EDitorial ± 17-Apr-2001

Just In Edinburgh

A couple of years back, browsing for something new and exciting to read in Waterstones, I spied a book called Black & Blue by Ian Rankin. This rang a bell since I'd recently read a good review of it in the paper, which also mentioned that it had just won some award, the Gold Dagger for crime fiction. And being a sucker for awards, I bought the paperback.

As soon as I was a couple of chapters in, I was hooked. There was one scene in particular where a bloke in a bar is befriended by a pair of men, who then invite him back to their place. And who then strap him into a chair before opening their Adidas bag to reveal various items including pliers, a staple-gun and a saw. Unputdownable, as I say.

How I wish I was in Edinburgh
— Edinburgh Man, The Fall
Central character in the story was Inspector Rebus. Turned out that I'd come fairly late to the party, since Black & Blue was Rebus novel number 8: much like discovering Harry Potter when he's about to leave Hogwarts 6th form.

A native of Edinburgh, Rebus is a hard-drinking, chain-smoking renegade loner. My kind of man, ahem. Apart from being great reads, what's good about the series is that there's always another one on the way. Currently I'm nearing the end of Set In Darkness, the latest one in paperback, and only last month a new hardback, The Falls, was published. Here's the (very brief) story so far - dates given are for paperback releases:

— Rebus 8 —
Black & Blue
Dec 1997
— Rebus 9 —
Hanging Garden
Feb 1999
— Rebus 10 —
Dead Souls
Oct 1999
— Rebus 11 —
Set In Darkness
Nov 2000
Black and Blue The Hanging Garden Dead Souls Set In Darkness
Bible John and the copycat serial killer. With the man who may be a Nazi war criminal. There's a poisoner at the zoo. A body in the bricked-up fireplace.

If you fancy some gritty escapism, all are highly recommended. I should probably mention that one or two of the books have been adapted for TV, with John Hannah (that bloke from Four Weddings) as Rebus. I'd stick with the books.

Be seeing you!