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The Falls (Inspector Rebus #12)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,749 Ratings  ·  260 Reviews
Ian Rankin's John Rebus, arguably the most realistic detective in crime fiction, is a brilliant but troubled man. When a young woman goes missing near his native Edinburgh, Scotland, Rebus finds himself just one small cog in the huge wheel of an inquiry set in motion by her powerfully rich father. Struggling to deal with both his own often-terrifying inner demons as well a ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 12th 2001 by Minotaur Books (first published 2001)
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Nov 23, 2014 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been about a year since I read my last Rebus mystery and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to read the next, The Falls. I can't recall when I've more enjoyed a mystery. Rebus and the gang are involved trying to solve the disappearance of a young woman, the gang including Siobhan Clark, Ellen Wylie, and new boss, Gill Templer. Rebus is looking at his life, as always, trying to sell his flat, see a potential new lady friend, fend off Templer's attempts to make him see a doctor, while investigat ...more
Lots of good writing, with a strong emphasis on locale and character. John Rebus is one of my favorite characters in crime fiction. That said, I found the story predictable, and the ending was not a surprise. I'd even call it secondary if Rankin hadn't spent hundreds of convoluted pages trying to give the novel legs. The Falls is worth reading to see how Rankin continues to develop a wonderfully flawed character, as Rebus' own sense of mortality (he's now in his mid 50s) becomes increasingly nea ...more
Feb 18, 2010 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books
Not my favorite Rebus novel--where's the snappy dialogue? the incisive, witty description?--instead the strength of the novel is the full-throttle plot. Rebus and Siobhan investigate the death of a young socialite and find themselves knee-deep in hand-made miniature coffins with dolls in them and an online role-playing game run by the mysterious Quizmaster. These oddities make the mystery stand out and keep propelling the reader forward, even when the writing falls flat (!). It's like the novel ...more
Jul 13, 2015 RJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DI Rebus has a new love interest. He's starting to think (just a wee bit) about his drinking, and he can't help getting in trouble with his superiors. Can ex-lover Gill Templar keep him under control?

Interesting premise, a "Quizmaster" in contact with the murdered daughter of a banker. Then in contact with Rebus' protege Siobhan Clarke. A lot of background on mysterious mini-coffins and strange goings-on by Victorian-era coroners which goes on a bit too long.

Siobhan has a very strong role in th
Aug 07, 2014 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
A very entertaining book. As always Rebus is at his cantankerous best in this one and yet every so often demonstrates a bit of a compassionate side: for Ellen Wylie's plight, his grief over Father Conor and with his new found love interest, Jean. He truly is one of the most well-rounded and 'real' characters in detective fiction today. John Rebus, I am one of your biggest fans. A couple of things stood out for me most in this story: the excellent plot, how wonderfully so many of the classic spot ...more
Mar 28, 2012 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my reading projects for the year has been to read the Inspector Rebus series. Ian Rankin first introduced his popular detective to us back in 1987, but I came to know him long after that.

I didn't complete all the Rebus books this year, but that just gives me something to look forward to in 2011. At this point, I'm up to number 12 in the series which runs through 17 books.

Rankin was always a good writer right from the beginning, but over the years he has just gotten better and better. Hi
Apr 01, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of my favourite books in the Rebus series. Initially I had a bit of trouble getting into it, but once I was into it I just read and read and read. It has to be one of the more in-depth books in the series in my opinion, and has a bit of something for everyone - some history (Burke and Hare connections), puzzle solving and pure crime and trying to detect the killers, as well the ongoing saga of Rebus and his colleagues. It has a slightly different feel than many in this series ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good one. I spotted the murderer almost instantly and couldn't help feeling that Rebus really should have, too, but I didn't mind the ride. I also have to say I was so very, very relieved that Rankin has yet (in my experience anyway) to use the popular dark, gritty technique of (view spoiler) ...more
Shirley Schwartz
May 04, 2013 Shirley Schwartz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these books for the insider's look that I get into Edinburgh, Scotland. I love these books for the realistic John Rebus, one of my favourite fictional characters. I love them for the mysteries and the intricate plotting that is in each and every book. Ian Rankin knows how to write a story. This books shows an even more complex John Rebus. A young woman has gone missing and John and his team are doing everything possible to find her. As they continue to search, John realizes that there is ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Rebus Book 11[return][return]An Edinburgh student, daughter of a wealthy and influencial banking family, goes missing. There is no signs of struggle, no ransom demands, nothing. She simply fails to turn up to meet some friends, and isn t seen again. Inspector Rebus, assisted by Siobhan Clarke is on the case, at least for now, but the only clues to the missing girl are an internet roleplaying game and a tiny wooden coffin found near her home, eerily similar to a set of small coffins found on an E ...more
May 31, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This John Rebus story could serve as a good starting point for a reader who doesn't want to return to the first in the series. Featuring Scotish history, miniature coffins, and puzzles, this well-drawn mystery is a fun read.
Robyn Smith
I'm not as big of a fan of Ian Rankin as some friends of mine, but wanted to read a few before I tackled the latest in the inspector Rebus series.
I noted in the intro that Rankin got the inspiration for this book while in NZ. It was inspired by a pop group, the Mutton Birds' song of the same name. Somehow this didn't inspire confidence as I am (unreasonably according to some friends) irrationally prejudiced against pop music, except some selected songs from the 60s.
Rebus is not one of my favouri
Nick Davies
Having now given Ian Rankin a proper 'go' in the form of having read a Rebus novel and a couple of his stand-alone books, I think I can conclude that as competent and readable an author as he is, I don't think he's quite my tastes.

