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Rebus: saint or sinner?

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rankinrebus0613storyEarlier this month the paperback version of Ian Rankin’s Standing in Another Man’s Grave came out and it saw the return of one of Scotland’s most famous crime fiction detectives: John Rebus. His creator had taken a break from JR and retired him off, preferring to focus on the newer Edinburgh detective Malcolm Fox. But he couldn’t leave him alone for long, and that paperback of Standing in Another Man’s Grave has now alerted us to the fact that another Rebus novel is on its way – there’s an ad in the back of the book for Saints of the Shadow Bible…

After the events of Standing… Rebus is begrudgingly back on the force, albeit with a demotion. And like in the previous book, it’s a cold case that’s giving him and his fellow detectives headaches. In fact, Rebus and his old colleagues are themselves coming under suspicion. Three decades back, they called themselves The Saints and swore an oath on a book they called The Shadow Bible – it all sounds a bit freemason-ish. Certainly, a crime has been lying under the carpet for some time, but were these old coppers responsible for it, and how long will it lay hidden? The backdrop to all of this is the very real prospect of Scottish independence and with campaigners for and against, are their saints and sinners among them?

saintsoftheshadowbibleThe book is due for release on 7 November this year and you can be sure of reading a review here on Crime Fiction Lover. It’s hard to believe Rebus has been going since 1987, and if you want to know more head over to Ian Rankin’s site which has recently been updated with a page all about the forthcoming book. There are also short profiles of Rebus, and his colleagues Malcolm Fox and Siobhan Clarke. Interstingly, like Standing in Another Man’s Grave draws its title from a song by the deceased folk musician Jackie Leven, who was a friend of Ian Rankin’s.

If you happen to be heading to Edinburgh for your summer holidays and have an iPhone, don’t forget to download the Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh app. It’s been around for a few years, but has just been updated not only with the opportunity to pre-order Saints of the Shadow Bible, but a tour of Leith Water has been added. This comes in addition to special Ian Rankin tours of the Old Town, the Royal Mile and New Town, which are all narrated by the author himself. For each stop there’s a short explanation by the author covering his interests in the places and how they relate to and appear in the Rebus stories. Record shops, police stations, pubs… you’ll get the full monty. Sadly, the Leith Water tour isn’t narrated by the author but by a female voice. Perhaps he’s been too busy writing?


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