Friday, 26 January 2007

REBUS and I - Ian Rankin reveals all (well, for the sake of decency not quite all)

It’s not really hard to get Ian Rankin to talk about John Rebus, so Calum MacLeod, journalist and SHOTS contributor, managed to get a few words in edge-ways. The full interview is now live at our website. To read the full interview click here. But in the meanwhile, here’s a teaser:

There will be one detective it will be hard to escape in 2007.
From a brand new edition of his first recorded case in March to the publication of his final case in October, there will be television shows, exhibitions, new reading guides to the backlist and even, appropriately, special edition beer and whisky.
The detective is of course Inspector John Rebus of Lothian and Borders CID.
Rebus has reached retiral age and, despite the attempts of Scottish Parliament MP Helen Eadie to extend the serving age of police officers to guarantee more books, it is time to hang up his handcuffs.
2007 marks the 20th anniversary of the first Rebus novel, "Knots and Crosses", and author Ian Rankin has made long-standing promise to himself to finish the series in its 20th year.
"I think I’m just going to treat it as another book. I don’t think I’m going to tie up loose ends like his relationship with Big Ger Cafferty (the Edinburgh gangster who is Rebus’s long-standing nemesis)," Ian revealed.
As for Rebus, Ian suspects at the end of the book he will just walk away without a "Reichenbach Falls moment" — as when fellow Scottish writer Arthur Conan Doyle killed off his detective, if only temporarily as it turned out.
Before they discover whether Rebus retires from the scene gracefully and otherwise, and whether the incorrigible Fifer manages to cope with the ban on smoking now in force in Scottish pubs - even his beloved Oxford Bar, there is one penultimate Rebus book to enjoy and it is a good one.
Scottish novelist and critic Alan Massie, Ian's former tutor at Edinburgh University, has even gone as far as to suggest it is his best book yet and certainly events in Scotland's capital last year presented Rankin with an irresistible backdrop to the 16th Rebus novel, "The Naming of the Dead."

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