Saints of the Shadow Bible is set on the gritty streets of Edinburgh, Scotland and once again brings us John Rebus who, not long ago, thought he had had enough of the life that goes along with being a policeman.
Scotland’s crankiest homicide detective tried to stick with his retirement but just couldn’t do it once he realized life without the aggravation of dealing with murderers and police colleagues just wasn’t that much fun. He even stooped to returning to the force even though he would be subordinate to his former Sergeant Siobhan Clarke. Part of the fun of this book is the marked differences between the two detectives; Rebus is old and male, Clarke is young and female, Rebus is old and set in his ways while Clarke is more on the progressive side of things. I always get the feeling Rebus is mentally rolling his eyes at all the youngsters in the police force and even the political world as they try their hand at shaking things away from the status quo as fast as they can.
There’s the usual Rebus sharp elbow as he does things his way and his way rarely matches up with the way his superiors see things. We also get a glimpse into Rebus’s past when a thirty year old murder investigation rears its ugly head and puts the head strong detective in direct conflict with Malcom Fox, the much unloved Internal Affairs officer who keeps close tabs on Rebus.
The “Saints” from the title refer to Rebus’s old colleagues who were a tight clique thirty years ago and Fox suspects Rebus and his cohorts of corruption back in their hay day.
This book is a great read and made me want to reread Black and Blue another Rebus novel that author Ian Rankin has said remains his favorite Rebus tale. If you like good plot lines and somewhat hard edged characters you’ll enjoy Saints.
Saints of the Shadow Bible is 389 pages and was published by Hachette Book Groups Little, Brown and Company in the United States in 2014 and was published in Great Britain by Orion in 2013.
Other Ian Rankin books featuring John Rebus include; Knots & Crosses, Strip Jack, Dead Souls, The Falls, Resurrection Men, A Question of Blood, Fleshmarket Alley, The Naming of the Dead and Exit Music.