The Saints Are Coming…
“Saints of the Shadow Bible” takes Ian Rankin’s John Rebus back to the time where ‘“Life on Mars” was a documentary, not fiction’ (that’s actually a line from the book. Meta.) when a case he was tenuously involved in as a young detective constable was reopened. The “Saints” of the title of the book is the name the detectives at Rebus’s first police station gave themselves – sort of one of those ‘what happens on the footy trip stays on the footy trip’ kind of thing – except with police work. And bashings and the like (bit of a theme with what I’m reading lately. Fair bit of biff. Although, most of the biff in this is of the historical kind. Poor old Rebus is a bit old for that sort of thing.) Every time they got in the car to go to a crime scene, they’d play “The Saints are Coming” by the Skids.
I really like the Rebus books. They hang about for a while after I’ve finished them. I like the burgeoning relationship between Malcolm Fox and Rebus. They’re different sides of different coins – but they’re alike in some ways and have a lot to learn from each other. I love it that Siobhan Clarke is now the DI and Rebus is back to a DS. She was always the boss of him, and now it’s official. Rebus is a lot more realistic character than, say, Jack Reacher – who is a giant caricature of himself. Rebus is a hard living, hard drinking, and still smoking old school detective with no real relationships outside of the police force. And the relationships he has there are in flux because of the changing nature of modern policing. Way less biff than there used to be, that’s for sure. He’s a dinosaur and proud of it, and the young ladies don’t mind giving him a hand with that new fangled teckernologies and stuff.
Anyway, this was pretty good on the whole. There were two, maybe three, sort of interlinked crimes – starting off with a suspicious car crash and ending up with a whole lot (at least three, I think) of dead people – a reasonable proportion of whom well deserved their state of deadness.
Perfect wet summer’s day read.