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Ian Rankin Biography

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The creator of Inspector Rebus was born in Fife, Scotland, in 1960. He was educated locally until going to Edinburgh University to read English, graduating in 1982.
It was about this time that Ian Rankin first began writing short stories for magazines, with some critical success it seems. His first novel,The Flood, was published in 1986 by Polygon, an Edinburgh student press.
It is a notoriously scarce book, with a hardback print run allegedly of only 200 copies.
Unable to 'bring home the bacon' with his literary efforts, Ian Rankin was forced to pursue a diverse number of jobs before Rebus finally made his debut in 1987.
Knots & Crosses is once again a scarce book, with most of the print run having gone to public libraries.

It was never Rankin's intention for Rebus to become a series character, indeed not even a crime fiction character, hence it was three years and two books later before Rebus returned in
Hide and Seek.
In 1991, Ian Rankin was awarded the prestigious Chandler-Fullbright prize in America. With it came a much needed prize of 10,000. However, there was a caveat that the money could only be spent in America. To that end Rankin proceeded to tour the US, with his wife, until the money ran out.
Despite a hectic writing schedule, Ian Rankin still found time for a pseudonym, Jack Harvey. Three novels were published by Headline between 1993 and 1995, Witch Hunt, Bleeding Hearts and Blood Hunt respectively. Once again, these novels also had small print runs and are, consequently, uncommon.

1997 saw the publication of what is widely regarded as Ian Rankin's breakthrough novel. Black and Blue is a superbly crafted novel and was justly recognised as such by the Crime Writers Association who awarded it their coveted 'Gold Dagger'.
Inevitably Rebus was brought to the small screen, played by John Hannah (shown right), in 2000. Whilst well received, it has to be said the Hannah's Rebus did not enjoy the televisual success of his fellow Inspectors, Morse and Frost.
In 2005, Rebus reappeared on television, played by Ken Stott, who was widely seen as better suited than Hannah for the part

Ian Rankin's output continues to be prodigious and Rebus continues to date with ever inceasing popularity amongst both collectors and readers alike.

view the Ian Rankin bibliography

Text © 2003 R.D. Collins


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