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The Complaints (Malcolm Fox #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,264 Ratings  ·  682 Reviews
Malcolm Fox works in the Complaints and Conduct Department of the Lothian and Borders Police. No one likes people who work here, not even his own kind: these cops investigate other cops. When Fox is given a new task he is a little reluctant. There is a new cop, Jamie Breck, who is corrupt but no one can prove it. But soon he learns there's more to this cop than people thin ...more
Kindle Edition, 412 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by Hachette Littlehampton (first published 2009)
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James Thane
Nov 15, 2012 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With this book, Ian Rankin, the author of the very popular series featuring Scottish detective John Rebus, introduces a new protagonist, Malcolm Fox. Fox is also a Scottish police detective, but he belongs to the Complaints and Conduct division, usually known as the Complaints, which is the Scottish equivalent of Internal Affairs. Fox and his colleagues investigate other cops who have been accused of improper conduct.

As the book opens, Fox is assigned to investigate another detective, Jamie Brec
Nov 27, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in reverse order. I read the second book in the series first but had no difficulty appreciating both truly extraordinary mysteries from, in my view, the master of UK crime fiction, Ian Rankin. This first book in Rankin's new series sets up the characters operating in one of Edinburgh's Internal Affairs units known in the UK as the "Complaints". This is a brilliantly crafted novel that challenged my deductive reasoning process with it's mind numbing plot complexity and surprising ...more
Alexandra Pedro
Finalmente acabei. Não foi uma boa escolha para terminar uma temporada sem ler. Acho que será bom para alguém que goste deste género e este estilo de escrita simples.

Pontos positivos:
. É fácil de ler (embora consuma tempo).
. A história é bem pensada pelo autor.
. Mostra bem a Escócia.
. É tudo claramente resolvido no fim.

Pontos negativos:
. Não há uma visão clara da personalidade de cada personagem e não é fácil o leitor sentir alguma espécie de conexão com alguma delas.
. Embora seja narrado na pri
Nov 22, 2015 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

**Note: This is a reaction--a few ill-considered opinions not backed up by textual evidence-- rather than a review.**

It's always interesting to read a book from the perspective of the IAD/Complaints/Watchers of the Watchmen. As always, the watchers turn out to be just as corrupt as the watchmen. The Complaints introduces a new protagonist, Malcom Fox, who turns out to be just as rough-edged and difficult as John Rebus. I'm not sure what I think about him or his morals, but I found him a bi
Πάντοτε ξέρω πως κάθε φορά που νιώθω μια λογοτεχνική "κούραση" και χρειάζομαι κάτι ευκολοδιάβαστο, γρήγορο και με πλοκή που θα κρατήσει αμείωτο το ενδιαφέρον μου, μπορώ να καταφύγω στα αγαπημένα μου αστυνομικά. Το συγκεκριμένο, λοιπόν, το είχα αγοράσει πέρυσι θέλοντας να διαβάσω επιτέλους κάτι του Rankin, αλλά ο όγκος του (580 σελίδες αν και pocket) με έκανε να πιστεύω πως αντί να πραγματοποιήσει τους παραπάνω στόχους, θα με κούραζε. Χαίρομαι πολύ όμως που βγήκα λάθος αυτή τη φορά.

Ο πρωταγωνιστή
Ben Dutton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Seth Lynch
Mar 11, 2012 Seth Lynch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I listened to the Audiobook version of this book narrated by Peter Forbes. He did an excellent job. I’ve generally been impressed by the readers of the audiobooks I have listened to – the free librivox ones aren’t in the same league as the paid for versions (or in my case borrowed from the library versions)

