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'Saints of the Shadow Bible', Ian Rankin

John Rebus is back, but not everyone is happy about it. Returned to duty after a stint working as a civilian in Edinburgh’s cold case squad, his superiors are tasked with finding a meaningful role for a detective whose methods were moulded in an era that most would rather forget. Meanwhile, his old adversary and antithesis, Inspector Fox of the Internal Complaints Division, continues to pick at old scabs, looking for past corruption alongside current misconduct, determined to bring the last of the capital’s dinosaur cops to heal once and for all.

A simple car crash on a country road offers an opportunity to get the unwanted detective out of everyone’s hair, but nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems. Connections blossom as Rebus begins an investigation which will take him from the cosy hostelries of the Old Town to the crumbling tenements of Niddrie, through the nation’s corridors of power, and to the very doors of its leaders. And in a twist which his superiors could never have foreseen, this current case will link to a far older one, and three separate investigating teams will be drawn back in time to examine a suspicious death from the early eighties, when Rebus was still new to CID, learning his trade at the hands of a different breed of policeman, one for whom the outcome mattered more than the procedure. Can the answers of today be found in the questionable past of criminal and policeman alike?It has taken twenty years, but for the first time Rankin introduces a young Rebus, fresh from the army, with an openness that leads his more jaded colleagues to wonder if he can be trusted with the secrets of their trade. And we watch him through the eyes of a much older Rebus, shop soiled and worn, beset by younger colleagues who wonder if he can be trusted at all.With 'Saints of the Shadow Bible', Ian Rankin returns to what he does best, and officially concludes the short retirement offered to his greatest literary creation, examining the impact that a unified police force – very much a new invention in terms of Scotland’s criminal justice system – is likely to have on those who police the nation’s streets, and those who seek to hide from them. In a novel bursting with dualities, old storylines conclude, and new partnerships beckon, as Rebus finds himself facing two questions as old as time itself: do the means ever truly justify the ends, and can a man’s sins ever truly be forgiven?

'Saints of the Shadow Bible' will be published by in hardcover by Orion on 7 November 2013.

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