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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to have him back!
When Ian Rankin last year brought his most famous creation John Rebus out of retirement I was genuinely excited about the prospect of more Rebus books. The resultant book Standing in Another Man's Grave: A John Rebus Novel did not disappoint, if anything it exceeded my expectations and was a joy to read so it was wonderful news earlier this year when Rankin confirmed that...
Published 13 months ago by pphillips

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dullish and predictable
I have been a great Rebus reader for a number of years. However, I found 'Saints of . . . ' rather dull and predictable. I'm not sure where Ian Rankin can go any longer with Rebus. It seems to me that he and his publishers are squeezing the last ounce of credibility out of Rebus simply to make a nice few quid. I hope he comes up with something good. At the moment I am...
Published 11 months ago by W. R. Robinson


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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to have him back!, 25 Nov 2013
By 
pphillips (Leeds England) - See all my reviews
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When Ian Rankin last year brought his most famous creation John Rebus out of retirement I was genuinely excited about the prospect of more Rebus books. The resultant book Standing in Another Man's Grave: A John Rebus Novel did not disappoint, if anything it exceeded my expectations and was a joy to read so it was wonderful news earlier this year when Rankin confirmed that Rebus was back again in this years book.

As was revealed before publication Rebus is not just back in the book he is back on the force and back working with Siobhan however this time the roles have been reversed. Unlike in previous years Siobhan outranks and has more influence and pull than the newly reinstated Rebus. It is in my opinion one of the standout parts of the book the way Rankin highlights the new position for them and shows both of them struggling to fully come to terms with the switch in power.

Another of Rankin's creations Malcolm Fox from the Professional Standards, or complaints to you or me features heavily in this book. Indeed Malcolm who is investigating a potential cover up in Rebus past has far more of the book than I was expecting and the tension and mistrust between him and Rebus is another highlight.

The one minor area of complaint I would have is that after hinting at a reconciliation with his daughter in the last book Ian decided to almost completely drop the subject this time around. I was looking forward to the development of their relationship and was slightly disappointed that more was not made of it.

All in all this was another fantastic Ian Rankin book. Any fears that the return of Rebus would have a negative effect on the Rebus series have been well and truly put to bed with this book. In my opinion this is one of the top five Rankin/Rebus books and I could not recommend it any higher.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wants Or Sinners, 18 Nov 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
"The Scottish Government intends to hold a referendum of the Scottish electorate, on the issue ofindependence from the United Kingdom, on Thursday 18 September 2014 following an agreement between the Scottish Government and HM Government.The Referendum Bill, setting out the arrangements for this referendum, was put forward on 21 March 2013. The question asked in the referendum will be "Should Scotland be an independent country?"
Wikipedia

Rebus is back in CID, Criminal Investigation Department, a Detective Sargeant, having been demoted for who knows what. His superior is none other than DI Clarke. Rebus had been her mentor, he retired and then went to Cold Cases, and now that was dismantled, and, he had done such 'good' work he was kept on in CID. The other news is that the Malcom Fox, who was part of the hated Professional Standards, is now working with the Solicitor General on one more case before Professional Standards is shut down. He hopes to work with CID. Is this too much or not? Rebus and Fox together?

Some crimes occur that threaten to destabilize both sides in the referendum campaign. The 'Yes' campaign has an apparent murder of the SNP Justice Minister. But it's the possible involvement in another murder by Stefan Gilmour, a prominent businessman and leading 'No' man in the 'campaign, that causes the real problems for Rebus.

In the1980s, Gilmour had been the DI at Summerhall police station when Rebus was a lowly DC. just starting out. Those were the days when 'anything goes' in the Scottish police, and usually did. Rebus was new to the job and was not privy nor trusted with much of what was going on, criminal or dirty police work. Now, Rebus is asked to work with DI Clarke and Malcom Fox, all three together, to look at the old Summerhall gang, and one crime in particular. Isn't this interesting? Rebus, as usual gets into hot water at many turns, but he has the gut instinct of a good cop and knows when things are wrong, and knows how to find the truth. Clarke and Fox work warily but well together. Is there a future, there?

