28 April 1960 |
Cardenden, Fife, Scotland
|Pen name||Jack Harvey|
|Notable works||Inspector Rebus
Born in Cardenden, Fife, Rankin was educated at Beath High School, Cowdenbeath and the University of Edinburgh, where he remained after graduation to work on a doctorate, which he did not complete, on Muriel Spark. He has taught at the university and retains an involvement with the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He lived in Tottenham, London for four years and then rural France for six while he developed his career as a novelist. Before becoming a full-time novelist he worked as a grape-picker, swineherd, taxman, alcohol researcher, hi-fi journalist, college secretary and punk musician.
Rankin did not set out to be a crime writer. He thought his first novels Knots and Crosses and Hide and Seek were mainstream books, more in keeping with the Scottish traditions of Robert Louis Stevenson and even Muriel Spark. He was disconcerted by their classification as genre fiction. Scottish novelist Allan Massie, who tutored Rankin while Massie was writer-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh, reassured him by saying, 'Do you think John Buchan ever worried about whether he was writing literature or not ?'
Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels are set mainly in Edinburgh. They are considered major contributions to the Tartan Noir genre. Ten of the novels were adapted as a television series on ITV, starring John Hannah as Rebus in Series 1 & 2, with Ken Stott taking on the role for Series 3-5.
In 2009 Rankin stated on Radio Five Live that he would start work on a five or six-issue run on the comic book Hellblazer, although he may turn the story into a stand-alone graphic novel instead. The Vertigo Comics panel at WonderCon 2009 confirmed that the story would be published as a graphic novel called Dark Entries, the second release from the company's new Vertigo Crime imprint.
In 2013, Rankin co-wrote the play Dark Road alongside the Royal Lyceum Theatre's Artistic Director Mark Thomson. The play which marked Rankin's play-writing debut premiered at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh in September 2013.
He is a regular contributor to the BBC Two arts programme Newsnight Review. His 3-part documentary series on the subject of evil was broadcast on Channel 4 in December 2002. In 2005 he presented a 30-minute documentary on BBC Four called Rankin on the Staircase, in which he investigated the relationship between real-life cases and crime fiction. It was loosely based on the Michael Peterson murder case, as covered in Jean-Xavier Lestrade's documentary series Death on the Staircase. The same year he collaborated with folk musician Jackie Leven on the album Jackie Leven Said.
In 2007, Rankin appeared in programmes for BBC Four exploring the origins of his alter-ego character, John Rebus. Titled "Ian Rankin's Hidden Edinburgh" and "Ian Rankin Investigates Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde," Rankin looks at the origins of the character and the events that led to his creation.
In 2011 a group of ten book sculptures were deposited around Edinburgh as gifts to cultural institutions and the people of the city. Many of the sculptures made reference to the work of Rankin, and an eleventh sculpture was a personal gift to him.
Awards and honours
- 1988 Elected Hawthornden Fellow
- 1991 Chandler-Fulbright Award
- 1994 CWA Short Story Dagger for A Deep Hole
- 1996 CWA Short Story Dagger for Herbert in Motion in Perfectly Criminal
- 1997 CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction for Black and Blue
- 1997 Edgar Award for best novel, shortlist, Black and Blue
- 1999 University of Abertay Dundee honorary doctorate 
- 2000 University of St Andrews honorary doctorate
- 2000 Palle Rosencrantz Prize (Denmark)
- 2002 Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature
- 2003 University of Edinburgh honorary doctorate
- 2003 Whodunnit Prize (Finland)
- 2003 Grand Prix du Roman Noir (France)
- 2004 Edgar Award for Resurrection Men
- 2005 CWA Lifetime Achievement Award (Cartier Diamond Dagger)
- 2005 Open University honorary doctorate 
- 2005 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (France) for Set in Darkness
- 2005 Deutsche Krimi Prize (Germany), for Resurrection Men
- 2006 University of Hull honorary doctorate
- 2008 ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Author of the Year, for Exit Music.
