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Summary

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'.

Malcolm Fox works for The Complaints. He's just had a result, and should be feeling good about himself. But he's middle-aged, sour and unwell. He also has a father in a care home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship. 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.

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 murder intervenes.

©2009 John Rebus Limited (P)2009 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Complaints

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Brilliant introduction to Malcolm Fox

I've been a fan of Rebus for years and was sceptical of a Rankin Edinburgh book with a different central character, but I was pleasantly surprised.

If anything I enjoyed The Complaints more than the later Rebus books. Learning more of Fox's character and situation as the book progressed was intriguing. I look forward to my next Malcolm Fox instalment.

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Fox meets Rebus

I've always loved the Rebus books so thought I'd try one without him. On certain levels they have similar characters - flawed, rule breakers an awkward sibling. I think they became to respect each other after "Saints of the Shadow Bible": but different enough to be their own men. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any fan of Ian Rankin. The reading by The magnificent James MacPherson is once again superlative.

2 people found this helpful

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Rebus at his best

Compulsive listening. Characters vivid, plots compelling and historical/geographical details put you right there in the action.

1 person found this helpful

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A Great Read

Read this after finishing all the Rebus novels. Wasn't sure if I'd like this book, but realised its Rankin's writing I love not just Rebus. Fox is a complex character, trying to do the right thing at all times without stepping over the line. Here he's trying to clear his name and making uncomfortable bed fellows. Personally this is good if not slightly better than the Rebus series. I wish there were more than two books in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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Sharp, tighty-plotted, plenty twists.

Sharp, tighty-plotted, surprising, unexpected, clever, intriguing, well-drawn characters, always interesting, full of suspense, very enjoyable and highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn't stop listening!

Excellent book. Malcolm Fox is a great protagonist. Really absorbing story. Can't wait to listen to the next Fox story.

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Brilliant new character from Ian Rankin

What a writer Rankin is. I loved Rebus and was unsure if Rankin would be able to enthralled me without the grumpy DI. Well he did and how! Welcome Inspector Malcolm Fox - I look forward to getting to know you.

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what a brilliant listen.

Enjoyed listening, and getting into the storyline whilst driving the UK roads. can't wait to download the next and continue the adventure.

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Solid plot, well written, poorly narrated

OK, it might well be because I am not a native English speaker...but I have listened to many other Scottish narrators and never had a problem, apart from some Scottish words which I had to look up. But James Macpherson has been a major downturn coming from Peter Forbes. It took me a long time to get used to his style - the main characters and the voice of the narrator were almost identical, whereas other characters were overdone. It's sad because I did quite like the story and the characters - and I would have listened to many more Ian Rankin books, but most of them are read by Macpherson.

Gladly, the second Malcom Fox book is narrated by Peter Forbes, who could read a phone directory to me :)

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gripping

Lots of twists and turns and not knowing who to trust. Enjoyed getting to know Malcolm Fox after his appearance in the final Rebus novels. Well read.

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Profile Image for Angela Mbuli
  • Angela Mbuli
  • 14-11-19

Complaints about The Complaints

I have a few complaints about The Complaints. Ian Rankin's politics are on display throughout the book as he tries to make his detective story a comment on the times. I found this tiresome. I was also uncomfortable with his apparent belief that women who start arguments with their partners deserve a good slap or two. He also is too focused on women as sexual beings. Fox looking at his sister's figure was creepy in the extreme. I use to like Ian Rankin, but after this listen, I probably won't get another