. There were shops and pubs and a library. The city bypass was minutes away.

Buses were regular and there were two big supermarkets within a short drive. The courtship had lasted six months and the marriage a further ten, all of it six years back. Arranged to go for a drink after the meal and fell into bed drunk and filled with lust. Elaine had just come out of a long-term relationship—the word rebound had only occurred to Fox after the wedding.

She was the one who walked. It was just a color, like any other. Framed paintings brightened both living and dining room. The toaster in the kitchen was shiny and silver.

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Ian Rankin admits that by setting the Rebus novels in real time, he had placed himself in a straightjacket. In Scotland, detectives must retire at 60, so at the end of Exit Music in , Rebus has his retirement dinner and heads off into the sunset… or rather to the cold cases unit staffed by retired Lothian and Borders detectives.

After some time away from novel writing, Ian read a newspaper article about the Complaints and Conduct department of a UK police force; he was intrigued. These were the cops that investigated other cops — Internal Affairs, and they were universally disliked and feared by their fellow officers. They operated as spies on the inside, setting up surveillance, following the rules to the letter — and making enemies that they would then have to work with again in the future.

They were chosen from the regular police force but would have to have a particular mindset to do the job and be slow, cautious and meticulous, in other words the direct opposite of Rebus.

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