Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin

‘Saints of the Shadow Bible’ is the 19th book in the Rebus series and the 4th in the Malcolm Fox series and Ian Rankin has managed to find a starring role for John Rebus, Malcolm Fox and Siobhan Clarke in one book.

Rebus has been accepted back into the police force but only with a demotion from Detective Inspector to Detective Sergeant. He is now working with DI Siobhan Clarke as his boss. They are investigating a car accident where the evidence doesn’t quite add up.

The boyfriend of the car’s owner is the son of a prominent Scottish MP. Shortly after the car accident, there is another incident involving the MP. Rebus and Siobhan don’t believe in coincidence and think that the MP and his son were probably targets.

Meanwhile, a change to the Scottish law means that some old cases can be retried. The solicitor general has reopened a case from 30 years ago where Billy Saunders was cleared of murder. The original investigation was carried out at Summerhall police station and Rebus was a junior member of the team. The Summerhall team called themselves the Saints and swore on a book known as the Shadow Bible. They were also known for bending the rules. Now Malcolm Fox, in his last job for internal investigations, is trying to find out just how bent the Saints were, and how involved Rebus was with the Saints.

Of course, Rebus manages to place himself in the middle of all these investigations (including the investigation of himself) and tie them all together. He even manages to move Fox towards his goal of being a detective again. But, with his old colleagues under the microscope, can he escape from the crimes of his past. And, how much has Rebus moved on from the days where it was acceptable to achieve results at any cost.


This was a brilliant novel for finally tying Rebus and Fox together. But, how many more Rebus novels can there be – with his age and lifestyle. We’ll just have to wait and see what Ian Ranking produces next!

Next in series – ‘Even Dogs in the Wild‘.


Book Published 2013


See a full list of books by Ian Rankin

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Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Detective, Rankin, Ian, Series Fiction, Thriller

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