I love the character of Inspector Rebus in Ian Rankin’s novels set in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland; in the Lothian Region on the south side of the Firth of Forth. Don’t you love it? Firth of Forth. The novels with Rebus span a few decades and end with Rebus retiring from the police department. Let us hope he will come out and play again soon.
I think if you want to get to know a country do it through stories set in that country. I want to know more about Scotland and reading Ian Rankin’s books with the characters loving their world and noticing it, helps the reader appreciate that world, too.
I want to visit Scotland the land of my ancestors. I want to meet my cousins, and generally immerse myself in the culture when I get there. So I’m preparing myself by reading series set in Scotland. For starters, I recommend Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith (44 Scotland Street series) to help catch and absorb the flavor of the land.
Now Ian Rankin has done it again. He’s created a completely new and fascinating character called Malcolm Fox (Fox to his fellow inmates in the Complaint’s Department) in two fairly new books. The first is called appropriately The Complaints and the second is called The Impossible Dead.
Malcolm Fox is a fully fleshed out creation who leaps off the page from the first. He is sympathetic to the reader because he works in an environment that is hostile in nature. No other police officer likes him except those in his own department. Why? Because he investigates corruption within the police force in Scotland. Sometimes rumors are just that – rumors. Some officers are not guilty. But if that were the case here there wouldn’t be a story.