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

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  5,955 Ratings  ·  213 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 2000)
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Shirley Schwartz
Jan 22, 2013 Shirley Schwartz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 03, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
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
Not the best of the Rebus novels I've read, but still not a bad read.

Given that it's setting just as Scotland gained it's own parliament, it has a certain resonance with the current BREXIT situation.

I loathe the character of DI Derek Linford, so was absolutely delighted with the misfortunes of this character during the book.

Probably more a book for the Rebus fans than the general crime fan.
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
The 11th novel in the Rebus series.

Two masked men abduct single women who leave a club. A young politician is murdered, and a mummified body is found in a chimney where the new Parliament is being built.

And Big Cef is out of prison...

Rebus has to deal with all the following along with new eager blood in the force that is trying to prove itself.

This novel is different than its predecessors as there is barely any mention of Dr Patience or Sammy, or his brother or even DCI Gil.
Stephen Howarth
Apr 01, 2017 Stephen Howarth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good as Dead Soles, but it still held its own.
Michael Martz
Dec 28, 2016 Michael Martz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian Rankin is one of my favorite crime writers and his guy, John Rebus, is one of the great characters in the genre. I've jumped around in the series, which is a long one, so I've grown to appreciate how Rankin has 'aged' Rebus, taking him from his early days as a newbie to the end. 'Set in Darkness' is sort of at the midpoint- his 11th in the series, published in 2000.

As with all of them, Darkness is set in Edinburgh, Scotland and Rebus is as he always is: a highly competent detective who's a
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
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
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
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
Sep 10, 2012 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: u-k, crime-fiction
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
Miriam Smith
May 25, 2016 Miriam Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like DI John Rebus, he's brooding, clever, determined and a lovable scots character. He loves his whisky, food and cigarettes and makes a fantastic copper hell bent on doing everything against the rules! Rankin is a great writer, produces excellent story lines, characters and the history of Scotland, Edinburgh in particular, that encompasses the plot is always factual and interesting. This was another great book in the Rebus series (11th) with 3 storylines that came together seamlessly and a p ...more
Marie Bouteille
Oct 29, 2015 Marie Bouteille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I'm glad I met John Rebus, an interesting character, the typical tortured detective inspector tortured by the ghosts from the time past and the ghosts from the time present, who's partial to alcohol and has a wry sense of humour. We're taken through the streets of Edinburgh, in all sorts of dark places where the living meet the dead and where you meet thugs that you could meet in any gum-shoe detective novel. It was thrilling. I can't wait to go to Scotland !
May 20, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Richard Toth
I was drawn into the story for eighty percent of book. Then it seemed to get mushy and loose, going on and on for no obvious reason other than making it longer.
Mary Corbal
Jan 31, 2015 Mary Corbal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 31, 2014 Patsy Litterst rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Rebus mystery. Love Isn Rankin.
Gordon  Kerman
Well written, couldn't put it down
Kathy Davie
Sep 12, 2010 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Rankin! How he manages to come up with such convoluted plots...and then tie 'em all together. Too fascinating to put down.
Nov 13, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars
Craig Pittman
A slam-bang entry in the Inspector Rebus series...until the final twist, which results in a real let-down for the reader. I would not recommend Rebus No. 11 as a result.

Rebus, a crotchety old Scottish police detective, is in his usual fine form in this outing, drinking too much, smoking too much, clashing with both superiors and co-workers as he tries to tie together three mysterious deaths, all apparently related to real estate speculation and gangsters. At times he's his own worst enemy, at on
Paula Dembeck
Mar 12, 2015 Paula Dembeck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2017 Mainer207 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I really love this series. I've probably written that in previous reviews.

Rebus is amazing. Not the most politically correct or as straight-laced as many of the police and he certainly doesn't always make the best decisions. (Lorna?? Really??) But he has great cop sense and is able to figure things out. This story of three deaths proves all those things.

Am I the only one who likes Cafferty a little bit?

The narration, for some reason, was not up to par but still good. As I'm bingeing on the Reb
Rowland Bismark
Aug 02, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it liked it
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
julie hester
Jun 10, 2017 julie hester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another brilliant read

A bit slow to start but a sprint finish excellent I love john rebus and even new characters fit right in
Mar 08, 2017 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable enough whodunnit/whydunnit. A little over complicated, and at times struggled to keep the tension in the disparate aspects of the plot. easy to read, with reasonable characterisation.

I get a little fed up of the repeated accounts of Rebus' drinking. Vicarious fictional alcoholics are as dull as real ones when telling/showing their drinking tales.

I've read a few Rebus novels and short stories in the past, and this has not dissuaded me from reading more.
Aman Mittal
Mar 24, 2012 Aman Mittal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction


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
Ian Brydon
Jun 25, 2014 Ian Brydon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was Inspector Rebus's second foray into the world of politics following his earlier brush with the corridors of power in 'Let it Bleed'. This time, the political context is the run up to the elections to the new Scottish Parliament, and Rebus finds himself with three mysteries to investigate

As part of the preparations Rebus has been co-opted onto the Police and Parliament Liaison Committee, more as a means of keeping him out of trouble than because of any deep political insight he might bri
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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 21 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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“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.”
“Rebus nodded his understanding. The Murder Room was quiet when he reached it. Roy Frazer was reading a paper. “Finished with this?” Rebus asked, picking up another. Frazer nodded. “Chicken phal,” Rebus explained, rubbing his stomach. “Hold all my calls and let everyone know the shunkie’s off-limits.” Frazer nodded and smiled. Saturday morning on the bog with the paper: everyone had done it at one time.” 0 likes
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