Ian Rankin

(born 1960 -) - Cardenden, Fife

Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin grew up in Cardenden in Fife, where he was locally educated before going on to study at Edinburgh University. Ian was always a prolific writer, having won prize for poetry before reaching university and more awards at university.

He never gave up on his writing, but did undertake a varied range of jobs while at university, including; chicken factory worker, alcohol researcher (lucky man), grape picker and tax collector.

It was while Rankin was supposed to be reading for his PhD in English Literature that he started writing novels, the third of which would become the first in his Rebus series, Knots and Crosses.

After running out of funding for his post-graduate study, Ian found himself in London and married to Miranda Harvey, whom he had met at university. In London he started working at the National Folktale Centre before moving on to the 'HI-FI Review' as firstly, assistant editor and then editor.

In 1988 Ian Rankin became a Hawthornden Fellow and was a guest of Hawthornden Castle Writer's Retreat along with four other published writers, in Lasswade just outside Edinburgh.

Ian has won many awards for his writing and his contribution to literature. He won the Chandler Fulbright Award in 1991-1992 and has won umpteen awards from the Crime Writers' Association, including; two CWA Daggers for Short Stories, the CWA Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction and the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement. He has also received two Honorary Doctorates from the University of Abertay Dundee and St. Andrews University. And in the Queen's Golden Jubilee Honours list Ian was awarded an OBE for services to literature.

Rankin's Rebus books were made into a television series starring John Hannah and Ken Stott. The series ran from 2000-2007. Exit Music was promised to be his final DI Rebus novel but he returned in 2012 with Standing In Another Man's Grave and again in his latest book, Saints of the Shadow Bible. 2013 also marked Rankin's debut as a playwright when he co-wrote Dark Road with Mark Thomson. The play premiered at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum Theatre in September 2013.

Ian spends his time in Edinburgh, London and France with his wife and two sons.

