Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus, #19)” as Want to Read:
Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus, #19)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus #19)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  5,008 ratings  ·  723 reviews
Rebus and Malcolm Fox go head-to-head when a 30-year-old murder investigation resurfaces, forcing Rebus to confront crimes of the past

Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. He is investigating a car accident when news arrives that a case from 30 years ago is being reopened. Rebus's team from those days is suspected of helping a murde
Hardcover, 389 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
James Thane
Scottish detective John Rebus returns for the nineteenth time in this gripping tale in which both the character and the story are as fresh and entertaining as they were in the first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses, which was published in 1987.

Rebus is considerably older by now, but just as cantankerous and just as grimly determined to pursue his own path to justice irrespective of what his superiors might think. A few years ago, Rebus reached mandatory retirement age and had to leave the force, b
Lewis Weinstein
Rebus is back, as flawed and wonderful as ever. Multiple plots emerge, multiple officers seek solutions, and Rebus belligerently disobeys orders and winds his way through the morass to develop new leads and confront suspects, including police with whom he worked three decades before.

Serious questions are raised over police tactics that take the law into their own hands. The reader is left to decide when, if ever, such approaches are justified.

Underlying the action are pointed and sometimes dist
Mal Warwick
Let us count the ways that Ian Rankin’s antisocial Scottish police detective, John Rebus, is worth following, book after book (Saints of the Shadow Bible is the 19th in the Rebus series):

He is delightfully contrarian, always finding openings to new perspectives in the cracks between revealed facts, and thus he frequently surprises.
His dialogue with his longtime partner (now his superior), Siobhan (“Shiv”) Clarke, is so palpably believable that you can picture yourself in the room hearing their c
Andrew Smith
When Rebus returned following retirement, in Standing in Another Man’s Grave, I was pleased to see him back but a little disappointed with the result. This time around, now demoted to sergeant but no longer working cold cases, it’s much more like the rough-hewn Rebus of old. I loved it!

It’s complex and dual plotted as Rebus probes a routine but slightly dodgy road accident and Malcolm Fox (Rankin’s Internal Affairs investigator followed in a separate series) examines a 30 year old case in which
L.K. Jay
John Rebus is back again, again, but this time he's back on the police force and demoted down to DS, which his friend and comrade Siobhan, now a DI, likes to remind him of every so often. In jest of course.

He's really on form this time and I loved every minute of it. As ever, the plot revolves around current events that concern Scotland but with a killer plot to go with it. I liked that Rebus and Fox join forces, I wondered when that would happen and I hope that they continue to have adventures
SAINTS OF THE SHADOW BIBLE. (2014). Ian Rankin. ***.
Rankin was not up to his usual quality with this his latest Inspector Rebus novel. Rebus is still a low-level detective in what was the Unsolved Crime group, but also gets involved in events of current interest to the Scotland force. We start off with an auto accident, in which a young woman is found in the driver’s seat, but the shoe from her foot is found on the passenger’s side. Fortunately, the air bag went off, but her seat belt was unfast
Rankin neatly dovetails two series (those featuring Inspector Rebus of the Edinburgh Police and Malcolm Fox of the Complaints), and in this latest novel the longtime adversaries work together to solve a cold case involving Rebus's old associates in the police force.

Rebus has come out of retirement to work on unsolved crimes but finds himself involved in a new case as well. Siobhan Clark has taken over Rebus' old role as Detective Inspector and now commands Rebus, rather than the other way around
Each of Ian Rankin's Rebus novels is a gem, but this one is the best yet. If you've never read Rebus, this is a fine place to start. If you're already a fan of the series, you're in for an extra-special treat.
Sandy Buchanan
A classic Rebus, a return to form after the lacklustre (in my opinion) previous 'Standing in Another Man's Grave', could we be seeing a more permanent partnering of Rebus, Fox and Clarke?
Ian Simpson
In the early 1980s I defended a man in the High Court. He had been charged with armed robbery and the main evidence against him was a signed confession. According to the police, he had dictated this two-page document and signed it after tripping, falling and breaking his jaw on the way in to the interview room. In those days, questions of fairness were left up to the jury and despite me asking them to disregard the 'confession' they convicted, no doubt being more interested in whether he had com ...more
Double jeopardy...

