Newest Review: ... Carter, has been charged with an indecent proposal towards a member of the public, and a couple more have come forward to say the same ... more
With Rankin, nothing is impossible
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
Member Name: pmcds
The Impossible Dead - Ian Rankin
Advantages: Fantastic second novel for Rankin's Fox
While Rebus' attitude gets him into hot water with others, the reason Fox doesn't attract many friends is to do with the fact that he is from the Complaints, the familiar name for the Internal Affairs department. This, as the second outing for Fox, has a little more plot and less development needed, Rankin choosing to mention and feature key characters from the first book (which incidentally was entitled The Complaints). Rankin's usual plot skills and character driven action is supported well by the comfortable style with which he describes his surroundings, a fact supported by his extremely popular app where he gives you a tour of the locations he uses.
For his second feature, Fox has what seems like a relatively simple open and shut case to investigate. An officer, Paul Carter, has been charged with an indecent proposal towards a member of the public, and a couple more have come forward to say the same thing. Carter's fellow officers seem to have supported him and fabricated lies in order to try and get him out of trouble with the law. However, things seem to have backfired somewhat and now he's in trouble, suspended and in jail.
Fox is quickly gaining a reputation for being thorough, and as he wanders around interviewing anyone and everyone related to the case, he tarts uncovering various little truths and more lies, and when an age old mystery arises, full of deep governmental conspiracy, Fox just can't resist getting stuck in where his nose doesn't belong, and even when he gets into hot water himself because of his relentless pursuits, it just makes him all the more intrigued. Like another of Rankin's literary leaders, he just doesn't know when to give up.
It's hard to put down, but then this comes as no surprise to me. Many other thriller writers are excellent, but Rankin always seems to take the edge for me. I'm able to visualise what's going on much better than most other authors, and the main reason is that he manages to get the characters so deeply described so early on through conversation and action that you don't need paragraphs of explanation - their actions do the development for them. Rankin ensures that Fox's team of the experienced and rough around the edges Kaye and the young and techy Naysmith return as if you've read about them all your lives, while the authority figures are once again treated with disdain and disrespect by our main characters. I wonder whether this is something Rankin feels strongly about, as it's something that has transferred across from Rebus books, or whether this is just because it makes it easier for us to like the rebellious heroes.
I found that the chapters flowed very well, and although it's not the sort of book I can devour in a day, it's not the sort of book I'd actually want to do this with. I can read James Patterson if this is what I want to do! Rankin is for taking your time and savouring in my opinion, and this is precisely what I did. You can picture the locations as he describes them, and I loved the way that he brought Fox's family into the fray. In fact, there's one small outlet which just may provide some sort of scope for making a little controversy out of family in this way, and at the moment, he's working on his next thriller.
Following Rankin's twitter page and having a look at his app are something I hadn't done before, but with the way that technology and advertising and marketing are going, he seems to have jumped on the bandwagon pretty quickly. No doubt other authors will follow suit very soon. The rear of this book advertises the app very well, and I must say I downloaded it immediately to my android, and have looked on my iPad for it as well. The geography on it is excellent, you can take a tour, and it all helps to provide background on the whole thing. I find that in between reading snippets of the book, it's handy to have a quick peek and look to see exactly where Rankin is talking about.
It's good that he uses real locations, and that the characters embed so well into them. the writing style doesn't diminish as the ideas get used up. It's almost as if there are more coming through as he gets older, and although I'm one Rebus novel behind, I'm certainly not going to rush into it as it's something to savour. For now, I'll busy myself with using the QR code and visiting the website, re-exploring the previous books and wondering where Rankin will take Fox next. Those worrying that Rebus' premature reitrement has meant the nearing of the end for Rankin's writing can think again. I get the feeling he's catching his second wind. Recommended.
Summary: Rankin's second Malcolm Fox novel