This 2001 (mid-series Rebus?) novel tells the tale of a missing student woman, and the investigation into her death - including online role-play/quiz games, little coffins being left in odd locations, unscrupulous journalists and nods to historical Edinburgh (Burke &am
Ian Brydon
Jul 21, 2015 Ian Brydon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Falls represents both Ian Rankin and John Rebus on mid-season form. We get to see all sides of Rebus - as a near-alcoholic seemingly stumbling from one crisis to another, a respectful and considerate lover, an obdurate, 'thrawn' colleague revelling in being a round peg in a square hole and, as always, a fine, incisive detective. Once again, the city of Edinburgh itself, and some of the grimmer episodes from its dark history, comes through as a principal character in the story, a beautiful ye ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DI Rebus never fails to entertain. He seems a bit more likable in this book. Gill Templer has taken the Farmer's place as DCS. She's not any happier with John than her predecessor. Gill makes moves to bring Siobhan as her apprentice but Siobhan doesn't want to play the game the way Gill did. Gill chooses Ellen Wylie to be the spokesperson on a high profile missing persons case. Ellen has been set up to take the fall and she does. Rebus asks Gill for Ellen as his assistant. Siobhan and Grant are ...more
Simone Sinna
Oct 19, 2014 Simone Sinna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I thought I had maybe read a Rankin years ago and thought it too gritty/male/dour Scottish but forced indoors on a supposed summer (well it was Europe) holiday and scouring the farmhouse bookshelves I can up with this and another Rankin. It wasn’t what I had thought; rather a dense story with complex characters, lots of interplay between the cops and none of the Scottish brogue or excessive male cop grittiness and blood and guts wither. Okay, it was Scottish, so dour does come to mind. Rebus, Ra
Sep 23, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been rapidly devouring the Rebus series in order of publication, and this was the first one to disappoint me, which is a shame because I was extremely curious to see how the computer games mixed with Burke and Hare coffins plot would work out.

Rankin seemed to be going through the motions with Rebus in this one, and to my surprise I found myself speed-reading through his chapters to get to Siobhan Clarke's sections. Where the writing of Rebus falters, Siobhan shines. I was also happy to see
Η Φλιπ εξαφανίζεται ενώ την περιμένουν οι φίλοι της σ’ ένα μπαρ. Είναι μια νεαρή φοιτήτρια, κόρη του τραπεζίτη Τζον Μπάλφουρ και φίλη του 22χρονου Ντέιβιντ Κοστέλο. Όλα τα αστυνομικά τμήματα του Εδιμβούργου οργανώνονται να βρουν τα ίχνη της. Φίλοι, συγγενείς, γείτονες, άπαντες καταθέτουν για 2 και 3 φορές. Ταυτόχρονα εντοπίζεται από την εκκεντρική Μπεβ Ντοντς μια μινιατούρα φέρετρο στην περιοχή Καταρράκτες. Η Τζιν Μπέρτσιλ, έφορος αρχαιοτήτων, φίλη της Τζιλ Τέμπλερ, της νέας αρχιεπιθεωρητού κάνε ...more
Jan 08, 2016 Sandra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Inspector Rebus. This particular novel really focuses very much on character study, Rebus' as well as the other players. It's cerebral and tough. A possible new love interest for the Inspector? Possibly.

