Started reading The Complaints by Ian Rankin

I am currently reading, and enjoying, The Complaints by Ian Rankin. About 50 pages in, we begin to get to know the protagonist, policeman Malcolm Fox, a little bit, as he returns home from visiting his father. Isn't this just a classic description, and doesn't it depict someone who is instantly recognisable and likeable in the crime fiction genre?:

The mail waiting for him on the hall carpet was the usual stuff: bills and junk and a bank statement. At least the Royal Bank of Scotland was still in business. There was nothing in the envelope with the statement, no letter of grovelling apology for getting above itself and letting down its customers. Lauder Lodge's monthly payment had gone out. The rest seemed to be petrol and groceries. He looked in the 
TComplaintsfridge, seeking inspiration for a quick dinner. Denied, he tried the cupboards and emerged with a tin of chilli and a small jar of jalapenos. There was long-grain rice in a jar on the worktop. The radio was tuned to classic FM, but he changed the channel to something he'd come across recently. The station was just called Birdsong and birdsong was precisely what it delivered. He went back to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of Appletiser, sat with his drink at the table and rubbed a hand across his face and forehead, kneading his temples and the bridge of his nose. He wondered how he would pay for his nursing home when the time came. He hoped there'd be someone like Mrs Sanderson waiting for him there.

When the food was ready, he took it through to the living room and switched on the TV. There was birdsong still audible from the kitchen; sometimes he left it on all night. He flicked through the Freeview channels until he found Dave. It was all repeats, but still watchable. Fifth Gear followed by Top Gear followed by another Top Gear.

I am currently on page 240 of 381, so it won't be too long (I hope) before I can write a review of the whole book.


8 thoughts on “Started reading The Complaints by Ian Rankin

  1. Maxine – Thanks for this “sip” of this book. I would have expected it to be good, so I’m glad you are enjoying it, and I’ll look forward to your review when you’re done.

  2. I have never read an Ian Rankin novel. I somehow missed the Rebus books until after I had seen the TV show which I didn’t much like and when I tried to read a Rebus book afterwards I couldn’t get the TV stuff out of my head so I never finished it. I was therefore quite pleased when Rankin wrote something other than Rebus and I have a copy of The Complaints making its way to my abode on a slow boat from Canada from a fellow book swapper. Look forward to seeing what you think of it.

  3. I’ve finished it now, and think it good – an excellent introduction to this author.
    Jose Ignacio, don’t bother with Doors Open, after I read it I found it had its origins in a newspaper or magazine article(s), and it shows. A caper novel that didn’t work after the first section, in my view.
    I began to read the Rebus novels way back when, before Rankin went mega. I enjoyed the first few very much. I’ve read them all, and some are better than others, though none of them were substandard. Rankin is a good writer, but there were certainly some issues with the Rebus series – the characters weren’t consistently presented for one thing. However, I do think that as a series it is up there with John Harvey (Resnick) as well as the better US series.

  4. I very much enjoyed this new character Maxine, and hope we see him a bit more. Much better novel than DOORS OPEN

  5. Finished John Harvey’s “Cold in Hand,” a few days ago. Glad I did. It was unusual but good. Resnick is quite a character–a jazz afficionado, cat-loving cop. The story is sad.
    I may go backwards in the series and read earlier books, but there are now so many books to read in the Daggers’ list, the Theakston list, these reviews, other reviews.
    I spent the weekend reading Harlan Coben’s newest book, “Caught,” which is riveting, and, of course, didn’t do what else I’m supposed to be doing, but it’s the summer, or nearly, and we can play hookey.

  6. Kathy, John Harvey has written (among other things) a trilogy about Frank Elder a retired cop from Resnick’s division who moves to Cornwall, and a duet set in the Fens (Cambridgeshire), (police detectives called Will and Helen – I don’t like Will!), the first of which is quite unusual, about Stella Leonard a silver screen star, and the second of which I’ll review in a day or two. Both are very good, if you don’t want to plough back and read the 10 previous Resnick novels! (Which are also good..)
    I loved Caught, it just raced by….

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