Thursday, May 8, 2014

When the Saints go marching in

The law of double jeopardy in England is reversed and the Solicitor General wants to reopen a 30 year old case. It involves people who John Rebus worked with when he was a new detective sergeant. These men called themselves the Saints of the Shadow Bible. This was a time when police could do many questionable things as long as they got the job done.

Rebus has returned to the job from retirement but the only opening was as detective sergeant. He accepts that and goes to work for his old friend Siobhan Clark, Detective Inspector.

The story opens when a car goes off the road and a young girl is found unconscious at the wheel. It appears that she's been moved into the driver's seat and the real driver fled the scene.

The reader follows Rebus as he travels in the Edinburgh area of Scotland. As usual, Rebus is a maverick who is difficult to work with. He often ignores what his supervisors want but he gets the job done with some exceptionally shrewd detective work.

Malcolm Fox is in charge of investigating the 30 year old case and he asks Rebus to work with him. The two men dislike each other but grudgingly go to work. Rebus doesn't want to rat on his old friends but there was a murder at that time, a man was found guilty but served no time because of tainted evidence. His old pals plead with him to leave things alone but Rebus has a strong moral ethic and feels that justice should be done.

The characters in Rankin's novel are so realistic that it seems as if the story is of people we know or might have heard about. I have enjoyed many of Rankin's novels and consider this as right up there with the best.

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