The Impossible Dead

The Impossible Dead

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Malcolm Fox and his team from Internal Affairs are back. They've been sent to Fife to investigate whether fellow cops covered up for a corrupt colleague, Detective Paul Carter. Carter has been found guilty of misconduct with his own uncle, also in the force, having proved to be his nephew's nemesis. But what should be a simple job is soon complicated by intimations of conspiracy and cover-up - and a brutal murder, a murder committed with a weapon that should not even exist. The spiralling investigation takes Fox back in time to 1985, a year of turmoil in British political life. Terrorists intent on a split between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom were becoming more brazen and ruthless, sending letter-bombs and poisonous spores to government offices, plotting kidnaps and murder, and trying to stay one step ahead of the spies sent to flush them out.

Fox has a duty to get at the truth, while the body count rises, the clock starts ticking, and he fights for his professional and personal life.
Publisher: London : Orion, c2011
ISBN: 9780752889542
Branch Call Number: M RAN
Characteristics: 373 p. ;,25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

An excellent tale wound in political intrigue if the Scottish nationalist movement. I enjoyed the characters' Idiosyncrasies.

rb3221 Jul 04, 2016

Since I am a John Rebus fan, I had some difficulty warming up to Malcolm Fox and his somewhat uninspiring side kicks. Fox, working for the Complaints or Internal Affairs, is trying to solve a complicated case.
The plot starts very slowly, is occasionally difficult to follow and eventually leads to a tense and dramatic ending. Overall a reasonably good novel but for me not one of Rankin's best.

Feb 22, 2014

A "Inspector Morse in Scotland" type of easygoing and slow paced narrative, not a gripping or suspenseful mystery. The premise of a detective from the Complaints dept (Brit equivalent of Internal Affairs in US) sets up additional barriers to the investigations. The interactions between the three characters of the team is well developed, not so much with the rest of the world. Worth adding to the bottom of the reading list than the top.

Feb 15, 2014

Enjoyed an innocuous comment in here that alludes to Rebus. A Nice a hah moment for DI Rebus fans to catch.

Jan 26, 2014

Ian Rankin's Malcolm Fox is good; it will take another couple of books to further develop his character.

AuntJane Jun 28, 2013

Like others I look for Rebus in the corners, but this is a good series and I look forward to reading the next installment!

Mar 12, 2013

I didn't like this one nearly as much as "The Complaints." The ending was forced, it was the proverbial rabbit pulled out of a hat at the last minute to make the book work and to supposedly make the reader gasp

Mar 08, 2013

I enjoyed this - Fox is being a bit of a rebel by being "a true detective" - not what people expect from someone in "Complaints".

Feb 22, 2013

Malcom Fox book 2

Aug 26, 2012

Agree with those who say this is "typical Rankin" and "a good read".

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Jan 18, 2012

v_kohuch thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 65


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PMPL

To Top