When the 'double jeopardy' law is relaxed, the Solicitor General asks Malcolm Fox to reinvestigate a case from the '80s, one involving a young DC Rebus. It had been thought at the time that the officers of Summerhall had tampered with the evidence to allow a murderer to go free - a murderer who also happened to be an informer to the head of the Summerhall team. Meantime, in the present day, Siobhan Clarke and Rebus are back working as a team. With the new rules on retirement ag
Nigel Bird
The latest Rebus novel is a real treat. The tagline on the cover reads ‘Saint or Sinner?’ and we all know there’s no easy answer to that one. It’s his duality that makes the man such an interesting character. It’s that duality that allows us to excuse some of our own extremes.
For a law-enforcer who began his career in a very different climate than we have today, the contradictions of Rebus are marked. He’s to live with the things he sees and understands about human nature and, at the same time,
Aunty Janet
More Rebus from Ian Rankin... I've read and enjoyed them all.
''When a young woman is found unconscious at the wheel of her car, evidence at the scene suggests this was no ordinary crash. Especially when it turns out her boyfriend is the son of the Scottish Justice Minister and neither of them is willing to talk to the police.
Meanwhile, John Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a big demotion and an even larger chip on his shoulder. A new law has been passed allowing the Scottish police to re-
Usually I really enjoy Rankin's very Scottish style and this is really no exception. The bloodimindedness, the snarky sense of humor, the tenacious hold the job has on the characters, the convoluted mysteries and clues - everything written to hold the reader including the familiarity of the characters. And I did enjoy it. Just not as much as usual. Rebus needs to mature just a bit and learn to look in all directions before he crosses the line. I do enjoy his former underling now outranking him. ...more
Rebus is back but demoted to Inspector Sergeant. He was required to retire due to age and when he came back, he couldn't return at his old rank. Little happens in this novel. There is a car accident with one young woman found injured at the scene of the accident. But Rebus isn't satisfied it's as simple as that. Well, why not? In the end when he finds out, and it is a convoluted, I didn't care. Rebus is faced with Malcolm Fox, the officer who works in the Complaints unit, investigating police mi ...more
Tom Greer
Ian Rankin is still the premier exponent of "Tartan Noir" despite these days having several challengers. And Rebus is the best of Rankin.

In Saints of the Shadow Bible the tables are turned because Siobhan Clarke is now his boss although Rebus doesn't treat her as his superior... surprise, surprise. Also, Rankin has one of his less successful characters, Malcolm Fox of "the Complaints" join forces with Rebus, and as Fox is about to rejoin CID I can see this pairing becoming Rankin's norm, for a
The law of double jepordy in England is reversed and the Solicitor General wants a case from 30 years ago, reviewed. It includes men John Rebus worked with and was from a time when police took more liberties to put criminals in jail. There had been a murder and the accused went free due to tampered evidence. This person was a source of information to one of the police officers at that time.

There are two levels to this story. In both Rebis is back on the job as a Detective Sergeant. First he inve
John Rebus flirted with retirement for a while but found out it didn't suit him. He went back to the Borders and Lothian Police in a civilian capacity, working on cold cases, in Standing in Another Man's Grave but that just increased his itch to get back into the fray once again.

When the retirement rules were loosened, allowing old guys like him to continue to work, he applied to get back in harness. He was given a job, but since the police had no openings for Detective Inspectors, he had to ta
I'm a Rebus fan, and it was always going to be difficult for me not to enjoy this book; too difficult, as it turns out.

Things to like: Well, John Rebus. Siobhan Clark's development continues, and Malcolm Fox is on form. A good deal of humour running through the book and I liked the interplay between these three. The story itself was engaging and, as always, developed quickly.

Things not to like: Not much. It's primarily reading the Rebus series that got me hooked on books again, so the style I'm
Tim Niland
One of my favorite characters, the irascible Edinburgh police detective John Rebus is back on the case. Getting used to a role-reversal where he is demoted to Detective Sergeant while his protege Siobhan Clarke is promoted to Detective Inspector, they draw a seemingly simple case. A car is driven off the road in a lonely stretch of land near the airport leaving one person critically injured. But the accident seems staged, and the victim seems to have been dragged into the driver's side to make i ...more
Inspector John Rebus has come out of retirement albeit to a lower rank but, although the demotion galls him, it’s better than nothing. Unfortunately his return coincides with a change to the double jeopardy law and now the Police Complaints Department is looking at an old case in which Rebus’ former colleagues from the Summerhill CID are involved. Rebus was a newly branded detective when he became one of the Saints of the Shadow Bible as they called themselves, old school detectives back in the ...more
Another page turning, good read by Ian Rankin. I did figure out at least part of the mystery about half way through, but then so will most of you. However, there is so much more to Ian Rankin and Rebus than just the story line.
Kathy Davie
Nineteenth in the Inspector Rebus mystery series, revolving around a rogue detective who prefers to do things his way, and fourth in the Inspector Malcolm Fox mystery series involving Fox, a cop who investigates other cops in Edinburgh.