Rebus, as we know is of the old school, computers and the internet are not his thing. People skills are not his thing, getting along with his superiors are not his thing. Just what is his thing, following up,clues and solving the murders. How will this end, the three of them, Clarke, Fox and Rebus? It is anyone's guess.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-18-13
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebus Still Here, and in Fine Form, 3 Jan 2014
For fans of Detective Inspector John Rebus, his "retirement" in the excellent Exit Music was a sad moment. But author Ian Rankin knows that fans, old and new, can't get enough of the cantankerous, hard-drinking, rogue detective, who plays by his own rules no matter the damage it does to his personal or professional life. In Saints of the Shadow Bible, the second Rebus book since that short-lived retirement, Rebus has been demoted to a Detective Sergeant, but this doesn't concern him in the least; the only thing he loves is the job. He is united with Malcolm Fox, an Internal Affairs inspector who has starred in his own Rankin books, starting with The Complaints.
At times not trusting each other, at times coming close to blows, the two men must learn to work together on a series of seemingly unrelated crimes, some of which span back to Rebus's first days on the force, 30 years earlier, as well as new murder investigations that cross their paths. All this takes place in the context of the run-up to Scotland's referendum on independence, where even street-level crimes may have political motivations, and politicians with specific agendas either push or block the investigations that suit them. Rebus, as always his own man, has to cut through the double-talk in order to find kernels of truth.
Rankin eventually ties all the story-lines together, although it's almost impossible to follow the many threads that make up the complex puzzle of this book. Fans of the Rebus series probably don't care how complicated the mystery becomes, nor will they question the logical leaps that Rebus manages to make in order to solve the various crimes. What matters is dropping in on this old friend, seeing him seemingly down and out, and then rising again in defiance of all the odds to best his rivals, whether these rivals are other, "by the book" policemen, stuffed-shirt politicians or the criminal low-lifes that he seems most comfortable around.
Perhaps more than any of his earlier books, Saints looks deep into Rebus's past to question his ethics and his disregard of anybody else's way of doing things. He's getting older, perhaps more introspective, but he's still driven to solve crimes and punish those he considers the bad guys. He's aware that abusive police tactics from his earlier days will no longer be tolerated, and he has to manage to solve the crimes while not getting into any more trouble. It's a delicate balancing act that he pulls it off once more in this terrific book, and no fan of this great detective series can ask for more than that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can rebus keep going, 25 Dec 2013
I do hope Jr can keep going, must admit warmed to Malcolm Fox in this book, so a change may not be a hardship
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen, 23 Dec 2013
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great book from start to finish, Rankin setting the three main characters together when eventually Rebus will go leaving Clarke and Fox to carry on the good work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melancholic Retrospective, 21 Oct 2014
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The past might feel like ancient history, but no one knows better than Rebus how it has a habit of catching up with you.

When politics and policing mix no stone is left unturned and everyone can be hurt when those in powerful places are looking to score points against their enemies.

Rebus finds himself torn between doing the right thing and protecting old friends. As the bodies start to pile up Rebus must put his trust in Michael Fox, a man who has little respect for Rebus, and whose actions could lead to John's loyalties being tested to the limit.

