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Set in Darkness (Inspector Rebus, #11)
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Set in Darkness (Inspector Rebus #11)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  4,232 ratings  ·  167 reviews
On the eve of the first Scottish parliament in three hundred years, Edinburgh is a city rife with political passions and expectations. Queensbury House, the home of Scotland's new rulers, falls in the middle of John Rebus' turf, keeping him busy with ceremonial tasks. That quickly changes, however, when a long-dead body is discovered in a Queensbury House fireplace, a home ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shirley Schwartz
Eleventh in a wonderful series! It's been awhile since i've read old Rebus, and I enjoyed getting back into the series. Ian Rankin is an extremely skilled mystery writer, and his Rebus creation is awesome. John Rebus is a very complex character-brooding, intelligent, determined to solve mysteries at any cost (even his own career as a policeman in the Edinburgh police force). What I really enjoy about Mr. Rankin's books are his perfectly believable and sinister plots that just roll along with no ...more
A long forgotten corpse in a walled-up fireplace (fondly called 'skelly' throughout), a nameless, mysterious and bridge-jumping tramp with a bucket of cash stored away and an up-and-coming and popular politician from a famous Edinburgh family. Other than all being dead what could they possibly have in common? John Rebus, at his deducing best, suspects a link and doggedly pushes himself and his team to prove it. A well-written plot with enough red herrings to make it interesting but still coming ...more
So, I'm living in Edinburgh at the moment, and I'm a massive fan of crime fiction, and yet before now I've never read anything by Ian Rankin. Time to rectify that - I went to Edinburgh Central Library and picked out the paperback with the most interesting looking blurb. I'm a sucker for anything that looks like it's tangentially related to politics, so off I went.

I am undecided about Rebus. The first chapter was a bit of an epic info-dump, and I found the ending unsatisfying and not particularly
Another excellent Rebus mystery. I think I enjoyed this one more because it wasn't just Rebus trying to solve the murders; there were other officers, DS Wylie and Hood, as well as the lovely DS Siobhan Clark, assisting on the case and another of her own. As well, DI Derek Linford, the poster boy for quick advancement, with his own secrets. Working three separate cases that might be tied together, a body found in the building site of the new Scotland Parliament, plus a suicide and another murder. ...more
In this novel you can tell that Rankin is getting tired of writing about Rebus every year or two and is moving him toward retirement (short-lived for them both, as it happens). Rebus is drinking in a destructive way and causing the higher-ups more trouble than ever. The various mysteries connect a little too neatly, and the ending is more noir than usual, suggesting the author's fatigue.

But I often feel grateful reading these mysteries: How nice of someone to make such a good yarn for us with s
Andrew Maccann
This far into the Rebus franchise, I got a sense this time around that Rankin was more interested in playing with his characters than spinning yet another crime thriller; more than previous novels, "Set in Darkness" felt like a character study than a novel dedicated to some nefarious mystery or crime. The more rewarding intrigue occurred between the characters themselves, the most obvious being the tension-riddled triangle of Rebus, Siobhan Clarke & Derek Linford, a new character (and admitt ...more
It's been good to get back and fill in some Rebus gaps. A fatter than usual offering, which is, for me, often a bad sign, however, I didn't feel this complex story was overly long. Perhaps though the pudding was a little over egged as some issues and cases seemed skated over. Rankin always gives you plenty to think about beyond 'mere' plot, and contemporary Edinburgh is always brought to life superbly well, even if it tends not to be the prettiest sight.

