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57 of 63 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 9 months ago by pphillips

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3.0 out of 5 stars Maverick cop with a conscience
Ok, this is the second Rebus novel I’ve tried and I confess that I just don’t get the adulation poured on Rankin. On the positive side, this is a complex tale, told in a more realistic manner than the hyper-dramatic nature of some crime novels, and the setting of modern Scotland and the referendum makes it very contemporary – and yet it’s taken me...
Published 1 month ago by Roman Clodia


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57 of 63 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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This review is from: Saints of the Shadow Bible (Rebus) (Kindle Edition)
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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27 of 31 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
This review is from: Saints of the Shadow Bible (Rebus) (Kindle Edition)
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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This review is from: Saints of the Shadow Bible (Rebus) (Kindle Edition)
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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2 of 2 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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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 Good mystery with familiar well-liked characters, 1 Aug 2014
John Rebus, previously retired, is back working for the CID in Scotland. Having accepted a demotion Rebus is now supervised by his previous mentee Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke. They're investigating a car accident in which Jessica Traynor, the daughter of influential businessman Owen Traynor, was injured. Jessica claims she was the sole occupant of the crashed car but Rebus and Siobhan suspect someone else may have been driving - perhaps her boyfriend Forbes McCuskey, son of the Justice Minister. Meanwhile, Rebus and his former colleagues are being investigated by Inspector Malcolm Fox, who probes charges of police misconduct. Fox is looking into a 30-year-old murder case that occurred during Rebus's first posting at Summerhall. The murderer, Billy Saunders, escaped prosecution because the shady police badly mishandled the case. Rebus was a junior officer at the time and had little involvement with the Saunders fiasco. Now, however, his former colleagues are pressuring him to deflect the investigation. But Rebus - inherently honest - feels compelled to find out what really happened 30 years ago. Before long the Justice Minister is badly injured during a robbery, Billy Saunders disappears, illegal drugs get involved, a mummified dead body appears, and the game is on. As usual Rebus resists following orders and goes his own way, pissing off the brass and getting into trouble. This is a good mystery book with familiar well-liked characters.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Maverick cop with a conscience, 26 July 2014
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Saints of the Shadow Bible (Rebus) (Kindle Edition)
Ok, this is the second Rebus novel I’ve tried and I confess that I just don’t get the adulation poured on Rankin. On the positive side, this is a complex tale, told in a more realistic manner than the hyper-dramatic nature of some crime novels, and the setting of modern Scotland and the referendum makes it very contemporary – and yet it’s taken me weeks to finish this (and I’m a fast and compulsive reader) as I was just never really gripped.

Maybe it’s unfair to have jumped into a long-running series but I find Rebus himself very difficult to get a handle on: and the maverick cop with a conscience is surely absolutely standard fare in the genre?

The issue of how we should treat crimes committed in a culturally different past links this story, in some ways, to current discussions and legal cases – and Rankin in clearly an intelligent and socially-aware writer, not just a throwaway crime hack-novelist. So this ought to be a series that I’d love – but I’m afraid it’s just leaving me cold.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review, 3 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Saints of the Shadow Bible (Rebus) (Kindle Edition)
Good typical Rankin plot, however at times it got bogged down with the twp parallel story lines. True Rebus form and you can clearly relate to how he's aged but needs to be amongst the younger but equally bright colleagues in Siobhan and Malcom Fox. It makes the loyal Rebus reader feel like that they too have grown with him over the years. A good read but is it the last?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent chapter in the Rebus story, 24 Dec 2013
By 
No More Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Saints of the Shadow Bible, Ian Rankin, Orion, 2013, 328pp.

This is another excellent chapter in the Rebus story. This time, Detective Sergeant Rebus – reinstated at a lower rank as there was no room for another inspector – is working for Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke, and is looking into a car crash in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, they spot a few suspicious details, and slowly the bodies start to pile up, as does the web of crime and corruption that they slowly and steadily start to uncover. Intertwined with this is an investigation by Malcolm Fox – his final one before returning to the ranks of the CID - into a team of detectives that Rebus was part of when he first became a Detective Constable, to which Rebus is himself assigned…

Expect the expected, along with the unexpected, as we see a return to top form with the latest 5-star Rebus novel. As well as some deeply mysterious goings-on to be unravelled, we also get to look into the world of policing that Rebus grew up in and grew out of. We also get excellent characterisation of the regular cast, as they continue to grow and develop.
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