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 ...'Rankin continues to be unsurpassed among living British crime writers...He makes the reader feel part of the scene, and enhances the experience with his virtuosity with dialogue ...But all these virtues would count for little if Rankin didn't also possess the most important asset of them all - the ability to tell a damned good story' The Times
Edinburgh police detective John Rebus, Ian Rankin's popular series detective, is a brilliantly realized character, as moody, dark, and melancholy as Edinburgh itself. In The Falls, he's almost certain that missing university student Philippa Balfour is dead, but he's 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. It's 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 Philippa's screen name--to join him in a bizarre scavenger hunt that might lead Clarke to Philippa's body, her killer, or her own death.
This time out Rebus has a new boss, who's 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. A bestseller in the U.K., The Falls is Rankin's best yet. --Jane Adams