The Falls, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The twelfth Inspector Rebus bestseller - a powerfully gripping novel where past and present collide...A student has gone missing in Edinburgh.

She's not just any student, though, but the daughter of well-to-do and influential bankers.

There's almost nothing to go on until DI John Rebus gets an unmistakable gut feeling that there's more to this than just another runaway spaced out on unaccustomed freedom.

Two leads emerge: a carved wooden doll in a toy coffin, found in the student's home village, and an internet role-playing game.

The ancient and the modern, brought together by uncomfortable circumstance...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780752883649

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The Falls represents both Ian Rankin and John Rebus on mid-season form. We get to see all sides of Rebus - as a near-alcoholic seemingly stumbling from one crisis to another, a respectful and considerate lover, an obdurate, 'thrawn' colleague revelling in being a round peg in a square hole and, as always, a fine, incisive detective. Once again, the city of Edinburgh itself, and some of the grimmer episodes from its dark history, comes through as a principal character in the story, a beautiful yet also foreboding presence against which the action is played out.Philippa Balfour, daughter of the wealthy owner of the exclusive private bank Balfour and Co, has gone missing. She had been studying the History of Art at Edinburgh University and had arranged to meet a group of friends. Shortly before the meeting she texts her friends to say that she has just had yet another big row with her boyfriend. Philippa is never seen again. Because of the prominence of her father the police are treating her disappearance as a priority.The police remove her computer to search it for any possible clues to her disappearance, and Siobhan Clarke, Rebus's long-suffering sidekick, discovers that Philippa had been engaged in a role-playing game solving clues set by someone known simply as The Quizmaster. Clarke is sucked into undertaking the game herself, in the hope that it might shed some light on what befell the missing girl. She finds herself grappling with a series of increasingly more difficult cryptic clues.Meanwhile, a model coffin turns up at The Falls, the Balfour family home. This has sinister echoes of a series of such coffins, now in the Museum of Scotland, that had been found on Arthur's Seat shortly after the Burke and hare murders. This gives Rankin the opportunity to deliver an enticing history lesson about the so-called Resurrectionists. This may sound contrived but Rankin handles it seamlessly.I think that this might be the strongest of the series of Rebus novels.

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