Thursday, December 15, 2022


Ian Rankin is the author of at least twenty-four novels about the investigations of Edinburgh DI John Rebus. I have read many of them. I also enjoyed the television series, especially the one with Ken Stott in the role. From The Telegraph's interview with Rankin:
His Rebus has always cut a truculent figure, prone to seeing the world in terms of moral absolutes, even while himself sometimes wandering between the lines of the law. “He’s very much an Old Testament character. If you’ve done a bad thing he’s not going to forgive you for it,” says Rankin. “That’s where we differ. Sometimes in the books I’m having a conversation with him in which I try to tell him that sometimes the world isn’t quite as polarised or fixed as he thinks.” ....

.... “I didn’t find a way to bring him back,” he tells me of his return to writing about Rebus in 2012, following a five-year break after “retiring” him in 2007’s Exit Music. “He found a way.”

Still, Rankin has had to relinquish that creative relationship to the playwright Gregory Burke for Rebus’s long-awaited return to the TV screen, announced last week by the Nordic streaming service Viaplay. It will see Rebus as a forty-something divorcĂ©e navigating contemporary Edinburgh across various six-episode-long stories. No details regarding casting or scheduling are yet available.

In a way, it’s a surprise: Rebus’s relationship with the small screen has been unhappy. .... “The problem is that they distilled an entire novel into 60 minutes, because they assumed audiences’ attention spans were becoming too short.” He became so disgruntled that he wrestled back the TV rights and has been looking for new partnerships ever since. ....

Rankin is now 62, although with his Britpop hair and lanky frame, he still has the look and gait of a 1990s indie musician. He wrote the first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses (1987), while in his twenties....
Claire Allfree, "Ian Rankin: ‘After Sarah Everard, crime writers are starting to think: are the cops the good guys?’," The Telegraph, Nov. 13, 2022.

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