Impossible Dead

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Overview

The Complaints: that's the name given to the Internal Affairs department who seek out dirty and compromised cops, the ones who've made deals with the devil. And sometimes The Complaints must travel.

A major inquiry into a neighboring police force sees Malcolm Fox and his colleagues cast adrift, unsure of territory, protocol, or who they can trust. An entire station-house looks to have been compromised, but as Fox digs deeper he finds the trail leads him back in time to the ...

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The Impossible Dead (Malcolm Fox Series #2)

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Overview

The Complaints: that's the name given to the Internal Affairs department who seek out dirty and compromised cops, the ones who've made deals with the devil. And sometimes The Complaints must travel.

A major inquiry into a neighboring police force sees Malcolm Fox and his colleagues cast adrift, unsure of territory, protocol, or who they can trust. An entire station-house looks to have been compromised, but as Fox digs deeper he finds the trail leads him back in time to the suicide of a prominent politician and activist. There are secrets buried in the past, and reputations on the line.

In his newest pulse-pounding thriller, Ian Rankin holds up a mirror to an age of fear and paranoia, and shows us something of our own lives reflected there.

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
Always inspired when he's writing about social outcasts and professional rejects, Rankin does well by these pariah cops—especially Fox, who's looking good for the long haul.
—The New York Times Book Review
Steve Donoghue
Rankin juggles all of these plots with consummate ease and brings the whole thing to a truly exciting conclusion. This is lean, addictive stuff, and it will leave even the most diehard Rebus fan wanting more.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Insp. Malcolm Fox proves a worthy successor to John Rebus in Rankin’s satisfyingly layered second novel featuring the Edinburgh Internal Affairs cop (after The Complaints). Fox and his two colleagues receive a frosty reception in Kirkcaldy, where they must decide whether a disgraced officer’s three fellow cops helped cover up his misdeeds. Det. Constable Paul Carter, found guilty of sexual misconduct, intrigues Fox because it was Carter’s ex-copper uncle, Alan, who turned him in. Since interviewing the belligerent Carter and his mates leads nowhere, Fox turns to Alan for insight. He discovers the elder Carter was hired by a prestigious lawyer to look into the 1985 “suicide”—or possible murder—of Francis Vernal, a fellow attorney, well-known orator, and vocal supporter of the fringe Scottish separatist movement. Soon Fox’s attention is divided between following up scant leads in the Carter investigation and unearthing decades-old secrets about Vernal’s life and associates. Rankin elegantly weaves together the two story lines without forcing a connection. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Having waved good-bye to long-running Inspector John Rebus in 2008'sExit Music, Rankin has turned to a new hero: the less prickly Edinburgh cop Malcolm Fox, who works for "the Complaints"—that is, Internal Affairs. For this second case, Fox is on an out-of-town assignment looking into an entire department that seems rotten. Buy wherever the Edgar and Diamond Dagger winner Rankin is popular and especially where the new series is taking off.
Kirkus Reviews
A routine, if unpleasant, internal investigation of the Fife Constabulary leads Edinburgh's Inspector Malcolm Fox and his Professional Standards team (The Complaints, 2011, etc.) back to a 25-year-old cover-up. If his own uncle, retired police officer Alan Carter, is to be believed, Detective Constable Paul Carter is certainly guilty of criminal misconduct for threatening Teresa Collins and two other women with harassment unless they met with him one-on-one in the back seat of his cruiser. So Malcolm Fox, together with Sgt. Tony Kaye and Constable Joe Naysmith, are sent down from the Lothian and Borders Police to make inquires. Their investigation is one disaster after another. Carter's colleagues in Kircaldy alternately avoid the questioners and stonewall them. Teresa Collins greets their news that Paul Carter has been released from jail by hysterically accusing his investigators of intimidating her. Soon after Fox talks with him, Alan Carter is found shot to death by a gun that was supposed to have been destroyed many years ago. His apparent suicide is followed by the drowning of the nephew he accused. As the case against the late Paul Carter goes up in flames and his own credibility plummets, Fox must also mend fences with his sister Jude over the care of their ailing father Mitch, who's clearly entering his endgame. But a 1985 newspaper he spotted in Alan Carter's home during their one and only meeting points him in the direction of Francis Vernal, a lawyer linked to the Scottish National Liberation Army before he was found shot to death in his wrecked car a generation ago. Rankin deftly balances welcome surprises and satisfyingly predictable developments. Mainly, though, he succeeds in making methodical Fox a worthy successor to the legendary Inspector John Rebus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781409136408
  • Publisher: Orion
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012

Meet the Author

Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin is a #1 international bestselling author. Winner of an Edgar Award and the recipient of a Gold Dagger for fiction and the Chandler-Fulbright Award, he lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and their two sons.

