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

(Inspector Rebus #11)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  7,397 ratings  ·  279 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
Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 19th 2001 by Minotaur Books (first published 2000)
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4.05  · 
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 ·  7,397 ratings  ·  279 reviews

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Ah, I fancied a novel to read and my Mum asked me to drop this one off in the book exchange box round the corner in the neighbouring street. I thought I'd give it a read first, the pages do turn easily enough, but I'd say overall it was a variable read, the kind of thing which you will like if you like this kind of thing, but if you don't then this book won't win you over to the writer or genre.

Obviously it is #11 in a series, and I did ponder on that while reading (this is a book that allows fo
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in Darkness by Ian Rankin.

Rebus is among those in attendance as demolition work on the additions to Queensbury House was proceeding. The group was being guided on an archaeological tour of the historical Queensbury House.
DI Bobby Hogan & DS Ellen Wylie also present on this seemingly tedious tour. That is until another member of their group remarks about the legend of a ghost. The guide, David Gelfelan, states the story goes that a woman crying has been seen. Her son, a servant, had been
Shirley Schwartz
Jan 22, 2013 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
Pam Baddeley
Eleventh in the Rebus series, this commences with Rebus being assigned to a security committee who are organising security for the Scottish Parliament, both the temporary building and the site which will eventually become permanent when a lot of construction is completed. While touring the old hospital which is going to become part of the new political centre, a body is discovered in a boarded over fireplace. Then, almost before the investigation can commence, an up-and-coming politician from a ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had important errands and could not put this book down. I am so out of sequence, suffering some confusion from that, but this was a tension-filled plot that maintained my interest to the end.
All the characters were interesting and some even brilliantly conceived; music background added to the slow march to the truth; Edinburgh moving through change with construction featured as the new criminal opportunity; Cafferty reappears with falsified release from prison; Siobhan has some interesting assig
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
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The title is perfect for this book. This whole story is about darkness in it's varying forms. A body is found in a building that is being torn down. It dates from 1978-79. A homeless man plunges to his death by suicide. Nothing to see here except he has 400,000 pounds in the bank. Then a prominent politician from well known Edinburgh family is murdered. Meanwhile two guys, friends since childhood, are roaming the streets at night, picking up women and raping them, leaving no trace behind. Rebus ...more
From BBC radio 4 - Classical Serial:
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
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019, mystery
There is something absolutely perfect about reading Ian Rankin’s John Rebus in the current moment.

Maybe it’s the setting and how cold and dark and grim Edinburgh is in the winter months—not unlike central Ohio’s current climate? Or perhaps it’s the protagonist, a divorced, alcoholic loner who pulls himself back up and back to his case, no matter how many times he’s knocked down. I can admit some of days feel a little bit similar, though fortunately the circumstances are usually less desperate.

Oct 23, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This Orion hardcover is signed by Ian Rankin.
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
Mark Harrison
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent murder mystery connecting three different crimes twenty years apart in a web of family feuds and political backstabbing. Rebus is brilliant and troubled as always and has to face his great nemesis who has been returned to the streets. Slightly rushed ending was a shame but still a great read.
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Miriam Smith
May 25, 2016 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
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: roman-policier
I really need to get off my backside and find the time to read this series in chronological order. Ian Rankin, I've been told, is a master for describing the city of Edinburgh. No one apparently does it better. I didn't know or notice this fact. This is one of those books which discouraged me from reading all the series. The main reason for my reticence is that in the background there's is always the same one and only mob boss who's pulling the strings. Anyway this book did little for me.
Kim Cl
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
It was a long time since I read a Inspector Rebus novel. I'm still collecting all of them, but as I have the small pocket editions (to make it difficult in a white cover), they don't tend to be found easily.

So Set in Darkness, I forgot a lot of details from the previous books, but while reading I remembered the essentials.

It's not the best I have read, but I liked the story. Rebus's arch enemy is back to haunt him, his job isn't going it's best it could. He is forced to partner up with an ambiti
Jill Hutchinson
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, 2016-challenge
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.
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
_________ MINIMAL SPOILERS ___________

First, I have to say that I read this book for a class on Scottish Literature and Culture in university. And I really enjoy it! The class, I mean. The book was fine.

This was a bit of a strange one for me. So let's start with the positive side:

The way Rankin uses real life places, streets and pub makes really feel the city. You get a feeling of Edinburgh but not from a tourist perspective but a person that lives there. For me, that was so nice, having lived i
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
This has all the elements of a good Rebus novel -- and then some.

We've got a murder that took place so long ago that there are almost no living witnesses or suspects, a very contemporary murder, Rebus in political trouble, Rebus being self-destructive, and a couple of cases that have nothing whatsoever to do with the murders -- oh, and Big Ger Cafferty shows up to do something horrible (and something helpful).

Farmer John is near retiremen
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-2018, read-2018
Another great installment in the world of Ian Rankin's Rebus. This book is once again set in Edinburgh and the author does an excellent job giving us a description of the city and some of it's nasty parts. I always enjoy the characters and their humorous dialogue and reaction to one another. Another re-appearance of arch enemy, Big Ger Cafferty (Strawman), adds a unique touch. In this story there are three different crime elements focused on; a man dead for twenty years found behind a wall in th ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter gave me this book as a Christmas gift when it first came out. This is my second time reading Set in Darkness and I had forgotten just what a good story it is. The book is set in interesting times, before the building of our Scottish Parliament, hence it gives quite a bit of background history to the area where eventually the Parliament was built, among much controversy I may add.

I don't want to say too much about the plot, although there are five plot strands to follow and an appeara
Hannah Polley
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime, ian-rankin
Another Rebus book that I enjoyed, I just really want him to quit the drink!

This one had a slightly different feel to it as it was more of Siobhan that we are used to getting but I enjoyed that part a lot.

I thought towards the end that you were going to be left with a cliff hanger for the next book as to whether Rebus survives but it was nice that they cleared it up fairly quickly.

I am looking forward to the next book.
Stephen Howarth
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not quite as good as Dead Soles, but it still held its own.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Aside from the lack of chapters (which irritated the bejeezus out of me), this was a return to form after the lacklustre previous book.
Terence M
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook - 16:26 hours - Narrator: Samuel Gillies
Another very good Inspector John Rebus novel.
4.0 stars
Review to come
Michael Martz
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
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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

Other books in the series

Inspector Rebus (1 - 10 of 22 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)
“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.”
“Acknowledgements Reading Group Notes Timeline About the Author By Ian Rankin Copyright Serendipity. According to the dictionary, it means the ability to make ‘happy chance finds’. Serendip was the old name for Ceylon. Horace Walpole is credited with coining the term, after the fairy tale ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’, whose titular heroes were always stumbling across things they weren’t looking for.” 0 likes
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