Rebus as usual is on the outside - sometim
First, a qualifier: I would not use this book to introduce someone to the John Rebus series. It is dark and complex, featuring characters with backstories introduced in previous installments. But this is an excellent read for those who already appreciate Rebus for being the irritable introspective impudent fellow he is.
Jill Hutchinson
Another in the dark and brutal John Rebus series and as with most of these books, it does not disappoint. A skeleton is discover walled up in the fireplace of a building being demolished; a homeless man leaps to his death from a bridge; and a MSP candidate is found murdered....lots of secrets here. Rebus, as usual sees a connection among these incidents and again, as usual, steps on many toes on his way to a solution. The continuing character of Big Ger Cafferty makes another appearance and is i ...more
Three different cases; a homeless man committing suicide, a long dead body in a building being renovated for the Scottish Parliament, and the murder of a well connected politician all weave together in this fine installment. John Rebus seems more dissolute and depressed than usual. A young "golden boy" in the force is his new nemesis, who is far from Rebus' darker side of Edinburgh. A welcome appearance from local crime boss "Big Ger" Cafferty adds to the atmosphere. As always, jot down names ea ...more
Mary Corbal
Una de las mejores novelas de Ian Rankin. Muy entretenida y amena, se te hace corta. La disfrutas más si has estado en Edimburgo.
Patsy Litterst
Another great Rebus mystery. Love Isn Rankin.
Paula Dembeck
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I very much enjoy these multi-stranded plots. In this case they all come together at the end but it's not always so. It did occur to me how many of the cases that Rebus solves never get to trial; perpetrators disappear or die with very few hanging about long enough to be convicted. There's the almost usual threat of suspension in this, the Farmer's last months before retirement. He summons the courage to tell his superior what he thinks using Rebus's own "What do I have to lose" line. Big Ger is ...more
Steve Aldous
The eleventh book in Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus series is an engrossing mystery, which weaves its various plot threads with masterly precision. Whilst the book starts slowly it allows time for Rankin to introduce his characters. The mysteries surrounding a politician's murder, an 20-year old corpse and a serial rapist who targets singles clubs dovetail into a satisfying thriller in which Rebus' unconventional methods continue to annoy his superiors. Then, we discover Rebus' nemesis and Edinbur ...more
Sundarraj Kaushik
Another of Ian Rankin's inspector Rebus books. This involves the building of the new Scottish Parliament. The developers discover a body buried in the vaults of an erstwhile hospital which is expected to become a part of the parliament. Rebus who is part of the team that is expected to facilitate the developers maintain security at the building site is bored of the events initially, but this discovery stirs the curiosity in him and he starts investigation on this. He involves Ellen Wylie and Gra ...more
BBC Radio 4 - Sept 28

1/2. Ian Rankin's crime thriller centres on the building of the new Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in 1998. During the construction work a body is discovered in an old fireplace. The forensics suggest the victim was murdered 20 years before. Police are still attempting to identify the corpse when a second body is found on the site - and this time it's one of the prospective candidates for the new parliament. It's a high-profile case and the rising star of Lothian And Borde
Kathy Davie
Another excellent Rankin! How he manages to come up with such convoluted plots...and then tie 'em all together. Too fascinating to put down.
Gordon  Kerman
Well written, couldn't put it down
I am a big fan of Ian Rankin and Rebus, so I decided to read this book while visiting Edinburgh. There's nothing like reading about a suicide over Waverley Station, a jumper from the bridge, and then walking across that same bridge. Ian Rankin really brings the city to life, in a grim way. You really imagine yourself exploring Edinburgh and its dark secrets, past, present and fictitious. I just spent a week in the city and everything seemed so familiar thanks to his books. I felt like I knew my ...more
Connor Wood
This can definitely be classified as a mystery novel. Personally, I am not all that into books of this specific Genre. But if you do have a liking for mysteries and can follow a complex plot, I Completely recommend this book.
This book does hold a complex plot with a multitude of sub plots that all eventually come together near the end. A great example of this complexity would b how not 100 pages into the book we already find ourselves in the midst of a 30 year old corpse found in the Old Scottis
This is yet another typical Rebus. Finding links that not even existed for others. This is Rebus, the good old school music, the whisky in hand, cigarettes in pocket, cases to be investigated. The book tells the story about a politician, mainly surrounded around the topic, and I'm really not a big fan of politics at all.
But for the sake of the cases I've read through it, took me a long time to finish it, and because the reading gap is quite big for me, I don't really see how Rebus managed to lin
Aman Mittal


