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Extended Audio Sample The Complaints Audiobook, by Ian Rankin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,474 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ian Rankin Narrator: Peter Forbes Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Malcolm Fox Series Release Date: April 2015 ISBN: 9781607886983
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Nobody likes the Complaints—they’re the cops who investigate other cops. It’s a department known within the force as “the Dark Side,” and it’s where Malcolm Fox works. He’s a serious man with a father in a nursing home and a sister who persists in an abusive relationship, frustrating problems about which he cannot seem to do anything.

Then the reluctant Fox is given a new case. There’s a cop named Jamie Breck, and he’s dirty. The problem is, no one can prove it. As Fox takes on the job, he learns that there’s more to Breck than anyone thinks—dangerous knowledge, especially when a vicious murder takes place far too close to home.

In The Complaints, Rankin proves again why he is one of the world’s most beloved and bestselling crime writers, mixing unstoppable pacing with the deeper question of who decides right from wrong.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The author disappointed many of his fans when he retired the beloved John Rebus. But I predict the grumbling will be short lived once Rankin’s readers meet Inspector Malcolm Fox in The Complaints.”

    John M. Wills, New York Journal of Books

  • “Intoxicating…The voice is so dynamic that Rankin’s characters leap off the page.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Rankin has picked a most unlikely new hero. Edinburgh cop Malcolm Fox…The strange-bedfellows angle drives the interpersonal dynamics here—and augurs well for future installments—as Fox, working off the books, investigates the murder of someone very close to home and attempts to turn the frame-up on its end. Some crime writers keep writing the same series with different characters, but Rankin deserves credit for going another way altogether. Fox is a good and quiet citizen compared to Rebus (he doesn’t drink and listens to birdsong on the radio, not classic rock), but Rankin doesn’t hold any of that against his new hero, proving that you can build complex, highly textured, series-worthy characters from the most unlikely of raw materials.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “[A] work that again brings to life the mean streets of Edinburgh…Fox is a complex character with a strong moral sense. This sense sometimes is flawed; his trust is betrayed, and sorting out the villains is a bittersweet victory. Verdict: Rankin, an Edgar and Diamond Dagger winner, is back in top form here. Few authors equal his character-driven crime fiction that pulls the reader into such vividly drawn place and plot. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • The Complaints is superb on every level and begging for a follow-up.”

    BookPage

  • “Rankin adds another Edinburgh cop to his repertoire. Malcolm Fox, five years sober and still missing the vodka…Hidden agendas abound, not only among career criminals but among various coppers, including the chief unspector and the chief constable. Will readers miss Rankin’s long-running protagonist, John Rebus? Don’t see why they should. Bonus: Rankin’s plotting and prose are as compelling as ever.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “With its Edinburgh setting, suave crime lords, and renegade officers, The Complaints will be familiar territory to Rebus fans—even if its hero isn’t. Getting to know this man, an intriguing mix of apathy and action, is almost like a courtship—each new situation reveals something that makes the reader want to know yet more.”

    Independent (London)

  • “An excellent cop novel full of action, good dialogue, well-crafted characters, and an authentic backdrop.”

    Times (London)

  • “If the point of crime fiction is to make you think while entertaining you—and I believe it is—then Ian Rankin definitely does it better than most.”

    Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • “Rankin is a master at what, for me, is one of the important aspects of a crime novel: the integration of setting, plot, characters, and a theme which, for Rankin, is the moral dimension never far from his writing…Fox is so fully realized and interesting a character, his job in ‘the complaints’ so fraught with fascinating possibilities, that we can surely hope to meet him again.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “As performed by Scottish actor Peter Forbes, cosmopolitan Edinburgh comes alive as a city with a gritty underside. While some Rankin fans may miss Inspector Rebus, most will want to become better acquainted with the equally complex Fox. Of particular interest to fans of Denise Mina and Michael Robotham; a great choice for all mystery lovers.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “It’s often said that the main character in Ian Rankin’s crime thrillers is the city of Edinburgh itself. Peter Forbes delivers the first in Rankin’s new series with all the charm, cunning, and grit that the great city possesses…Forbes flawlessly narrates the story with a complexity that matches the plot and the character of Rankin’s newest inspector.”

    AudioFile

  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, March 2011
  • One of the 2011 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books: Thrillers

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 2/18/2014

    " Malcolm Fox investigates other cops and his world is particularly shadowy. He's asked to investigate Jamie Breck, but is Breck dirty. Fox is similar to Rebus in his cussedness and moral sense, but not in his boozing (he's teetotal) or his bleak outlook. And once again, Edinburgh is a star of the show. Tinged with sadness, but Rankin is on form again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 librarianh20 | 2/15/2014

    " I enjoyed this! It was a slow build, but I think it turned out to be an excellent set up for a new series from the author. I need to read some of his other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret | 2/14/2014

    " A bit grim but competently done. I never really cared about any of the characters though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharron | 1/4/2014

    " not a Rebus book but it's great. complex plot and creditable characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Al Stoess | 12/5/2013

    " Slow going. At least you could understand the characters (speaking, that is) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beverley Thompson | 12/1/2013