Rankin knows which buttons to push. When Rebus is devastated, so is the reader. This novel continues the maverick inspector's dark, stormy journey with the occasional sun breaking through...briefly. Do we even know what season it is? It's always terribly dreary. My very good friend, Andrew
Chuck Slack
Dec 08, 2013 Chuck Slack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. If you have been reading the series in order as I am you may appreciate the evolution of Siobhan. This is the part of this story I appreciated the most and it has me looking forward to the next one which is a sign of a great series!
Oct 29, 2014 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of history, of the Burke and Hare variety. Two culprits survive to stand trial, giving a lie to a comment I made about the last book. Rebus is suspended. No change there, except that this time it's for admitting to an infringement of confidentiality for which a colleague was responsible, as if he doesn't manage to get into enough trouble without taking on the ineptitude of others. He does manage to sustain a relationship for an entire novel, which is . . . novel. Oh, and there's an addition ...more
That was my first Rankin, and what a start! One of the best mysteries I 've ever read, so well written with an atmospheric and clever plot.
Mar 09, 2015 Claude rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. John Rebus grows on you. I would have given 5 stars, were it not for the fact that I knew whodunit ;-)
Alexandra Bogdanovic
This may be the 12th book in the Inspector Rebus series, but this is the first Rankin book I've tackled. I'm still trying to figure out if it will be the last.
I liked the book. I liked the characters and setting. The plot itself was fantastic. There was a perfect blend of mystery and intrigue, with leads pulling the investigators in two very different directions. In the spirit of all British crime stories, there was a lot of meat on the bone.
The only reason I didn't give this a higher rating i
May 24, 2015 Lorraine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I like Rebus books but I found this one somewhat disappointing. I thought I had guessed "whodunnit" and I was partly right. I don't want to guess correctly! I like to be kept in suspense. After reading Rankin's books I always want to visit Edinburgh because he includes so much local colour. That seemed to be particularly the case in The Falls; I felt like I knew many of the surrounding towns as well as the centre of the city. A map would have been helpful; I always like to geographically locate ...more
Aug 20, 2013 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This makes the sixth Jon Rebus novel I have read and feel I know him personally. He is the most realistic detective in crime fiction with his doggedness in solving crimes, his love of pubs, his rebellion against authority and his knowledge of rock music.

In The Falls, a girl goes missing from her expensive flat paid for by her wealthy father. Rebus uncovers two leads: one, a carved wooden doll in a tiny casket; and the girl's involvement in a dark Internet-based role playing game. He relies on h
Ian Mapp
Dec 19, 2012 Ian Mapp rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wicknesan wijeyanandan
This was one of the most dragging book I’ve read. Quite hard to point out the reason for the dragging nature. It was with a nonchalant approach I was reading through the first half of the book.

It picks pace towards the end but still fails to make an impact.
Even though it claims to be a detective story it is actually about detectives and their life style, how they go about doing their job, expository narration helps little to enhance the interest in the reader.
Very less is spoken about the crime
Aug 10, 2013 Avadhut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When Phillipa Balfour, a student fails to turn up at a meeting with her friends and is not seen again, a big manhunt is carried out. Phillipa’s father, a prominent banker is able to pull lot of strings and the inquiry gets top priority. The case takes serious turn when police find a miniature doll in a coffin near the waterfalls on Balfour estate. Rebus is almost certain that Phillipa is dead by now but has no clue what role the coffin has in it. So he star
Sundarraj Kaushik
Ian Rankin is definitely growing on me and slowly I am becoming a fan of Detective Inspector John Rebus and the characters around him. The book is themed around a young girl going missing and a miniature coffin with a doll inside it being spotted near a place called the The Falls, known so because of the four feet tall falls that is in the vicinity, around the same time. Inspector Rebus goes about investigating in his own inimitable way.

Gill Templar has become the new boss and Farmer has retired
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine pls 3 18 Oct 01, 2013 04:25AM  
whats your take on the not soo impressive presenting nature of the book? 3 47 Jul 17, 2013 03:09AM  
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AKA Jack Harvey.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.

Ian Rankin has been elected a
More about Ian Rankin...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Rebus (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)
  • Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2)
  • Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus, #3)
  • Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus, #4)
  • The Black Book (Inspector Rebus, #5)
  • Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus, #6)
  • Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)
  • Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8)
  • The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus, #9)
  • Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus, #10)

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“At the time, most bodies worked on by anatomists were cold indeed. They were brought to Edinburgh from all over Britain -- some came by way of the Union Canal. The resurrectionists -- body-snatchers -- pickled them in whisky for transportation. It was a lucrative trade."

"But did the whisky get drunk afterwards?"

Devlin chuckled. "Economics would dictate that it did.”
“He’s as smooth as a fresh-laid turd and gives off the same smell.” 1 likes
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