Justin's Reviews > The Complaints

The Complaints by Ian Rankin
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's review
Jan 18, 2010

it was ok
Read from January 18 to 30, 2010

Didn't like this book, even by the meager standards I had for it. I liked a few of the later Rebus novels alright, but this one just sunk. Didn't care about either of the detectives enough to give a damn one way or the other whether they managed to get themselves out of what turned out to be in the end a pretty lackluster fix. The whole conspiracy behind the set-up turned out to be pretty weak once it all got explained at the end. It was so convoluted and full of so many (and such thin) characters that untangling it all wasn't so much satisfying as unnerving.

My main gripe about the book though was the main character, DI Malcolm Fox, who was nothing but a negative image of his far more likeable predecessor, Rebus. Whereas Rebus was confrontational and an unapologetic alocholic, Fox was sort of meager and on the wagon. He'd grown a pair by the end of the book, but that felt less like a real transformation and more like he'd just broken character. He was altogether poorly developed, which must have come as a big disappointment to people who've gotten used to Rebus. Not that he added much to the hard-boiled cop archetype, but at least he added some color to the otherwise droll Scottish mysteries. He was sort of complimentary to the Edinburgh scenery where as Fox just sort of happened to be there.

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