I have an addiction to crime fiction and one of my favourite crime writers is Ian Rankin. I’ve had the pleasure of reading two of his books in the last few months – Standing in another man’s grave and Saints of the Shadow Bible. They both have Rebus as their main protagonist and he is a detective I can’t help but like.
Rebus is brilliant at solving crime, is hard bitten, alone and attractive to women despite his unattractive lifestyle. In fact he deviates from another of my favourite detectives, Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse, only in his taste in music – he is a fan of really good rock rather than really good classical.
The Rebus books bring to life the seedy underworld of Edinburgh as well as venturing into other parts of Scotland. Standing in another man’s grave starts with the return of Rebus five years after his retirement to solve a series of disappearances all linked to the A9 road. The life of the road crew doing the roadworks is an unusual and evocative setting and it’s gripping from start to finish.
Saints of the Shadow Bible deals with Rebus’ past as one of a group of detectives he worked with at the very start of his career, when police methods were even less orthodox than Rebus’ more recent unorthodox techniques. He has a contemporary set of crimes to solve, as well as uncovering the truth hidden from him by his older and corrupt colleagues thirty years ago.
If you haven’t had the absolute pleasure of reading Ian Rankin, you have a treat in store, as you can follow Rebus from his beginning in Knots and Crosses, through 19 more fantastic books, and hopefully to many more to come.