The Saints of the Shadow Bible

Ian Rankin has been writing books featuring the detective John Rebus for almost as long as I’ve been reading crime fiction, which, ahem, is quite a while. A few books ago, Rankin retired Rebus and created another character, Malcolm Fox who worked in the police complaints division, and was naturally, loathed by all of his colleagues. A subsequent book had them meeting and in this new book Fox is back in detective mode and Rebus, after a brief sojourn in a cold case unit has become a detective again, albeit at a lower rank than he was when he left. This provides the story with the interesting situation of Siobhan Clarke who was for so long subordinate to Rebus as now being his boss. Not that that that means Rebus won’t still do his own thing. Not at all.
The title of the book, Saints of the Shadow Bible refers to the self named team Rebus joined as a young, green detective many years previously. Rebus had left them all behind but a summons from a dying member threatens to bring it all back, and not in a good way. A new Solicitor General who wants to make a mark is opening an old case and some dirty laundry is about to be exposed. Rebus and Fox strike an uneasy alliance to solve a current case and Fox, against his better judgement, becomes involved in proving whether Rebus has his own dirty laundry or not. Siobhan meanwhile is struggling with her own history with Rebus and whether that is clouding her judgement.
The city of Edinburgh is less of a character than usual in this book and I miss that but Saints of the Shadow Bible is still a good installment in the continuing story of John Rebus. And probably of Malcolm Fox. $33sainbts

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Filed under Crime Fiction, Fiction Reviews

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