Rankin on top form showing us once again that there is always another Rebus story to tell and this one was absolutely gripping.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tense, authentic and deep police procedural, 3 Oct 2014
Policemen serving in Internal Affairs units are hated by their colleagues worldwide and their return to normal duty is problematic. Ian Rankin (IR) wrote 2 riveting books about Malcolm Fox (MF), an ambitious and scrupulous employee of such a ‘complaints’ unit. Here MF locks horns with John Rebus (JR) in a strange, complicated and exhausting duel lasting 14 intense days investigating a number of killings.
Early in his career in the early 1980s, young Rebus was posted to a corrupt, law-breaking and vicious detective police detail, whose own nickname is this book’s title. Thirty+ years later, its surviving members meet, following a recent change on double jeopardy under Scottish law: cases once dismissed by jury and judge, can be re-opened. This threatens some ex-Saints more than others: one is dead, another dying, leaving three members, including Rebus.
This very tense novel written in 14 numbered chapters with lots of sub-sections, describes their unfurling crisis during the early run-up to the September 2014 Scottish referendum vote on independence. It sees another return of John Rebus to police duties, albeit as a lowly DCS on probation with his former trainee and lover, DCI Siobhan Clark as his boss.
Once again, spot-on dialogues and characterization and full of urgency and atmosphere. Young Darryl Christie, first introduced in “Standing in another Man’s Grave”, comes across as a worthy successor to earlier Edinburgh gangster bosses. Hope the series continues, but this police procedural underlines on many of its pages that creative crime fighters like John Rebus are a dying species, unloved by colleagues, not only in Scotland.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rebus Returns, 18 July 2014
By 
Ted Feit (Long Beach, NY USA) - See all my reviews
When the Cold Case Group in which Rebus has been working is eliminated, he lucks out by being taken back with a spot in CID, albeit with a demotion. Reduced from DI to DS, he now is subordinate to his long-time protégé, DI Clarke. Of course, that doesn’t stop the old dinosaur from acting like he always has.

Rankin introduces a couple of surprises in this novel, the first being having Malcolm Fox, Rebus’s standing nemesis, as a co-investigator working together. It comes about because Fox is performing his last assignment with the Complaints looking at a 30-year-old case involving the group known as the Saints of the Shadow Bible because they each swore fidelity to protect each other on a stand-in for the holy book. Rebus had joined the group as a young DC soon after the arrest of a snitch who eventually got off on a murder charge through police mistakes. This was in the Old Days, when anything went and they made their own rules. The Solicitor General recently pushed through a retraction of the double jeopardy rule and was looking to resurrect the murder charge. Rebus volunteers to assist in Fox’s efforts and the two learn to trust one another, leading to cooperation in another more recent investigation involving an auto accident and the murder of the Minister of Justice.

As with the rest of the series, Rebus shines and errs, but his character and ability always comes through. The author has no need of our praise, but deserves accolades nonetheless. The complexity of the plot provides Rebus with the chance to outthink everyone, but the surprise is that Fox rises to the occasion as a real CID detective. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Still Got It..(Just), 30 Nov 2014
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Rankin and Rebus for the 19th time - too much of a good thing? For me, no. OK Rankin's latest does, at times, feel as though we're going over old ground - Edinburgh's gangster fraternity entangled with politicians and 'respectable' businessmen (with the 2014 Referendum thrown in for topical interest), whilst old-timer, corrupt cops look over their shoulders, nervous about past misdemeanours. But, I still find Rankin's writing style - intricate plotting, delivered via terse prose redolent with nostalgia and dark humour - pretty irresistible, making these (near) 400 pages devourable in a handful of sittings.

My main (only?) criticism would be that, if anything, Saints is too plot-driven and there is a shortage of rambling, internal cogitation - particularly relating to Rebus (who has, of course, had a detailed backstory previously, around family history and cultural interests), but also to subsidiary characters - notably Siobhan and (soon-to-be) ex-Complaints man, Malcolm Fox. It appears that this `threesome' is to be central to Rankin/Rebus going forward, in which case Rankin needs to beef up these characters (as well as introducing other, more substantive, characters) to maintain (my) future interest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, 5 July 2014
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Once again, Ian Rankin has written a book which is impossible to put down. Rebus continues to grow and develop. His relationships change and he becomes even more credible. Rankin explores the differences in policing during the lifetime of our favourite detective and we are taken with him as he wrestles with the pull on his conscience and loyalties.
Well worth reading.
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Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus 19)
Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus 19) by Ian Rankin (Audio CD - 7 Nov 2013)
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