This book has lots of threads which are slowly lain before us as the chapters evolve and then tied up nicely at the end. The story focuses on a member of the police complaints who finds himsel
May 16, 2016 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
4.5 stars really. An excellent plot line in this book but, following after the amazing Exit Music, this one didn't quite measure up to that fabulous Rebus swan song. The Complaints introduces Malcolm Fox; smart, calculating and a bit of a rule breaker himself. Inside sources told me Fox's and Rebus' paths do intersect in the next Rebus book after Exit Music, so wanted to get to know Fox in his two solo pieces first. I was not one bit disappointed with The Complaints. Although Fox is no Rebus, he ...more
Lourdes Venard
Feb 07, 2010 Lourdes Venard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insp. John Rebus has retired, so from Rankin we now get a different type of cop: Malcolm Fox, who works for The Complaints and Conduct, the cops who investigate other cops. He and his team have just finished a case involving veteran officer Glen Heaton, meaning The Complaints has stirred up some more anger. Fox is also dealing with his sister, who is being physically abused by her live-in boyfriend, when he's asked to start investigating another cop who worked with Heaton, this time as part of a ...more
Nov 13, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-mystery, 2012
If you love great mysteries set in different locales, you'll enjoy the Complaints set in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Complaints is the Scottish version of our Internal Affairs. And we're introduced to Scottish police, politics and great locales. Malcolm is part of the Complaints team, when he's embroiled into a real tough case of dirty politics and corrupt policemen. Plenty of twists and turns with tons of drama and curvy surprises to keep you at the edge of the seat. We follow Malcolm's every move ...more
Sep 26, 2014 Barbpie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scotland
I enjoyed listening to this book on c.d. in my car because it was read by a Scottish person and I love that accent. Malcolm Fox is a likeable if dour hero and I admire his sobriety.
Sep 13, 2012 Simon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the twists and turns of this one. As others have mentioned, I found the pace a little slow and the book could have been shorter.
Ian Mapp
May 24, 2010 Ian Mapp rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This got off to a great start and I felt it was an improvement on Doors Open.

The Complaints are the internal affairs of the Edinburgh police force. Having put away a dodgy policeman.... Malcolm Fox is given the task of bringing Jamie Breck to justice. There is a paedophile ring run from Australia and Jamie has joined through his credit card but not yet submitted the 25 pictures for full membership.

This is a great start, not least because Jamie Breck is quite charming and diligent at his job. The
Craig Pittman
Jan 10, 2014 Craig Pittman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know Scottish writer Ian Rankin is best known for his award-winning series featuring a detective named John Rebus, but somehow I missed reading all of those. Instead, I stumbled on this book and was intrigued by the title and set-up. I'm really glad I picked it up.

The book focuses on Malcolm Fox, a detective inspector from Edinburgh who works in "The Complaints," a department we in America would refer to as Internal Affairs. Fox has scored a major triumph in a case -- but in short order he is
Allan MacDonell
Sep 15, 2012 Allan MacDonell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian Rankin’s Detective Inspector John Rebus, of the Edinburgh homicide department, is upon initial encounter, and long after, one of the freshest flawed heroes in crime fiction. Rebus is a juicer, a failure with relationships in general and a bane to specific women, a pain in the ass to his bosses, peers and underlings, a moody Celt given to bestirring the atmospheric misgivings of his brooding soul with the bulky melancholy of Scots troubadour of disquietude Jon Martyn’s most daunted album, Gra ...more
Oct 03, 2014 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found myself instantly liking the protagonist Malcolm Fox. He struggles with a history of alcoholism, has a father in a care home, and a sister who is in an abusive relationship and has her own rocky time with drinking. Along with the many things he has to juggle in his personal life, his work in the "Complaints" earns him the contempt and hostility of fellow police officers. Those in the Complaints are asked (none too kindly) how they could "turn on one of their own", and if they are "without ...more
May 26, 2015 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
Read some great reviews of this mystery series, so started with book one and quite enjoyed it, thought I'm not yet quite convinced that I must continue on.

Malcolm Fox is a member of the police division popularly known as "The Complaints" (think Internal Affairs, so you can imagine how well liked they are). If police/crime is your genre, you're going to adore this book - the story is clever, with plenty of double-crosses (what crime is Fox REALLY investigating here? And whom? And why?) and a gre
Nene La Beet
An excellent book with a brilliant plot. I like Rankin's new detective - it's always interesting when the police investigates the police. Inspector Fox is very Rankin'ish, grumpy and quiet and doggedly pursuing his hunches, which he claims he don't believe in. Intelligent and self-searching - he deserves the good woman that he did not find in this first volume. Would've been wrong too.