Biography

"I grew up in a small coal-mining town in central Scotland. I was always interested in stories. Even though the town had no book stores (and my parents were not great readers), I made full use of the local library. It was mind-boggling to me that (at the age of 11 or 12) I could not gain access to a movie theatre to see such classics as The Godfather, A Clockwork Orange, or Straw Dogs, yet no one stopped me from borrowing these titles from my library. Books seemed to have about them a whiff of the illicit and the dangerous. That was all the encouragement I needed. I went to university in 1978, joined a punk band (on vocals), and continued to write a lot of song lyrics and poems. However, I found that my poems were actually 'telling stories', and so started to write short stories.

A few of these found publication and even won some awards. Then one story raged out of control and became my first novel. It was never published, but that didn't matter: I was now a novelist. I stumbled on Detective Inspector John Rebus by accident while attempting to write an update of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: Rebus would be my Jekyll, his Hyde a character from his past. Along the way, I discovered that a cop is a good 'tool,' a way of looking at contemporary society, its rights and wrongs. Rebus, I decided, would stick around. Meantime, I finished unviersity, moved to London for four years (where I worked first as a college secretary, later as a hi-fi/audio journalist), then rural France for six years. Both my sons were born in France. By the time the oldest had reached school age, we'd decided to move back to Scotland. I now live and work in Edinburgh, and the Rebus novels have gone from strength to strength in terms of sales and recognition."

Author biography courtesy of Little, Brown & Company

Good To Know

Before making it as an author Rankin held a wide variety of gigs, including working in a chicken factory, as a swineherd, a grape-picker, and a tax collector. He even performed as the frontman of the short-lived punk band, The Dancing Pigs.

He has broken Irvine Welsh and Iain Banks's records, with six titles in the Scottish top 10 bestseller list simultaneously.

His favorite/inspirational books include pretty much anything by James Ellroy, Ruth Rendell, and Raymond Chandler—plus classics of Scottish Literature such as Robert Louis Strevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Other "desert island" titles include Martin Amis's Money, Anthony Burgess's Earthly Powers, Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time and Ian McEwan's First Love, Last Rites.

His favorite web site is http://www.oxfordbar.com — the official web site of Rebus's favourite Edinburgh tavern!

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jack Harvey
    2. Hometown:
      Edinburgh, London and France
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 28, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cardenden, Scotland
    1. Education:
      Edinburgh University
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Still Waiting

    Fans of the John Rebus novels took a shine to Ian Rankin, as I did, so much so that now his name is bigger than the title of his books. But he has yet to write one that matched the interest of the Rebus novels, and The Impossible Dead does not either. It goes off to a very slow start, does pick up, then just crashes to the floor with a very unsatisfying finale. We are taken on a history tour of radical Scotland, and then led to believe that some of these same folks are not who they appear to be in their modern statuses. I might have believed a bit of it, but Rankin went far beyond credibility.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2012

    Excellent!! HIghly recommend.

    The best thing about Rankin is his captivating writing. I was interested throughout the book, and like the new characters very much. Every time I see a new Rankin book, it leaps off the book list and onto my Nook post haste.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Inspector Fox of 'The Complaints' (= Scotland's version of Inter

    Inspector Fox of 'The Complaints' (= Scotland's version of Internal Affairs) is a worthy successor to Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus of the CID. This is a well-paced, entertaining and professionally-crafted story, it makes an ideal light candidate for a holiday, commuting or a chapter before bedtime read.
    Just a few niggles - The Complaints seems fertile ground for a police story but maybe in the long run it's too limited? So as the book progresses Fox starts to overstep into the territory of his CID (reluctant) colleagues, and in the tradition of maverick cops treads heavily on the toes of his superiors. Now a cop treating his bosses like he treats the public would, I suspect, have him on a fast-track transfer to foot patrolling the Outer Hebrides, but let's call it poetic licens

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  • Posted September 23, 2013

    Loved It!!

    I am a big fan of Ian Rankin and I really enjoyed this one. It was interesting to see how the character is allowed to develop and find his way onto the case.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Malcom Fox by Ian Rankin

    An extremely good read. I always enjoy Ian Rankin's books and find them hard to put down. I think the Malcolm Fox books are a great addition to his writing. Hope he keeps them coming.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    Another great character

    He has another great and promising character to develop has Ian Rankin. Malcom Fox has emerged as another mother lode for this talented author to mine. I look for more great writing from him. Thankyou for this new friend Mr. Rankin.

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    wonderful read

    As with Rebus series and the previous Fox story, this one is terrific.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    Jax

    Ok..what do u do when u like this boy and u dont know if he likes u back...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Great read.

    I read The Conplaints and loved it. The Impossible Dead does not disappoint. Excellent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    Don't Bother

    Not as good as his past books. I have been a fan since his first book but I might not buy any of his next books.

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    Posted February 5, 2012

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