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*Starred Review* Rankin took the gutsy step in Standing in Another Man's Grave (2013) of bringing back his much-loved maverick hero, John Rebus, and setting him opposite Malcolm Fox, internal-affairs cop, hero of The Complaints and The Impossible Dead (both 2011), and, seemingly, Rebus' polar opposite. That experiment was a resounding success, so, naturally, Rankin ups the ante still further. This time the formerly retired Rebus, now back on the force but at a lesser rank, and Fox, facing the dissolution of his IA unit and the prospect of becoming a real detective again, find themselves working together, taking advantage of a new Scottish law allowing the reprosecution of old crimes by digging into a 30-year-old murder. Ah, but there's a wrinkle. Rebus was a rookie at the time of the murder, the newbie in a squad of take-no-prisoners detectives who called themselves the Saints, and it looks like the new investigation may implicate the Saints, or at least some of them, in a cover-up or worse. Rebus investigating his buddies and, by extension, himself? Echoing the similar situation in which New Orleans detective Remy McSwain finds himself in Jim McBride's 1986 film The Big Easy, Rankin's narrative forces Rebus to come to terms with a shocking truth about himself: he's a cop first and a maverick second, a truth seeker before a rule breaker. That's a tough blow for the cantankerous Rebus to absorb, equaled only by the fact that he winds up respecting even, for God's sake, liking the hardworking Fox. Longtime fans of the series will savor every nuance in the subtle interplay between characters here, but Rankin doesn't forget the thriller plot, either, corkscrewing the narrative into a surprising and satisfying conclusion. Hats off to a writer who can keep a long-running series fresh by upsetting our expectations and rummaging ever deeper into the rag-and-bone shop of his characters' hearts.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2014 Booklist
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After a short-lived retirement, John Rebus (Exit Music; Standing in Another Man's Grave) returns to the Edinburgh police force albeit with a demotion. Serendipitously, a new law is passed that allows the Scottish police to reopen old cases. Malcolm Fox (The Complaints; The Impossible Dead), the officer in charge of Complaints (Internal Affairs), reexamines a 30-year-old case investigated in the 1980s, when Rebus was a young officer, by his old team, known as "the Saints." At the same time, Rebus teams up with his former mentee Siobhan Clarke to investigate a new case involving a young woman injured in a car accident. The evidence at the crime scene suggests foul play. When the young woman refuses to divulge the truth about the incident, Rebus and Clarke delve further into her life. Verdict Edgar Award winner Rankin's intricate plot and well-developed characters make this novel a must-read for Rankin fans, who will especially enjoy the Rebus-Fox matchup. By effectively recapping pertinent prior novels in the series, the author makes his latest title and his enigmatic protagonist accessible to new readers. [Eight-city tour.]-Russell Michalak, Goldey-Beacom Coll. Lib., Wilmington, DE (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.