Set in Darkness, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The eleventh Inspector Rebus novel from 'Britain's best crime novelist' DAILY EXPRESS. Edinburgh is about to become the home of the first Scottish parliament in 300 years.

As political passions run high, DI John Rebus is charged with liaison, thanks to the new parliament being resident in Queensbury House, bang in the middle of his patch.

But Queensbury House has its own, dark past. Legend has it that a young man was roasted there on a spit by a madman.

When the fireplace where the youth died is uncovered another more recent murder victim is found.

Days later, in the gardens outside, there is another body and Rebus is under pressure to find instant answers.

As the case proceeds, the Inspector finds himself face to face with one of Edinburgh's most notorious criminals...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780752883632

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This was Inspector Rebus's second foray into the world of politics following his earlier brush with the corridors of power in 'Let it Bleed'. This time, the political context is the run up to the elections to the new Scottish Parliament, and Rebus finds himself with three mysteries to investigateAs part of the preparations Rebus has been co-opted onto the Police and Parliament Liaison Committee, more as a means of keeping him out of trouble than because of any deep political insight he might bring to the role. During one of the meetings of that Committee the members are shown around Queensberry House which will, when refurbished, house some of the parliamentary proceedings until the new, purpose built home is finished. During their tour of Queensberry House the Committee party discover a corpse hidden in one of the rooms that is undergoing renovation. Shortly afterwards, a homeless man plummets to his death at Waverley Station. Among his meagre possessions is a building society passbook that shows his account had a balance of over £400,000.Roddy Grieve, New Labour candidate for one of the Edinburgh constituencies in the first Scottish parliament is fond murdered, not far from the building site at Queensberry House. Grieve is a member of a prominent Scottish family: his elder brother is a Conservative MP at Westminster, his mother is a celebrated artist, and his sister was a leading model in the 1970s and is married to a successful progressive rock star. Their brothjer Alastair went missing some twenty years earlier.As always, the city of Edinburgh itself looms as a significant character in the story, and Rankin captures the atmosphere perfectly. This time, in addition to his own demons (and there are enough of them to be going on with), Rebus has to contend with Derek Linford, a fast-track wonder boy based at Fettes, headquarters of Lothian and Borders Police, who, as a fellow member of the Liaison Committee, is assigned to the investigation of the murder of Roddy Grieve and, though equal only in rank to Rebus, nominally put in charge.The political context is important, and Rankin plays it well, with Rebus frequently thinking back to the referendum in March 1979, which saw the onset of the fatal cracks in his marriage to Rhona, who had been a passionate advocate of independence.Longer than its predecessors in the series, for me this book marked Rankin's progression to a writer of serious novels that happened to be about crime, rather than a mere crime novelist.

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