It's late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence a high-level delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, keen to bring business to Scotland. The politicians and bankers who run Edinburgh are determined that the case should be closed quickly and clinically. But the further they dig, the more Rebus and his colleague DS Siobhan Clarke become convinced that they are dealing with something more than a random attack - especially after a particularly nasty second killing. Meantime, a brutal and premeditated assault on local gangster 'Big Ger' Cafferty sees Rebus in the frame. Has the Inspector taken a step too far in tying up those loose ends? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, inglorious career, will Rebus even make it that far?
The Naming of the Dead promises a potent mix of action and politics, set against a backdrop of the most devastating week in recent British history.
Set in July 2005 when the G8 leaders gathered in Scotland. Facing daily marches, demonstrations, and scuffles, the police are at full stretch. Detective Inspector John Rebus, however, has been sidelined, until the apparent suicide of an MP coincides with clues that a serial killer may be on the loose. The authorities are keen to hush up both, for fear of overshadowing a meeting of global importance – but Rebus has never been one to stick to the rules, and when his colleague Siobhan Clarke finds herself hunting down the identity of the riot cop who assaulted her mother, it looks as though Rebus and Clarke may be up pitted against both sides in the conflict.
Ian Rankin's personal guide through the places in Scotland that have inspired the thrilling events in the Inspector Rebus novels. The photographs are by Tricia Malley and Ross Gillespie.
This evocative and stunningly produced book highlights the places that inspired the settings for the Inspector Rebus novels. It is the modern-day Scotland that the tourist never sees. The book is part biography of Rebus, revealing how he came into being, who he is, and what his Scotland is like. It is also partly an autobiography of Ian Rankin, explaining where he comes from and what his inspirations are. Beautifully illustrated throughout, with pictures that reflect the text, this is the perfect gift for anyone interested in Scotland or in the novels of Ian Rankin.
The first CD contains the story, 'Jackie Leven Said', written and read by Ian Rankin, from Ian and Jackie's live show at the 2004 Edinburgh Festival. Ian tells the story in short chapters which are illustrated by musical interludes and complete songs performed by Jackie and keyboard player Michael Cosgrave. The story evokes the suffering (and healing) of a Scottish family coming back together for a funeral in Fife on the east coast of Scotland. Although a work of fiction, the story resonates strongly with the life experiences of both Ian and Jackie who are themselves both from this part of the world. It sparkles with humour. At the end of the storytelling, Ian and Jackie then have a wildly funny knockabout discussion of what it means to come from Fife, with Jackie departing from the subject in his uniquely crazy way. The songs sung by Jackie reflect and blend the lives of Ian and Jackie, but also touch on the inner life of Ian's acclaimed fictional hero cop, the haunted genius that is Detective Inspector John Rebus, himself a Fifer.
An illegal immigrant is found murdered in an Edinburgh housing scheme: a racist attack, 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. But Rebus is that most stubborn of creatures. As he investigates, he must visit an asylum seekers' detention centre, deal with the sleazy Edinburgh underworld, and maybe even fall in love...
Siobhan, meanwhile, has problems of her own. A teenager has disappeared from home and Siobhan is drawn into helping the family, which will mean travelling closer than is healthy, towards the web of a convicted rapist. Then there's the small matter of the two skeletons - a woman and an infant - found buried beneath a concrete cellar floor in Fleshmarket Close. The scene begins to look like an elaborate stunt - but whose, and for what purpose? And how does it tie into a murder on the unforgiving housing-scheme known as Knoxland?
Fleshmarket Close explores what it means to a society when shared heritage is lost beneath uglier aspects of our nature: greed, mistrust, violence and exploitation. It is a true state-of-the-nation novel, and one of Rebus's most personal cases yet.