When did I first hear about Ian Rankin. Never, it was just a recommendation by the shopkeeper to whom I usually go for my book-shopping. Maybe he was just trying to earn a little extra for he had only one copy, but I am thankful to him. I still thank him today for making me read well written crime fiction books. Yes, Mr.Rankin know what to write and how, I have read almost half of his John Rebus’ series in past one year and half, and he never gets carried away, never
3.5 stars....I went back to this older entry in the John Rebus series after stumbling on to a Guardian piece in which Rankin describes some of his favorite moments in the series as occurring in this book. Indeed, there are great moments in this complicated tale: Tension between Rebus and his colleague Sibohan and confrontations between Rebus and the ambitious outsider Derek Linford. The plot involves several cases that eventually intertwine; there's a body found at a construction site after 20 y ...more
Judith Lewis
This audio-book made me realise just how much difference the reader makes to what one thinks of a book. I can't remember who narrated this and know nothing about him, but he was the wrong choice. If he was Scottish, I should be surprised, as his accent[s] were never convincing and I have to say that I was stunned at how many inhabitants of Edinburgh had accents from various parts of England. There were also too many areas where the narrator tripped up over where to stress a sentence and it was a ...more
This is number eleven in the Inspector Rebus series. I've read them in order, which is what I like to do with series, and I can state unequivocally that Ian Rankin's writing only gets better as time goes by. So far, all the books in the series have seemed fresh and original to me and this is certainly one of the best.

We find Rebus struggling with his regrets and his demons as he always seems to be, especially with the demon alcohol. Again and again, it seems likely to consume him as he consumes
Rowland Bismark
Set in Darkness begins at Queensbury House, part of the complex of buildings that will soon house the new Scottish parliament. All around new structures are being put up, but Queensbury House is part of the old that is being kept and refurbished. In the process of fixing things up a body is discovered behind a blocked-up fireplace. It won't be the only time that the past inconveniently resurfaces.

Just two decades earlier Edinburgh had been on the verge of a similar boom, but the vote on Scottish
Pretty solid entry in the Inspector Rebus canon. Rankin loves to weave extra intricate plot lines, not all of which are guaranteed to be resolved to the reader's satisfaction at the end. He continues that tradition in this novel. Usually that works out well and makes for an engrossing read, but I'm afraid to say that in this case Ranking would have been better off leaving some plot lines out. The novels kicks off with the discovery of a barely recognizable dead body ('skelly', short for skeleton ...more
On the eve of the first Scottish parliament in three hundred years, Edinburgh is a city rife with political passions and expectations. Queensbury House, the home of Scotland's new rulers, falls in the middle of John Rebus' turf, keeping him busy with ceremonial tasks. That quickly changes, however, when a long-dead body is discovered in a Queensbury House fireplace, a homeless man throws himself off a bridge - leaving behind a suitcase full of cash - and an up-and-coming politician is found murd ...more
Dec 19, 2007 Rasmus rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime fiction fans
This is definitely the best Rebus novel, I have read so far (I am reading them chronologically). An already great series turns downright fantastic in this book, where it seems a lot of the threads that have been running throughout the series come together. Not only is the plot well put together, but the characters really shine and DI John Rebus has never been darker. As detectives go, he has got to be one of the saddest characters out there; a lonely man, drinking way too much and he knows it, b ...more
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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)
Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1) Exit Music (Inspector Rebus, #17) Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8) Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2) Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)

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“1446, that's when the foundations were laid. It took forty years to complete."

"Sounds like some builders I know," Rebus said.

"Can't you feel it?" Sithing was staring at Rebus. "Right at the core of your cynical heart, can't you feel something?"

"It's just indigestion, thanks for asking." Rebus rubbed his chest.”
“And little girls went to charm schools. Now you've all got degrees from the University of Sarcasm.” 0 likes
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