Rankin to rehabilitate Malcolm Fox Rebus character

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IAN Rankin’s two detective characters, John Rebus and the newer Malcolm Fox, will team up in the crime writer’s latest book.

The two cops clashed in Rankin’s last novel as grizzled Rebus was investigated by Fox as he tried to re-join the force.

Ian Rankin.  Picture: Ian Rutherford

Ian Rankin. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Rankin, whose Edinburgh-set novels have sold millions around the world, said he wanted to “rehabilitate” Fox after the Complaints department officer squared off again Rebus in Standing in Another Man’s Grave, which came out last year.

In Saints of the Shadow Bible, which is released in November this year, the two crimefighters will work together on a 30-year-old case which Rebus’ team worked on at the time and has been reopened.

Rankin said in a YouTube video that fans had seen Fox, who first appeared in 2009, as the “baddie,” as he did not see Rebus as a fit policeman for the 21st century and tried to prevent him re-entering the force.

Rankin said: “I knew that a rehabilitation project had to be undertaken and in this new book hopefully, hopefully I rehabilitate Malcolm somewhat.

“From investigating Rebus he actually goes to working with Rebus and as the pair of them get to know each other they come to an understanding of what makes each man tick.

“And maybe through that not sympathy but empathy. Hopefully that rehabilitation has been undertaken to a satisfactory degree.”

Rankin also says Rebus will now be answering to his former protege, Siobhan Clarke.

The author also said: “Rebus is back on the force but demoted and reporting to Siobhan.

“He’s still a rogue cop with a major chip on his shoulder but this time round it’s his past that Fox is investigating.”

Old-fashioned cop Rebus first appeared in Knots and Crosses, which was released in 1987, and after retiring in Exit Music he reappears as a civilian working in a cold case unit in Standing in Another man’s Grave.

Detective Inspector Malcolm Fox works for the police’s Complaints and Conduct department, which investigates other officers and is viewed with hostility by others in the force.

Rankin said earlier this year: “They’re both in the book, but whether they’re teaming up or adversaries is something I’ll leave for people to find out.”