An added pleasure was the excellent narrator Peter Forbes. Wonderfully Scottish, but much more than that. Am loo
David Graham
Jun 30, 2014 David Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the Rebus books, reading all of them over a period of years, starting with Knots and Crosses in the early 90’s then following the series all the way through. After Exit Music which had been set up as the final Rebus book I took a break. I knew that Ian Rankin had started a new series but I wasn’t quite ready to leave Rebus behind which, perhaps strangely, meant it was easier to read other authors. Then a few weeks ago, I came across ‘The Complaints’ and it felt like the right time to giv ...more
My Inner Shelf
Apr 02, 2015 My Inner Shelf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: polar-thriller
Mon premier Rankin, le croirez-vous ? J’ai longtemps eu L’étrangleur d’Édimbourg dans ma PAL, la première enquête de l’inspecteur Rébus, et je ne l’ai jamais lu. Il était temps de s’y mettre, surtout en prévision de ma visite aux Quais du Polar à Lyon, où l’auteur était annoncé (voir mon album et lire mon compte-rendu). Donc voilà, j’ai lu mon premier Rankin, en commençant par sa nouvelle série, qui met en scène Malcolm Fox, un bœuf-carotte divorcé, très compétent dans son domaine, mais un chouï ...more
Isn Rankin's Malcolm Fox and the Complaints series is terrific. this is the first book in the series which i read when it came out, this reading was by audio book. highly recommended to mystery buffs.
Mar 13, 2014 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a new detective for Ian Rankin, so maybe it will take several books to make him a more interesting person, but so far, I found both the character and the plot rather ho-hum.
Juicy Fruit
Jun 30, 2011 Juicy Fruit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entertaining, mystery
This was quite a nice read... admittedly, an airplane read, however it was enjoyable. I had never read anything by Rankin so I have no terms of comparison here, but I thought it was relatively well written, no major plot-holes and most importantly, not that predictable. I may not be very well versed in this genre, but I liked it.

I think the major disappointment was the lack of more gruesome details and of dramatic events. The book is quite mellow-paced and the plot development is very laid back
May 10, 2012 Pamela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The narrator of the audio book was fantastic--too bad the book wasn't in the same league.

After reading Rankin's Watchman, I had huge hopes for this. Don't get me wrong. The book wasn't a waste of time. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't anything special.

What had me excited to read it is that it's from the point of view of a detective in the Complaints (or Internal Affairs). How great was it going to be to see things from the other side so to speak? Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

When other poli
Jan 09, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, united-kingdom
There is life after Rebus, even if it comes in a package of polar opposites. Rebus was an old school cop - murder squad, Malcolm Fox works for the cops who investigate other cops. Rebus was more than prepared to ignore rules, stretch boundaries and stomp rather resoundingly all over team work. Fox looks for just that sort of behaviour. Rebus was an unreformed grumpy drunk, Fox is a more carefully controlled man with a broken marriage, his drinking under control. They are both solitary men, altho ...more
Apr 10, 2013 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this after the second book in the Malcolm Fox series ("The Impossible Dead"). My reaction is about the same. These are page-turners with pretty stock characters. After two books, I still can't find many distinguishing characteristics for Fox except he is a large guy and a teetotaler because of past alcohol problems.

And, of course, like so many police procedural protagonists, he breaks the rules. Breaks them a lot. I got somewhat tired of the fact that time after time Fox is told not to do
Mary Gramlich
Jan 28, 2011 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE COMPLAINTS written by Ian Rankin
03/11 - Little, Brown & Company - Hardcover, 448 pages

Where do the good guys finish in the race of life?

Malcolm Fox was one of the good guys. He was a clean cop that monitors the ones that were not always making sure that his principles were upheld. Foxy worked in Edinburgh for the division called The Complaints and Conduct Department and had the character of a slow and steady man making careful decisions and well thought out plans. He took care of his agi
First Sentence: There was a smattering of applause as Malcolm Fox entered the room.

Malcolm Fox works in the Complaints department, the UK equivalent of Internal Affairs. He is assigned to look into fellow cop, Jamie Brock but his instincts are telling him the guy’s not dirty. On a personal front, Malcolm is responsible for his elderly father and concerned about his sister, in a physically abusive relationship. When her boyfriend turns up murdered, Fox is a suspect and he and Brock end up unlikel
Mar 28, 2012 Star rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Complaints is about one of the members of the Edinburgh Complaints and Conduct office (think Internal Affairs in the states), Inspector Malcolm Fox. Straight off a hugely successful case against a very corrupt police officer, Fox is asked by another division to investigate a detective for his possible embroilment with a child pornography ring. DS Jamie Breck, the suspect, is also the lead detective investigating the murder of a man named Vince, who is Fox’s sister’s boyfriend. Unfortunately ...more
Vic Van
Jun 08, 2013 Vic Van rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the DI Rebus series. However, when that series ended and I read mostly negative reviews about Ian Rankin's ensuing books, I, temporarily, forgot about him altogether. But then, quite by accident, (blame!) I found some positive reviews about this book and the follow-up, so I decided to give them a try.
Sadly, 'The Complaints' did not quite live up to my expectations. It took over 300 pages for the story to really take a decisive turn. Moreover, it lacked action and caused
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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

Malcolm Fox (2 books)
  • The Impossible Dead

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“[About a tiresome colleague]: He could bore for Scotland.” 7 likes
“The man nodded and brought a bottle from the glass-fronted fridge,” 2 likes
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