As soon as I saw that Rankin had published two books in the last year featuring the same character, I immediately added them to my holiday wish list, and
As it turns out, the latest case that Malcolm Fox has dropped in his lap at the start of The Complaints is about a fellow police officer named Detective Sergeant Jamie Breck whose credit card has apparently been used to join a website where pictures of underage boys can be exchanged. It seems like a pretty open and shut case, but of course, since this is an Ian Rankin mystery, there is much, much more to the case.
Breck is on the Murder Squad, and when Fox's sister's live-in boyfriend is found dead a mere hours after he had apparently left his woman bruised and battered at home, Breck is assigned to the case and Fox meets his target in a very different setting than his usual cases and gets to know and admire Breck, which causes Fox to more closely examine the Complaint against Breck.
The same weekend that the body is found, one of the most prominent real estate developers in Edinburgh goes missing at sea, and his body stubbornly refuses to turn up? Are the two (or three) cases related? Of course they are.
How Rankin weaves together the various plot elements The Complaints while introducing us to his new police protagonist (and his two sidekicks/fellow detectives) in a nuanced and compelling way makes as good a read as any of his best John Rebus novels., They were known for the complexity of their mysteries and the emotional resonance of the graphic look at modern-day police work.
With The Complaints, Rankin shows us that even though the color and canvass have slightly changed, he remains a great artist.
Title: The Complaints.
Author: Ian Rankin.
Length: 480 pages.
Publisher: Back Bay Books.
Published: November 2, 2011.
OVERALL GRADE: A/A- (3.833/4.0).