Set in Darkness

Set in Darkness is a 2000 crime novel by Ian Rankin. It is the eleventh of the Inspector Rebus novels. It won the 2005 Grand Prix du Roman Policier (France)[1] under the title Du fond des ténèbres. The title comes from the poem "The Old Astronomer" by Sarah Williams. In an interview, Rankin linked the quote to the rise of a restored Scottish Parliament and the redemption of the Inspector in the novel.[2]

Set in Darkness
First edition
AuthorIan Rankin
SeriesInspector Rebus
GenreDetective novel
PublisherOrion Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages415 pp
Preceded byDead Souls 
Followed byThe Falls 

Plot summary

The Scottish Parliament is about to reopen in Edinburgh (in 1999) after 300 years. Detective Inspector John Rebus is in charge of liaison, as the new parliament is in his patch. While on a tour of Queensberry House, which is to be incorporated into the new Parliament, a fireplace where legend has it a youth was burned to death is opened up and another, more recent murder victim is found. Then, a prospective MSP called Roddy Grieve is found murdered, and Rebus is expected to find instant answers.


  1. "Ian Rankin". The British Council. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  2. Pierce, K. Kingston (January 2000). "January interviews Ian Rankin: The Accidental Crime Writer". January Magazine. Retrieved 28 August 2015.

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