A shooting incident at a private school just north of Edinburgh. Two seventeen-year-olds killed by an ex-army loner who has gone off the rails. As Detective Inspector John Rebus puts it, 'there's no mystery'... except the why. But this question takes Rebus into the heart of a shattered community. Ex-Army himself, Rebus becomes fascinated by the killer, and finds he is not alone. Army investigators are on the scene, and won't be shaken off. The killer had friends and enemies to spare - ranging from civic leaders to the local Goths - leaving behind a legacy of secrets and lies. Rebus has more than his share of personal problems, too. He's fresh out of hospital, hands heavily bandaged, and he won't say how it happened. Could there be a connection with a house-fire and the unfortunate death of a petty criminal who had been harassing Rebus's colleague Siobhan Clarke? Rebus's bosses seem to think so...
LET IT BLEED Struggling through another bleak Edinburgh winter Rebus finds himself sucked into a web of intrigue that throws up more questions than answers. Was the Lord Provost's daughter kidnapped or just another runaway? And why on earth is Rebus invited to a clay pigeon shoot at the home of the Scottish Office's Permanent Secretary? Sucked into the machine that is modern Scotland, Rebus confronts the fact that some of his enemies may be beyond justice. BLACK & BLUE Rebus is juggling four cases trying to nail one killer. 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. Added to that there are TV cameras at his back investigating a miscarriage of justice, making Rebus a criminal in the eyes of a million or more viewers. Just one mistake is likely to mean an unpleasant and not particularly speedy death or, worse still, losing his job. THE HANGING GARDEN DI John Rebus is on the paper trail of a WWII war criminal... Until the running battle between two rival gangs on the city streets arrives at his door. When his own daughter is the victim of a hit and run Rebus is forced to acknowledge that there is nothing he wouldn't do to bring down prime suspect Telford - even if it means cutting a deal with the devil.
Detective Inspector John Rebus may have gone too far - a bit of back chat is one thing, but letting fly at the Chief Superintendent with a full mug of the vending machine's finest can't be ignored. Rebus is sent back to the Police College for retraining, along with four of the Scottish Force's more unorthodox detectives.
But there's something bigger in the offing than a cozy chat with the Careers Assessment officer. The unsolved case the malcontents have been assigned to is one some of the team are familiar with. Rebus knew the victim, one Rico Lomax, a Glasgow lowlife no one has much cause to mourn. Is the choice of case deliberate? Are the Big House looking not to resurrect their erstwhile colleagues, but rather to find a way of getting rid of them for good?
Back in Edinburgh, the case Rebus has left behind has thrown up a surprising suspect. Trawling through the guest list of a murdered art dealer's last private view, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke comes across the signature of one Morris Gerald Cafferty, Rebus's nemesis, recently released from the notorious Barlinnie. Siobhan's been promoted, but is she really ready to step into John Rebus's shoes? Will she be able to play Cafferty's game?
Collected together for the first time, these short stories from the modern-day master of crime writing represent the very best of Ian Rankin's repertoire. Selected from ten years' worth of material, they are taken from magazines, radio and journals. They include seven tales starring Rankin's outstanding creation, Inspector John Rebus and this paperback edition includes the novella 'Death is Not the End'.
Stretching from suburban murders of loved ones to the sinister workings of a serial killer's mind and from a bent cop with a terminal approach to his work to a hitman who gets more than he bargained from in a crowded fairground, these tales not only explore the inner life of a city like no other. For the streets of Edinburgh have seen more than their fair share of blood. With Beggars Banquet, Ian Rankin once again demonstrates all the powers that have made him a consistent number one bestseller. Including two CWA Dagger-winning tales, these stories show a writer of incredible range and a storyteller at the height of his powers.
A student has gone missing in Edinburgh and there's very little for Detective Inspector John Rebus to go on apart from his gut feeling that there's more to this case than a runaway high on unaccustomed freedom.
Two leads emerge: a carved wooden doll in a tiny coffin and an Internet role-playing game. Rebus concentrates on the coffin, eerily reminiscent of sixteen similar relics found on a hillside in 1836, leaving DC Siobhan Clarke to deal with the cyberspace Quizmaster. She's young enough to navigate the net, but she may not have the experience to spot the pitfalls in a game where lives depend on split second timing. With Rebus buried two hundred years in the past, DC Clarke is going to need more than just luck to save both their skins - professional and personal...
