Ian Rankin

Rankin is the current holder of the CWA/The Macallan Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of the year, awarded for Black and Blue, his ninth novel to feature Detective Inspector John Rebus, a maverick Edinburgh cop who is about as popular with his bosses as Rankinís novels must be with the Scottish Tourist Board.

This is no tartan-and-short-bread Edinburgh of the Tattoo and the Royal Mile; this is the dark seedy mask of corruption that writhes below the complacent surface, the pathetic failures of small lives tangled up in bigger ambitions. The series has followed Rebus to the point of a virtual nervous breakdown. Now he is piecing the shards of his broken life together, and is no less interesting for that. Rankinís style cleverly masks the pity and the rage that have never fallen below the surface of his work. The Scotland he shows us is painfully real. Other Rebus titles include The Hanging Garden and Strip Jack.

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