- 2009 Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, shortlisted Exit Music
- 2012 Specsavers National Book Award, Outstanding Achievement
To date he has written at least 25 novels, two short story collections, one Original Graphic Novel and a non-fiction book. He has also written an entry in Quick Reads 2009:
|1987||Knots and Crosses||1st Inspector Rebus novel|
|1991||Hide and Seek||2nd Inspector Rebus novel|
|1992||Tooth and Nail||3rd Inspector Rebus novel|
|Strip Jack||4th Inspector Rebus novel|
|A Good Hanging and Other Stories||Short stories|
|1993||Witch Hunt||Writing as Jack Harvey|
|The Black Book||5th Inspector Rebus novel|
|1994||Bleeding Hearts||Writing as Jack Harvey|
|Mortal Causes||6th Inspector Rebus novel|
|1995||Blood Hunt||Writing as Jack Harvey|
|Let it Bleed||7th Inspector Rebus novel|
|1997||Black and Blue||8th Inspector Rebus novel
won Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction
|1998||The Hanging Garden||9th Inspector Rebus novel|
|1999||Dead Souls||10th Inspector Rebus novel|
|2000||Set in Darkness||11th Inspector Rebus novel|
|2001||The Falls||12th Inspector Rebus novel|
|2002||Resurrection Men||13th Inspector Rebus novel
won The Edgar Award
|Beggars Banquet||Short stories|
|2003||A Question of Blood||14th Inspector Rebus novel|
|2004||Fleshmarket Close||15th Inspector Rebus novel|
|2005||Rebus's Scotland: A Personal Journey||Non-Fiction
Awarded CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger
|2006||The Naming of the Dead||16th Inspector Rebus novel|
|2007||Exit Music||17th Inspector Rebus novel
won ITV3 Crime Thriller Award
|2009||A Cool Head||Quick Reads 2009|
|The Complaints||1st Malcolm Fox novel|
|Dark Entries||Vertigo Crime featuring John Constantine|
|2011||The Impossible Dead||2nd Malcolm Fox novel|
|2012||Standing in Another Man's Grave||18th Inspector Rebus & 3rd Malcolm Fox novel|
|2013||Saints of the Shadow Bible||19th Inspector Rebus & 4th Malcolm Fox novel|
|2014||Dark Road||Stage play, with Mark Thomson|
|2014||The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories||Short stories|
- Jackie Leven Said (Cooking vinyl, 2005), with Jackie Leven
- The Sixth Stone (CD, 2007), with Aidan Moffat, on Ballads of the Book
- This Has Been the Death of Us (7th Realm Of Teenage Heaven, 2009), with Saint Jude's Infirmary
- The Third Gentleman (BBC Broadcast October 25, 1997. 87mins.) Black comedy set in 1790s Edinburgh.
- Dark Entries (September 2009) with art by Werther Dell'Edera. Published by Vertigo Crime and starring John Constantine of Hellblazer.
- Summer Rites (1984) (published in Cencrastus, No. 18 - actually a section of Rankin's first novel)
- An Afternoon (1984) (published in New Writing Scotland) (slightly revised version published in OxCrimes, 2014)
- Voyeurism (1985) (published in New Writing Scotland)
- Colony (1986) (published in New Writing Scotland)
- Territory (1987) (published in Scottish Short Stories 1987)
- Trip Trap (1992) (published in 1st Culprit)
- Marked for Death (1992) (published in Constable New Crimes 1)
- Well Shot (1993) (published in 2nd Culprit)
- Someone Got to Eddie (1994) (published in 3rd Culprit)
- A Deep Hole (1994) (published in London Noir)
- Adventures in Babysitting (1995) (published in No Alibi and in Master's Choice Two)
- Playback and Talk Show: New Edinburgh Crimes by Ian Rankin (1996) (published in Japan by Kenkyusha, edited by Paul Hullah and Yozo Muroya)
- Natural Selection (1996) (published in Fresh Blood)
- Herbert in Motion (1996) (published in Perfectly Criminal)
- Auld Lang Syne (1997) (published in The Orion Book of Murder)
- Principles of Accounts (1997) (published in Mystery's Most Wanted)
- Death is Not the End (1998) (novella later expanded into Dead Souls)
- The Hanged Man (2000) (published in The World's finest mystery and crime stories)
- Saint Nicked (2003) (published in two numbers of The Radio Times)
- Soft Spot (2005) (published in Dangerous Women)
- Not just another Saturday (August 2005) (written for SNIP, a charity organisation)
- Atonement (2005) (written for the anthology "Complete Short Stories")
- Sinner: justified (2006) (published in Superhumanatural)
- Oxford Bar (2007) (Essay published in the anthology "How I Write:The Secret Lives of Authors")
- Fieldwork (2009) (published in Ox-Tales)
- Dead and Buried (2013) (published with Saints of the Shadow Bible)
- Alegre, Sara Martin., ‘Aging in F(r)iendship: 'Big Ger' Cafferty and John Rebus’, in Clues: A Journal of Detection 29.2 (2011): 73-82.
- Horsley, Lee, The Noir Thriller (Houndmills & New York: Palgrave, 2001).
- Lanchester, John, ‘Rebusworld’, in London Review of Books 22.9 (27/4/2000), pp. 18–20.
- Lennard, John, 'Ian Rankin', in Jay Parini, ed., British Writers Supplement X (New York & London: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2004), pp. 243–60
- MacDonald, Erin E., ‘Ghosts and Skeletons: Metaphors of Guilty History in Ian Rankin's Rebus Series’, in Clues: A Journal of Detection 30.2 (2012): 67-75.