    " Good book! Nice development of characters and very suspenseful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mae | 11/30/2013

    " Liked it. Refreshing change that flies (unlike Open Doors). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilary | 9/28/2013

    " Been looking for a new crime series to enjoy, this could be it!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meg | 9/25/2013

    " Love the character development. Good back story, not too much but just enough. I will be reading much more of this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 9/22/2013

    " new character for Rankin - internal affairs cop in Scotland. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele Host | 9/7/2013

    " The Complaints scratched my Rebus itch, but not much more. There was one plot point too many, and the protagonist, while realistic, was no Rebus. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 6/30/2013

    " Damn good police procedural from Ian Rankin. It's the first one I've read outside the Rebus series... I needed a mystery-novel fix, and Rankin's new character, Malcolm Fox, came through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carl Snelgrove | 6/22/2013

    " Enjoyed it thoroughly. While I missed Rebus the new character had some of his traits (a recovering alcoholic rather than Rebus as a practising one). Good characters and story line with some nice twists "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice | 6/14/2013

    " New series set in Edinburgh with M. Fox. Murder of sister's boyfriend and disappearance of developer are some of the plots. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kim | 8/17/2012

    " Least interesting, most confusing Rankin book I've ever read. Read any of his other ones, which are really great, before this one! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mona | 7/17/2012

    " The Complaints is a crime novel about the cops who investigate suspected bad cops. Personally, it was time to get away from Rebus and to get to know Fox. A plot full of intrigue and action - an enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy | 4/10/2012

    " I'm listening to the audio book (downloaded from library) and like listening to the Scottish accent of Peter Forbes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ray Charbonneau | 3/24/2012

    " Pure genre novel, but almost an ideal version thereof. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly | 3/16/2012

    " I wanted to like this book so so much. But wishing did not make it so. Great new character, but the plot was uninteresting & the villains uninspired. Yes, I'll read the next one but that's only because my faith in Ian Rankin is stronger than the disappointment I am feeling right now. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nicole | 11/20/2011

    " This book ticked me off. I thought the main character started acting in ways that were completely inexplicable for the character -- and that were much more in line with the behavior of this author's other, prolifically written-about main character... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan Leicht | 8/3/2011

    " Ian Rankin is a master of the genre. I like the Malcolm Fox character and his writing is intelligent and worthwhile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joyce | 7/24/2011

    " Not as good as the Inspector Rebus series, but at least Rankin is back. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Will | 5/14/2011

    " Good Edinburgh locale but the characters do not live up to the Rebus series standards. I couldn't care much about the new protagonist and the lack of a partner relationship was disappointing too. Save your time and read all the Rebus novels before you take up this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gayle | 5/8/2011

    " Although the beloved character of Rubus has left the stage, Malcolm Fox seems poised to be a worthy successor.

    Edinburgh, always the main character remains true to itself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anbolyn | 5/7/2011

    " This is hopefully the start of another great series by Rankin. I loved the Rebus series and The Complaints is very similar - set in Edinburgh police, a middle-aged loner main character, and a twisty plot. I'm a fan of Rankin and think he is a good all-around writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miss | 5/7/2011

    " Fantastic. It's like Rebus without Rebus. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 5/6/2011

    " A new major character in a series. Lots of Scottish humor - some of it lost on me. Lots of characters so I got lost at times. Great story though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 5/5/2011

    " What a great mystery! I loved the characters - flaws and all. I definitely plan on reading more of this author! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandra | 5/1/2011

    " I would give this 4.5 stars if I could - I really liked it. Liked the characters and their development, liked that I could not ever have figured out the mystery, liked that it was a 2 day read. Highly recommend as a weekend or vacation read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Ann | 4/29/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this British murder mystery set in Scotland with all it's political complications, foreign phrases, peek at family life in Scotland and intrigue. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marilyn | 4/21/2011

    " I was really liking this book but it's gotten too confusing and bogged down...I'm pretty anal about finishing a chapter so it's not a good sign that I stopped in the middle of a chapter last night. I'm going to finish but I hope it gets back up to speed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 4/20/2011

    " Terrific crime thriller with a Scottish accent. Malcolm Fox , lead detective from what we refer to as 'Internal Affairs' uncovers a large cover-up of a murder and false accusations of a honest detective. Perfect example of the nuanced English detective story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 4/18/2011

    " Loved this book, fast paced, good character development, and fun. "

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About the Author
Author Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin is an award-winning crime writer best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. He is a winner of the Edgar Award and the Crime Writers of America’s Gold Dagger Award, among others, and was the recipient of a Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship. He lives in Edinburgh with his partner and two sons.

About the Narrator

Peter Forbes studied English in the same year as Ian Rankin at Edinburgh University. His credits include Berkeley Square (BBC), Peter Kosminsky’s The Government Inspector (Channel 4 UK), the award-winning Black Watch, Never So Good, Afterlife, and Mamma Mia! (London West End). He was nominated in the 2011 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland for his performance in Liz Lochhead’s Educating Agnes. He has read numerous audio books, including The Complaints and A Cool Head, by Ian Rankin, and The Last King of Scotland, by Giles Foden.