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The Falls: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Novel Series) Mass Market Paperback – February 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Rebus Novel Series (Book 12)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (February 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312982402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312982409
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.2 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,236,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Edinburgh police detective John Rebus, Ian Rankin's popular series detective, is a brilliantly realized character, as moody, dark, and melancholy as Edinburgh itself. In The Falls, he's almost certain that missing university student Philippa Balfour is dead, but he's less sure how she died or what her misadventure has to do with the tiny doll in a hand-sized coffin that turns up near a waterfall on the Balfour family estate. It's not the first coffin found near the scene of a crime; could Philippa be the victim of a serial killer? The only other lead the police have is a cryptic e-mail from someone called Quiz Master, inviting Philippa--and then constable Siobhan Clarke, who responds using Philippa's screen name--to join him in a bizarre scavenger hunt that might lead Clarke to Philippa's body, her killer, or her own death.

This time out Rebus has a new boss, who's no happier with his unorthodox style or impolitic attitude toward the Edinburgh establishment than his last one was. But even under department suspension, Rebus manages to tie a number of seemingly disparate and unconnected clues together and deliver a killer in a scene that even the most discerning reader may not see coming until it jumps off the page. A bestseller in the U.K., The Falls is Rankin's best yet. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A number one U.K. bestseller, Rankin's 13th novel featuring Scottish Det. Insp. John Rebus may be his breakout book in the U.S. Rankin's brilliant evocation of a moody Edinburgh, deeply human characters and labyrinthine plot give dimension to this always absorbing series. With his stubborn insistence on tying up the frayed ends of every knotty clue, and iconoclastic refusal to be a team player, hard-drinking Rebus is a bane to his superiors but a blessing to readers. University student Philippa Balfour, daughter of the powerful head of a private bank, disappears; the few clues are incongruous a puzzling Internet role-playing game she participated in and a doll in a tiny wooden coffin found near her discordant family's home. Rebus's assistant, Det. Constable Siobhan Clarke, tackles the mysterious Internet game; Rebus ignores his superiors by obsessively following the coffin's obscure historical implications, aided by museum curator Jean Burchill, a friend of newly appointed Det. Chief Supt. Gill Templer and a promising anodyne to Rebus's lonely personal life. Readers won't be able to skim this dark, densely written novel, but they won't want to. Artfully placed red herrings, a large cast of multifaceted characters and a gripping pace will keep them engrossed. And Rebus is a character whose devils and idiosyncrasies will leave them eager for more. (Nov. 8)Forecast: A bestseller in Ireland, Australia and Canada as well, this novel may achieve similar heights here, spurred by a tour by the Edinburgh author, winner of Britain's Gold Dagger Award.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

So glad to have fallen for Ian Rankin and Inspector Rebus.
diane k
This is a very good mystery series with believable, entertaining characters.
Pangloss
In a really good book, when i reach the end it seems to make good sense.
M. S. Butch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By G. Passantino on November 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the longest and most complex John Rebus mysteries, but it is well worth the significant investment of one's time and attention. In fact, the writing is so good, the movement of the plot so inexorable, the characterizations so authentic, the scenes so utterly Scottish that aside from wanting the solution to the mystery, I could have kept reading for another 4-500 pages!
I won't repeat what others have described of the story but add some details I found interesting. First, the Internet role-playing aspect was not only completely authentic (I have a young adult son who keeps me up on these things), but presented with a delicate balance that didn't talk down to the non-Internet initiates, but wasn't incomprehensible either. I almost got interested in the games myself. Second, I was captivated by the intricate exploration of the problems encountered by both men and women when women rise to positions of leadership in traditionally male-dominated fields. It's great that Rankin understands that there are no easy answers and that there are always tradeoffs. I wish the men I knew in my field had as much understanding. Finally, John Rebus is definitely maturing emotionally and spiritually as he matures in years. I enjoyed every flash of insight into his complex person as the plot unfolded. If you haven't read Rankin before, start! You can watch the growth of the author and the characters by starting with the first, Knots and Crosses, or you can plunge into the full-blown alternative reality in this book. Either way, you will emerge glad you invested the time.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
While visiting Ireland in early September, I, of course,had to visit the local bookstores. Was I excited when I found this new Ian Rankin book! While Rankin never disappoints with his Rebus series, I thought THE FALLS was the best one yet. His writing has found more clarity and John Rebus's character and personality are more well defined than in the his earlier novels. The plot is excellent. I missed two days of Irish scenery reading this book in the car. If you've never read a John Rebus book, start with the first book of the series, KNOTS AND CROSSES. If you love British mysteries, you won't be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A wealthy Edinburgh university student goes missing, and the pressure is on to find her. John Rebus and Siobhan Clarke are assigned to the case. Soon they discover that "Flip" was participating in an internet role playing game just before she disappeared. Clarke, knowing much more about computers and the internet than Rebus, starts communicating with the Gamemaster, a shadowy character at best. Rebus follows up on another clue, a small carved wooden doll in a miniature coffin. He's led to the Edinburgh Museum where a charming woman named Jean shows him similar antique coffins unearthed around Edinburgh. Inspector Rebus is now in his fifties and mentions retirement several times in this book. Siobhan Clarke had much of the spotlight in the story, as if Rankin is grooming her to take over as the main character when Rebus is no more. Although the hints of retirement for Rebus were disturbing, this book is an overall good read, if a bit overlong. This is my favorite mystery series ever and I'm looking forward to Resurrection Men in January 2002 ( UK release date ).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chris Engleman on April 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a longtime reader of British mystery books, I have many favorite authors, but I think Ian Rankin is at the top of the list. His books are not "cosies" like Agatha Christie, but darker, moodier stories, as far from the small village setting as thay can get. This latest book is another great example of Rankin's ability to spin a great mystery story while involving the reader in John Rebus' life, good and bad, and it usually is more the latter! Wherever you start in the Rebus series, here or an earlier book, just START! You won't be sorry and you won't need any encouragement to finish all of his books.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Crammer VINE VOICE on January 26, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Ian Rankin's Rebus series, even though I am constantly amazed at the extent to which Rebus is able to drink and hold down a job -- I think the Scots are more tolerant of heavy drinkers than American employers would be.
That having been said, reading this mystery was like a trip to Edinburgh as someone who lives and works there sees the city -- a city with very deep roots in history, still influenced by events that occurred hundreds of years ago, living under the shadow of a castle and with history in every building.
The plot involves the disappearance of a wealthy young college student, who was supposed to be meeting friends for drinks and never shows up. Because of who she is, all the stops are pulled out to find her, and Rebus finds himself one of many working on this case. He believes from the start that she has been killed and he is investigating a homicide. He also thinks there's some connection between her death and some miniature coffins that have been found from time to time, and there's a possibility that her death is connected to a puzzle-solving computer game she's been playing.
If you like mysteries that make you think, that really challenge your intelligence and are written with literary skill that will make them timeless classics, Rankin is an author for you. This is my fourth book by him and I'm relishing reading more in the series.
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