The Falls

Edinburgh police detective John Rebus, Ian Rankins popular series detective, is a brilliantly realized character, as moody, dark, and melancholy as Edinburgh itself. In The Falls , hes almost certain that missing university student Philippa Balfour is dead, but hes 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. Its 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 Philippas screen name--to join him in a bizarre scavenger hunt that might lead Clarke to Philippas body, her killer, or her own death. This time out Rebus has a new boss, whos 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.

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