On the eve of the first Scottish parliament in three hundred years, Edinburgh is a city rife with political passions and expectations. Queensbury House, the home of Scotland's new rulers, falls in the middle of John Rebus' turf, keeping him busy with ceremonial tasks. That quickly changes, however, when a long-dead body is discovered in a Queensbury House fireplace, a homeless man throws himself off a bridge - leaving behind a suitcase full of cash - and an up-and-coming politician is found murdered. The links between the three deaths lead Rebus to a confrontation with one of Edinburgh's most notorious criminals, a man he thought he'd put in jail for life. Someone's going to make a lot of money out of Scotland's independence - and, as Inspector Rebus knows all too well, where there's big money at stake, darkness gathers.
Set in Darkness is another chilling and intelligent crime novel from master of the genre Ian Rankin.
In the 12th novel in the increasingly engaging Inspector Rebus series (Knots and Crosses; Dead Souls; etc.), Gold Dagger award-winner Rankin has woven a plot grittier and tighter than ever. When a body, long dead, is found on the site of the new Scottish Parliament and is soon followed by another, fresher kill, this time that of a leading candidate for the new governing body, Rebus is convinced of a connection between the two. Det. Siobhan Clarke witnesses a third death, the suicide of a surprisingly wealthy homeless man; the question of where his wealth came from seems related to the other deaths. Clarke, a determined young woman trying to make her way in the male world of police work, is a refreshing, complex addition to this series. Meanwhile, Big Ger Cafferty, arch foe of our hero, has been released from jail; he's terminally ill (or is he?) and apparently wants some quality time with Rebus in his final hours. By incorporating other strong characters, Rankin has saved the series from burrowing too far into the maudlin introspection associated with Rebus's drinking problem. Topical Scottish nationalism and the new Parliament, along with Rankin's consistently fascinating view of Edinburgh's seedy side, give the novel interest beyond its plot. And the plot is worthy of the series: raging and racing and teetering on the edge of falling apart, before Rankin slams the reader with a final masterful twist.