Ian Rankin, The Naming of the Dead
Ian Rankin’s creation, Inspector John Rebus is a popular hero that transcends the stereotypical detective figure. Rankin uses the form to fill out a rounded character, a sense of place and the wider social reality. Set during the background of the Gleneagles 68 summit Rebus investigates the death of an MP. Classic Rebus with political intent. This edition contains an appreciation by the crime writer and radio book programme host Phil Rickman.
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Ian Rankin‘s Inspector John Rebus is probably the best known contemporary British detective series apart from Morse. The first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses (1987) was originally conceived as a one-off, and was followed by two non-series book before the second installment arrived in 1991. In the early 90s Ian Rankin was little known and although his thrillers showed promise he lacked a market for them. This changed when he decided to work on a book twice the usual length with multiple story lines, a back story rich in Scottish heritage, with overlapping contemporary concerns. Black and Blue (1997) was critically acclaimed, received the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger and created the confidence and space for Rankin to develop and take the Rebus series to new levels; bringing significantly added zest to the growing book trade interest in a detective that was more about shadows and contradictions than solutions – thus noir came came of the shadows.
The combination of the seedy side of Edinburgh with the hand-drinking, tough but vulnerable policeman with humanity, and deft narratives paced like adventure stories was noted by television producers. Once the right leading man was found Rebus on the small screen came to rival other detective adaptations such as Wexford, Resnick and Morse.
Plotline from the Ian Rankin site: The Naming of the Dead (2006) 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.
The Scorpion Press edition was issued with an Appreciation by crime writer Phil Rickman. He says, “Rebus has evolved into a British icon: funny, belligerent, anarchic, subversive, inspired … and always a touch feral. The Keith Richards of Law Enforcement, with a vengeful splice of Van Morrison”. Our print run was 80 numbered and signed copies with 16 lettered for presentation purposes.