  • Cover scan of Beggar's Banquet
    Beggar's Banquet - Paperback
    This is a new collection of short stories from Ian Rankin. In 1997 he was awarded the Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction for Black and Blue. His subsequent Rebus novels have all been international bestsellers.
  • Cover scan of Black & Blue
    Black & Blue - Paperback
    Rebus is juggling four cases trying to nail one killer - who might just lead back to the infamous Bible John. And he's doing it under the scrutiny of an internal inquiry led by a man he has just accused of taking backhanders from Glasgow's Mr Big.
  • Cover scan of The Black Book
    The Black Book - Paperback
    When a close colleague is brutally attacked, Inspector John Rebus is drawn into a case involving a hotel fire, an unidentified body and a long forgotten night of terror and murder. Rebus must piece together a jigsaw no one - perhaps not even he - wants completed.
  • Cover scan of A Cool Head
    A Cool Head - Paperback
    Gravy worked in the graveyard - hence the name. He was having a normal day until his friend Benjy turned up in a car Gravy didn't recognise. Benjy had a bullet hole in his chest, but lived just long enough to ask Gravy to hide him and look after his gun.
  • Cover scan of Dead Souls
    Dead Souls - Paperback
    Detective Inspector Rebus is troubled by the death of his friend Jack Morton. He is also investigating another friend's missing son whilst dealing with a known killer and a paedophile lurking around the Lothian area, but it's all in a day's work to him.
  • Cover scan of Exit Music
    Exit Music - Paperback
    Forced to retire by both the law and his relieved superiors, Detective Inspector John Rebus knows that his time in the blue ranks must now come to an end. But how will he deal with this grim terminus?
  • Cover scan of The Falls
    The Falls - Paperback
    A student has gone missing in Edinburgh, the daughter of influential bankers. Rebus feels that this is more than another missing-persons case. When a doll is found in a coffin, along with an Internet role-playing game, his fears come true.
  • Cover scan of Fleshmarket Close
    Fleshmarket Close - Paperback
    An illegal immigrant is found murdered in an Edinburgh housing scheme - a racist attact, or something else entirely? Rebus is drawn into the case, but has other problems - his old police station has closed for business, and his masters would rather he retire than stick around.
  • Cover scan of The Flood
    The Flood - Paperback
    Mary Miller had always been an outcast. Burnt in a chemical mix as a young girl, sympathy for her quickly faded when the young man who pushed her in died in a mining accident just two days later. From then on she was regarded with a mixture of suspicion and fascination by her God-fearing community.
  • Cover scan of A Good Hanging And Other Stories
    A Good Hanging And Other Stories - Paperback
    Edinburgh is a city steeped in history and tradition, a seat of grudges, blackmail and violence, where past and present clash and old wounds fester, as this collection of Inspector Rebus stories shows.
  • Cover scan of The Hanging Garden
    The Hanging Garden - Paperback
    Rebus is buried under a pile of paperwork generated by his investigations into a possible war criminal resident in Edinburgh, until gangster Tommy Telford moves in on Big Ger Cafferty's turf. Rebus's local knowledge then becomes vital.
  • Cover scan of Hide & Seek
    Hide & Seek - Paperback
    Another junkie dies in a Edinburgh squat, and nobody gives a damn except D.I. John Rebus. He's prowling the streets in search of something so evil he can almost taste it.
  • Cover scan of The Impossible Dead
    The Impossible Dead - Hardback
    Malcolm Fox and his team from Internal Affairs are back. They've been sent to Fife to investigate whether fellow cops covered up for a corrupt colleague, Detective Paul Carter. But what should be a simple job is soon complicated by intimations of conspiracy and cover-up - and a brutal murder.
  • Cover scan of Knots & Crosses
    Knots & Crosses - Paperback
    Once a Para in the elite SAS, now an Edinburgh policeman, John Rebus spends his time evading his memories, & right now ignoring a series of crank letters. As murders occur under his nose, he realises he can no longer ignore the killer's presence.
  • Cover scan of Let It Bleed
    Let It Bleed - Paperback
    Struggling through another Edinburgh winter Rebus finds himself sucked into a web of intrigue that throws up more questions than answers.
  • Cover scan of Mortal Causes
    Mortal Causes - Paperback
    When a brutally tortured body is discovered in Edinburgh during the Festival, Rebus suspects sectarian activists. The idea of a terrorist atrocity in a city full of tourists is unthinkable. Then the victim turns out to be the son of a notorious gangster.
  • Cover scan of The Naming Of The Dead
    The Naming Of The Dead - Paperback
    The assorted leaders of the G8 countries have gathered in Scotland and with daily marches, demonstrations and scuffles on the streets, the police are stretched to the limits. When a young politician plunges from the walls of Edinburgh Castle, suicide must be proved, and quickly, to avoid distraction from the main event.
  • Cover scan of A Question Of Blood
    A Question Of Blood - Paperback
    John Rebus has to face up to the most savage and senseless crime imaginable, one in which all his knowledge of human motivation is rendered useless and one that will take him to the heart of human darkness.
  • Cover scan of Resurrection Men
    Resurrection Men - Paperback
    Rebus is off the case. A few days into a murder inquiry, Rebus blows up at a colleague. He is sent to the Scottish Police College for 'retraining'. Rebus is assigned to an old, unsolved case, but there are those in his team who have their own secrets - and they'll stop at nothing to protect them.
  • Cover scan of Saints Of The Shadow Bible
    Saints Of The Shadow Bible - Hardback
    Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. A 30-year-old case is being reopened, and Rebus's team from back then is suspected of foul play. With Malcolm Fox as the investigating officer are the past and present about to collide in a shocking and murderous fashion? And does Rebus have anything to hide? His colleagues back then called themselves 'the Saints', and swore a bond on something called 'the Shadow Bible'. But times have changed and the crimes of the past may not stay hidden much longer, especially with a referendum on Scottish independence just around the corner. Who are the saints and who the sinners?
  • Cover scan of Set In Darkness
    Set In Darkness - Paperback
    When two seemingly unconnected deaths occur, Rebus and his team are confounded, until the death of a prospective MSP. In the resulting investigation, it begins to look as if Scotland's second attempt at devolution will be just as dirty as the first.
  • Cover scan of Standing In Another Man's Grave
    Standing In Another Man's Grave - Hardback
    It's 25 years since John Rebus appeared on the scene, and 5 years since he retired. But 2012 sees his return in 'Standing in Another Man's Grave'. Not only is Rebus as stubborn and anarchic as ever, but he finds himself in trouble with Rankin's latest creation, Malcolm Fox of Edinburgh's internal affairs unit.
  • Cover scan of Strip Jack
    Strip Jack - Paperback
    MP Gregor Jack is caught in an Edinburgh brothel with a prostitute only too keen to show off her considerable assets. When the media horde begins baying for political blood Jack's friends rally round to protect him. But some of those friends - particularly his wife's associates - are not so squeaky clean themselves.
  • Cover scan of Tooth & Nail
    Tooth & Nail - Paperback
    They call him the Wolfman - because he takes a nip out of his victims, and because they found the first victim in the East End's lonely Wolf Street. Inspector Rebus is called down from Edinburgh to track down the killer.


Books about Ian Rankin

  • Cover scan of Ian Rankin's Black And Blue
    Ian Rankin's Black And Blue - Christopher Nicol - Paperback
    'Scotnotes' are study guides to major Scottish writers and texts, aimed at senior secondary school pupils and students in further education. This title provides in-depth information on one of Ian Rankin's 'Inspector Rebus' novels, 'Black and Blue'.

More on BooksfromScotland.com

Internet Links

Interviews with Ian Rankin