The Falls: An Inspector Rebus Novel (Inspector Rebus Novels)
Ian Rankin's John Rebus, arguably the most realistic detective in crime fiction, is a brilliant but troubled man. When a young woman goes missing near his native Edinburgh, Scotland, Rebus finds himself just one small cog in the huge wheel of an inquiry set in motion by her powerfully rich father. Struggling to deal with both his own often-terrifying inner demons as well as the monstrous bureaucracy of the investigative team, Rebus finds himself drawn again and again into the case, desperately searching for the girl's salvation, as well as his own.
In time Rebus uncovers two leads: one, a carved wooden doll stuffed tightly into a tiny casket, and the other the missing girl's possible involvement in a dark, disturbing Internet-based role-playing game. He enlists the help of the tech-savvy DC Siobhan Clarke, who is young enough to know her way around the net, but who may not be old and wise enough to avoid potentially deadly pitfalls and traps. Meanwhile, Rebus tracks down stories of similar caskets and dolls turning up in the area deep into Edinburgh's past, some stretching back to a time when body-snatchers turned into brutal killers.
As Rebus and Clarke delve deeper and deeper into these perilous and obscure worlds, ancient and modern evils begin to converge and soon Rebus finds he's besieged by an impenetrable mass of secrets, lies, and deadly deceit that only he can make sense of. In The Falls, a brilliant addition to an award-winning series, both John Rebus and his creator, Ian Rankin, are at the top of their intense and satisfying form.
turned the doorhandle and ushered them inside. ‘I’ve got one or two things to do,’ he said. ‘Just close the door after you when you’ve finished.’ ‘Thanks,’ Rebus said. But, having brought them here, Curt seemed suddenly reluctant to leave his student alone with the two detectives. ‘I’ll be fine, Dr Curt,’ Claire reassured him, as if she’d understood his hesitation. Curt nodded and left them. It was a cramped, airless room. A glass-fronted bookcase took up one whole wall. It was filled to
it be simpler if we stuck to that, do you think? Not that I don’t appreciate your idea of keeping an open mind.’ Bain thought about it. ‘Fine,’ he said. ‘So, as I was saying, he – or she – must have set up a payment account with each one. At least, I’d think so. Even if you’re on a month’s free trial, they’ll usually ask for some details first, including a Visa card or bank account.’ ‘So they can start charging you when the time comes?’ Bain nodded. ‘Everyone leaves traces,’ he said quietly,
and drained his coffee, then held up the beaker. ‘Half-fat milk.’ She almost smiled. ‘It’s a start, I suppose.’ ‘Look, Gill …’ He got up, tipped the beaker into the otherwise pristine waste-bin. ‘My drinking’s not a problem. It doesn’t interfere with my work.’ ‘It did last night.’ He shook his head, but her face had hardened. Finally she took a deep breath. ‘Just before you left the club … you remember that?’ ‘Sure.’ He hadn’t sat down; was standing in front of her desk, hands by his sides.
Gill’s ‘damage limitation’. With experience, you’d know how to bend a journalist’s will to your own, even if it meant a bribe of some kind: first dibs on some later story or stories … Rebus wondered at the extent of the damage. Quizmaster would now know what he’d probably always suspected: that it wasn’t just him and Siobhan, that she was keeping her colleagues apprised. Her face didn’t give anything away, but Rebus knew she was already wondering how to handle it, how to phrase her next
something to her,’ the mother continued. ‘I mean, her own family.’ Rebus didn’t like to say: all too often it’s a father or uncle or cousin. ‘Then they started picking on Ronnie.’ ‘Caroline’s boyfriend?’ Rebus guessed. ‘Yes. Just a laddie.’ ‘They’d split up, hadn’t they?’ ‘You know what teenagers are like.’ It was as though she were talking about events from a week or two back. Rebus didn’t doubt that the memories stayed fresh, always ready to torment her waking hours, maybe even the