Edinburgh is about to become the home of the first Scottish Parliament in nigh on three hundred years. Detective Inspector John Rebus is charged with liaison, thanks to its being housed bang in the middle of his St Leonard's patch.
Queensberry House is home not just to new Scotland's rulers-to-be, but to the legend of a young man roasted on a spit by a madman. When the fireplace where the youth died is uncovered, another more recent murder victim is revealed. Days later a third body is found. This time the victim is a prospective MP and the powers that be are on Rebus's back demanding instant answers.
Someone's going to make a lot of money out of Scotland's independence and where there's big money at stake, darkness gathers.
A call from an old friend brings back memories and more than a little guilt for DI John Rebus of the Lothian and Borders police. Suddenly it seems Edinburgh's streets are crowded with the lost and forgotten.
Stalking a poisoner at the local zoo, Rebus hits upon a freed paedophile, camera in hand. Outing the man rouses the vigilantes and leaves Rebus with mixed feelings and another weight on his conscience. But the straw that looks like breaking Rebus's back comes courtesy of the US government. Feted by the tabloid press and put under Rebus's watchful eye, a convicted murderer is looking to play games with Rebus as his pawn...
Detective Inspector Rebus is buried under a pile of paperwork generated by his investigations into a suspected war criminal … Until the running battle between two rival gangs on the city streets arrives at his door. A Chechen gangster is running prostitutes out of Bosnia via Tommy Telford, a Glaswegian upstart muscling in on Edinburgh territory. When his own daughter is the victim of a hit and run Rebus is forced to acknowledge that there is nothing he wouldn't do to bring down prime suspect Telford - even if it means cutting a deal with the devil.
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. Added to that there are TV cameras at his back investigating a miscarriage of justice, making Rebus a criminal in the eyes of a million or more viewers. Just one mistake is likely to mean an unpleasant and not particularly speedy death or, worse still, losing his job.
Struggling through another Edinburgh winter Rebus finds himself sucked into a web of intrigue that throws up more questions than answers. Was the Lord Provost's daughter kidnapped or just another runaway? Why is a city councillor shredding documents that should have been waste paper years ago? And why on earth is Rebus invited to a clay pigeon shoot at the home of the Scottish Office's Permanent Secretary? Sucked into the machine that is modern Scotland, Rebus confronts the fact that some of his enemies may be beyond justice.
It begins with a phone call. Gordon Reeve's brother has been found dead in his car in San Diego - the car was locked from the inside, a gun in his hand. In the US to identify the body Gordon comes to realise that his brother has in fact been murdered. What's more, it is soon obvious that his own life is in danger.
Once back in Scotland he finds out that there have been more visitors than usual to his house and his home has been bugged by professionals. But Reeve is a professional too. Ex-SAS, he was half of a two-man unit with someone he came to fear, then to hate. It looks like his Nemesis is back. The horror has just begun . . .
It is August in Edinburgh and the Festival is in full swing. A brutally tortured body is discovered in one of the city's subterranean streets and marks on the corpse cause Rebus to suspect sectarian activists. The prospect of a terrorist atrocity in a city heaving with tourists is almost unthinkable. And when the victim turns out to be the son of a notorious gangster Rebus realises he's sitting atop a volcano of mayhem about to erupt.
The death of a TV reporter from a single bullet wound to the heart - a dramatic news story, an unsolved crime... but the twist in the tale is that this time it's the man who fired the bullet whose asking all the questions.
Michael Weston wants to know how come the police were on his tail so quickly. What was it about this journalist that got someone so rattled enough to want her permanently out of the picture? Might she just have been a stooge, the job a set-up arranged to see him safely behind bars? His first task is to find the writer of his pay cheque, the second is to make sure he doesn't get caught. Because one thing's for certain - the longer he sticks around to find out, the bigger the risk of making mistakes, revealing his cover and maybe even losing his life.
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. Pursued by dangerous ghosts and tormented by the coded secrets of his colleague's notebook, Rebus must piece together a jigsaw no one - perhaps not even he - wants completed.