- Mandel, Ernest, Delightful Murder: A Social History of the Crime Story (Leichhardt, NSW, & London: Pluto Press, 1984).
- Marshall, Rodney, Blurred Boundaries: Rankin's Rebus (Amazon, 2012)
- Nicol, Christopher, 'Ian Rankin's 'Black & Blue' Scotnote No.24 (Glasgow:ASLS Publications, 2008)
- Ogle, Tina, ‘Crime on Screen’, in The Observer (London), 16/4/2000, Screen p. 8.
- Plain, Gill, Ian Rankin’s Black and Blue (London & New York: Continuum, 2002)
- Plain, Gillian, ‘Ian Rankin: A Bibliography’, in Crime Time 28 (2002), pp. 16–20.
- Robinson, David, ‘Mystery Man: In Search of the real Ian Rankin’, in The Scotsman 10/3/2001, S2Weekend, pp. 1–4.
- Rowland, Susan, ‘Gothic Crimes: A Literature of Terror and Horror’, in From Agatha Christie to Ruth Rendell (Houndmills & New York: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 110–34.
- "Ian Rankin". Desert Island Discs. 6 November 2011. BBC Radio 4. http://bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016vh1b. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Rankin, I. (1998) Tooth & Nail. London: Orion, p.vii
- "Profile: Ian Rankin", January Magazine
- "Ian Rankin", Bookslut, April 2005
- Laura Barnett (11 December 2012). "Ian Rankin, author — portrait of the artist,". The Guardian. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
- "Ox-Tales". Oxfam.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- "WC: Vertigo - Innovative and Provocative". Comic Book Resources. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- "Starting Vertigo's Crime Line: Ian Rankin on Dark Entries". Newsarama. March 25, 2009.
- Duin, Steve (April 7, 2009). "Ian Rankin vs. Brian Azzarello". The Oregonian.
- "Mark Thomson discusses Dark Road, the first play by Ian Rankin". list.co.uk. The List. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Lyceum aims for top Rankin with Dark Road". scotsman.com. The Scotsman. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Ian Rankin turns his pen from Rebus to stage play". heraldscotland.com. The Herald. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "The Lyceum to host Ian Rankin's debut play as part of new season". news.stv.tv. STV. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- Ian Rankin No. 1 Magazine, Retrieved 24 February 2014
- Scott, Chris. "Mysterious paper sculptures". Central Stn. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Ian Rankin". BooksfromScotland.com. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
- "Ian Rankin". The British Council. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
- "The CWA Short Story Dagger". Crime Writers Association. 5 July 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
- "The CWA Gold Dagger". Crime Writers Association. 5 July 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
- THES Editorial (November 26, 1999). "Glittering Prizes". The Times Higher Education Supplement. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "University honour for award winning author". University of St Andrews. 3 February 2000. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
- "University of Edinburgh Honorary Degrees 2002/03". University of Edinburgh. 28 August 2003.
- "The Cartier Diamond Dagger". Crime Writers Association. 5 July 2012. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
- "Doctor of the University 1973-2011". The Open University. Retrieved January 9, 2013.
- (French) Guide des Prix littéraires, online ed. Le Rayon du Polar. Synopsis of French prizes rewarding French and international crime litterature, with lists of laureates for each Prize. Grand Prix de littérature policière: pp. 18-36.
- "The University of Hull awards Honorary Degrees for Inspirational Achievements". University of Hull. 27 January 2006. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
- Allen, Katie (2008-10-06). "Rankin and P D James pick up ITV3 awards". theBookseller.com. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Shortlist for Theakston’s Crime Novel of the year Award 2009". digyorkshire.com. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- Alison Flood (5 December 2012). "EL James comes out on top at National Book awards". The Guardian. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
- "Ian Rankin latest news, Exit Music, Ian Rankin Rebus novels, Doors Open novel, Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year, Galaxy British Book Awards". Ianrankin.net. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- "Rebus is back! Ian Rankin reveals his famous detective will return in new novel". Daily Record (Scotland). 5 June 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
- "Ian Rankin Newsletter". Ianrankin.net. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- "Karen Berger On The Vertigo Crime Line". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2010-11-04.
- "Publication Listing for How I Write:The Secret Lives of Authors". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- Media related to Ian Rankin at Wikimedia Commons
- Ian Rankin Official website
- Ian Rankin at the Internet Movie Database
- Guardian Books profile, with links to further articles.
- Ian Rankin at Edinburgh Central Library, Oct 2010 (video interview in several parts)
- CNN interview with Ian Rankin
- 2011 radio interview at The Bat Segundo Show (1 hour)
- Two BooksfromScotland.com interviews with Ian Rankin
- Radio Interview on RadioNZ's Nine to Noon Show 26 February 2013