My Take
It's a curious merger of Malcolm Fox from Complaints, Siobhan Clarke as the new superior, and John Rebus going his own way and learning new tricks. Yeah, who knew? It's also a look at then and now, at cops doing business 30-some years back and how it's done
Gloria Feit
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 perfo
P.D.R. Lindsay
I've been having a Rankin/Rebus read-fest since I found a collection of Ian Rankin's books on sale. Remarkable books all of them. I gather Ian Rankin has the problem of being a best selling author and a writer of crime fiction therefore he isn't a proper literary writer. The so-called critics and literati who come up with these theories need to do some reading. Ian Rankin makes words dance. He uses the perfect verb every time and searches out the exact phrase. He doesn't think his readers are st ...more
Some years ago it was with a feeling of considerable sadness and personal loss that I closed Exit Music, the "last Rebus novel." So there was a whoop of joy when I discovered that Rankin had decided to resurrect (I choose this word consciously) the old bugger.

Saints of the Shadow Bible is a tremendously readable and entertaining tale of Rebus and Siobhan Clarke -- now his superior officer -- solving a cluster of crimes (that of course prove all to be related) in the company of Malcolm Fox, Ranki
t's always such a pleasure to pick up a book by Ian Rankin. The writing never fails to be excellent, and the nuances are always a pleasant surprise. This book unites his original character, John Rebus, and his newer character, Malcolm Fox. The two are as different as they can be. Rebus is an 80's cop, a guy who should be retired, except what would he do with himself day after day? He did things the old way, often in the shadows, and not always in line with police procedure. He's also a police of ...more
Amanda Patterson
John Rebus has come out of retirement, and he is back on the police force with a demotion from DI to DS. DI Siobhan Clarke is now his boss. But Rebus just wants to catch criminals.
While he's investigating a suspicious car crash, he's told that a case from 30 years ago is about to be reopened. Malcolm Fox is investigating a murder involving police officers who called themselves the Saints of the Shadow Bible - and Rebus was one of them. Rebus is first to admit the police did things differently in
When I found out I'd won a copy of Ian Rankin's Saints of the Shadow Bible through First Reads, I immediately went out and bought a lottery ticket. I mean winning a book is good luck, but winning one by one of my favorite authors and featuring one of my favorite recurring characters is just too many good omens to overlook. This is without a doubt one of the three or four best books that I've read in the last four years. I remember being saddened when I thought I'd finished what was supposed to b ...more
Chuck Slack
It is with joy and sadness that I finished this wonderful book as I have finished the series. I have read the books in order and have cherished them. I didn't want to read them all at once so I saved them. Always making sure I had one for the annual vacation at the lake. This book is one in a line of great books. The Rebus series has some fantastic stories but it is Rebus the character that resonates with me most.

A line near the end of this book is good at characterizing Rebus "Rebus leaned tow
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Abattoir Blues (Inspector Banks, #22)
  • Shatter The Bones (Logan McRae, #7)
  • The Chessmen (Lewis Trilogy, #3)
  • Cross and Burn (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, #8)
  • The Red Road (Alex Morrow #4)
  • Dead Water (Shetland Island, #5)
  • A Small Weeping
  • The Hanging Shed (Douglas Brodie, #1)
  • In the Morning I'll be Gone (Detective Sean Duffy, #3)
  • Dead Man's Time (Roy Grace, #9)
  • Laidlaw (Jack Laidlaw, #1)
AKA Jack Harvey.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.

Ian Rankin has been elected a
More about Ian Rankin...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Rebus (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)
  • Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus, #2)
  • Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus, #3)
  • Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus, #4)
  • The Black Book (Inspector Rebus, #5)
  • Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus, #6)
  • Let It Bleed (Inspector Rebus, #7)
  • Black and Blue (Inspector Rebus, #8)
  • The Hanging Garden (Inspector Rebus, #9)
  • Dead Souls (Inspector Rebus, #10)

Share This Book

“parked and placed the POLICE sign on the dashboard.” 0 likes
More quotes…