The Impossible Dead

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584 Ratings

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5 out of 5 stars
By GC on 10-15-11

Brilliant Successor to Rebus

DI Malcolm Fox is a member of 'the Complaints' - what the Americans call 'the Rat Squad' - investigating police misbehaviour in Edinburgh and its environs.

In this story, he and his team are called in to interview the colleagues of a bent cop in Kirkcaldy, but very soon there are murders (both new and old) to be investigated.

Although this is only the second in the series, I think Ian Rankin has come up with a worthy successor to Rebus. Fox is a recovering alcoholic (what fictional policeman isn't?) with both domestic (but not the usual) and work related problems which cleverly interact with his investigations. He is a realistic and sympathetic character and it is also interesting that the 'good' cop - the one the reader identifies with - is regarded by many of his colleagues as 'bad'.

Both books in the series are expertly narrated by Peter Forbes.beta inappVoteInfo

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mr. J. Crowson on 10-31-11

A converted Rankin fan

Chose this because of the special offer but so glad I did. The plot was a very absorbing one, and I was taken with the light it threw on the police operations; this is my first Rankin novel as detective novels are not usually my book of choice. The narrator was first class, and I liked the differences he achieved in both the voices of the main characters and their particular Scottish accents. The interplay between the three main cops was particularly enjoyable and amusing. I think there's another Inspector Fox story available and look forward to listening to this.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By JPH on 05-21-17

Policeman with a twist

Not your usual Detective as this is about the Police complaints department. The team are investigating a corrupt cop found guilty of misconduct & the possible cover up by fellow cops. However during the investigation the cops uncle a former cop who instigated the case against him is murdered, shot by a gun that should not exist. The main character then seems to take it upon himself to investigate a historic case going back to 1985 & the possible involvement of terrorists & the security services. The story/plot was a little far fetched but never the less kept my attention.
The narrator, the brilliant Peter Forbes, has a gift with accents & each character is clearly defined its because he was the narrator
that I bought this audio book. Great narration. I would listen to another in the series especially if Peter Forbes was the narrator.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Michelle on 01-16-12

A down-to-earth thriller and all the better for it

Great story, great reader. Rankin's prose is plain but somehow lyrical. The second book to feature Malcolm Fox of 'The Complaints'. I enjoyed it even more than the first one, if only because the characters are now familiar. (It was hard letting go of Rebus.) Builds on the first story without rehashing the same ground. Can be read as a stand-alone. The action sequences are particularly exciting in a down-to-earth fashion. Foxie is no Jason Bourne, he is a flawed but decent man, an excellent policeman and willing to bend the rules to get to the truth and stop the bad guys. And still find time to visit his ailing father in hospital.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By M. Dawes on 12-15-11

How to follow this?

I really liked The Impossible Dead, but what intrigues me most is whether Fox will now make the move to CID or remain in 'the complaints' for his next outing. Rebus became an ensemble piece, and I guess that they are a hard or almost impossible act to follow. We don't quite have that yet with Fox and his crew, but we have to remember that it took Mr Rankin a while to develop the now familiar Siobhan Clarke, Gill Templar, Morris Cafferty and so on. Deep down we all wanted Rebus to never retire, but we have to give credit for the bravery of the author to give him up. I wasn't particularly fond of the art heist book, but I am looking forward to the next instalment of Malcolm Fox.

And one more thought, am I the only one who would like to read more of Miles Flint (bad name) from the Watchman novel?

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Elizabeth on 12-11-11

"Impossible" it is - the plot I mean!

I had so much enjoyed The Complaints and was therefore relishing listening to this title, but I was hugely disappointed. It was well-written and effectively read, but hey, can a listener/reader honestly be expected to believe in such a preposterous plot? The "stunts" the lead character got involved in were beyond incredulous, I am tempted to say laughable, or am I mistaken in believing that modern police officers are much more accountable to their superiors than this man appears to be? I think I'm probably the only dissenting voice in the avalanche of praise which seems to be being heaped on this book and I can only hope that the next one in the series will reflect greater reality.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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