Witch is a terrorist - one of the best - but this job is going to test even her to the very limit. This time her cold calculation may desert her when she needs it most.
On her tail are three very different detectives - one woman, two men. Two at the beginning of their careers; one staking a lifetime's experience on tracking Witch down, following a hunch to the end.
Dominic Elder's hunch takes him from England to Europe and back, but the clues that solve the biggest crimes, dig out the deepest secrets, are often the smallest ones - ones that only the junior sleuths, fresh out of spy school, pick up. But will he listen?
Because the first body was found in Wolf Street, because the murderer takes a bite from each body, the press have found a new terror, the Wolfman...
Drafted down to the Big Smoke thanks to his supposed expertise in the modus operandi of serial killers, Inspector John Rebus is on a train south from Edinburgh. His Scotland Yard opposite number, George Flight, isn't too happy at yet more interference. It's bad enough having several Chief Inspectors on your back without being hounded at every turn by an upstart Jock. Rebus is going to have to deal with racial prejudice as well as the predations of a violent maniac. When he's offered a serial killer profile of the Wolfman by an attractive lady psychologist, it's too good an opportunity to turn down. But in finding an ally, he may have given his enemies an easy means of attack.
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.
Initially Detective Inspector Rebus is sympathetic to the MP's dilemma - who hasn't occasionally succumbed to temptation? - but with the disappearance of Jack's wife the glamour surrounding the popular young man begins to tarnish. Someone wants to strip Jack naked and Rebus wants to know why...
Twelve terrific stories starring Detective Inspector John Rebus. His home city of Edinburgh is not just the tartan tearooms and cobbled streets of the tourist brochures, but a modern urban conurbation with the full range of criminals and their victims - blackmailers, peeping Toms, and more than one kind of murderer. It is a city that gives birth to crimes of passion, accident and long-hidden jealousy.
A junkie lies dead in an Edinburgh squat spreadeagled, cross-like on the floor, between two burned-down candles, a five-pointed star daubed on the wall above. Just another dead addict, until John Rebus begins to chip away at the indifference, treachery, deceit and sleaze that lurks beneath the façade of the Edinburgh familiar to the tourists. Only Rebus seems to care about a death which looks more like a murder every day, about a seductive danger he can almost taste, appealing to the darkest corners of his mind.
Bombs are exploding in the streets of London, but life seems to have planted more subtle booby-traps for Miles Flint. Miles is a spy. His job is to watch and to listen, then to report back to his superiors, nothing more. The job, affording glimpses into the most private lives of his victims, appeals to Miles. He doesn't lust after promotion, and he doesn't want action. He wants, just for once, not to botch a case. Having lost one suspect - with horrific consequences - Miles becomes too involved with another, a young Irishwoman. His marriage seems ready to crumble to dust. So does his home. But Miles is given one last chance for redemption - a trip to Belfast, which quickly becomes a flight of terror, murder and shocking discoveries. But can the voyeur survive in a world of violent action?
'And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you...?'
That sort of thing... is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses - taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.
Ian Rankin's first ever novel - unavailable for nearly twenty years and now republished with a brand-new introduction.
In 1986, a small Scottish publishing firm released a first novel by a talented young writer. Only a few hundred copies were printed but it was a literary milestone nonetheless. The book was The Flood. The author was Ian Rankin...
Mary Miller had always been an outcast. As a young girl she had fallen into the hot burn - a torrent of warm chemical run-off from the local coal mine. Fished out white-haired and half-dead, 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.
Now, years later she is hardly less alone. She is the mother of a bastard son, Sandy, and caught up in a faltering affair with a local teacher. Sandy, meanwhile, has fallen in love with a strange homeless girl. The search for happiness isn't easy. Both mother and son must face a dark secret from their past, in the growing knowledge that their small dramas are being played out against a much larger canvas, glimpsed only in symbols and flickering images - of decay and regrowth, of fire and water - of the flood.
The Flood is both a coming-of-age novel and an amazing portrait of a time and place. Proto-Rankin as it is, it's dark, atmospheric and powerful - a remarkable debut from a remarkable author.