|Born||Ian James Rankin
28 April 1960
Cardenden, Fife, Scotland
|Pen name||Jack Harvey|
|Notable works||DI John Rebus novels
Malcom Fox novels
Rankin was born in Cardenden, Fife. His father, James, owned a grocery shop, and his mother, Isobel, worked in a school canteen. He was educated at Beath High School, Cowdenbeath. His parents were horrified when he then chose to study literature at university, expecting him to study for a trade. Encouraged by his English teacher, he persisted and graduated in 1982 from the University of Edinburgh, where he also worked on a doctorate on Muriel Spark but did not complete it. 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 in a band called the Dancing Pigs.
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. The 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 and 2 and Ken Stott in that role in 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, Dark Entries, the second release from the company's Vertigo Crime imprint.
In 2013, Rankin co-wrote the play Dark Road with Mark Thomson, the artistic director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre's. The play, which marked Rankin's play-writing debut, premiered at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in September 2013.
Rankin 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.
He lives in Edinburgh with his wife, Miranda, whom he met at university and married in 1986, and their two sons, Jack and Kit, who were 23 and 21 in 2015. They live near the authors JK Rowling, Alexander McCall Smith and Kate Atkinson. Rankin appears as a character in McCall Smith's 2004 novel, 44 Scotland Street.
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
- 2015 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
- 2016 UNESCO City of Literature Visiting Professor at University of East Anglia
- 2016 RBA International Prize for Crime Writing for Even Dogs in the Wild, the world's most lucrative crime fiction prize at €125,000.
- 2016 Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
To date he has published 25 novels, two short story collections, one original graphic novel and one novella, and a non-fiction book. He has also written a Quick Reads title.
|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
|1997||Herbert in Motion & Other Stories||Limited edition chapbook with 4 stories, 2 original to this collection|
|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
|2005||The Complete Short Stories||Short stories; omnibus including the contents of A Good Hanging & Other Stories and Beggar's Banquet plus one new story, Atonement|
|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|
|2015||Even Dogs in the Wild||20th Rebus & 5th Malcolm Fox novel|
|2016||The Travelling Companion||Limited edition bibliomystery; No 26 in a series of short stories by crime writers Death Sentences|
|2016||Rather Be the Devil||21st Rebus & 6th Malcolm Fox novel|
- Criminal Minded (2000) (edited and with an introduction by Rankin)
- 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 25 October 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.
- The Lie Factory, illustrated by Tim Truman. Published as part of a CD package, Kickback City, featuring Rory Gallagher songs fictionalized in the novella and with a narration by Aidan Quinn
- Dark Road, with Mark Thompson (2014)
- Gesualdo, with Craig Armstrong (2008)
- "Summer Rites" (1984) (published in Cencrastus, No. 18 - actually a section of Rankin's first novel)
- "An Afternoon" (1984) (published in New Writing Scotland No. 2) (slightly revised version published in OxCrimes, 2014)
- "Voyeurism" (1985) (published in New Writing Scotland No. 3)
- "Colony" (1986) (published in New Writing Scotland No. 4)
- "Scarab" (1986) (published in Scottish Short Stories 1986)
- "Territory" (1987) (published in Scottish Short Stories 1987)
- "Remembrance" (1988) (published in Cencrastus, Spring)
- "Playback" (1990) (Rebus; published in Winter's Crime 22; reprinted in A Good Hanging & Other Stories, 1992)
- "Talk Show" (1991) (Rebus; published in Winter's Crimes 23)
- "The Dean Curse" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "Being Frank" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "Concrete Evidence" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "Seeing Things" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "A Good Hanging" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "Tit for Tat" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "Not Provan" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "Sunday" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "Auld Lang Syne" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "The Gentlemen's Club" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "Monstrous Trumpet" (1992) (Rebus; published in A Good Hanging & Other Stories)
- "In the Frame" (1992) (Rebus; published in Winter's Crimes 24)
- "Trip Trap" (1992) (Rebus; published in 1st Culprit)
- "Marked for Death" (1992) (published in Constable New Crimes 1)
- "Well Shot" (1993) (Rebus; published in 2nd Culprit)
- "Video, Nasty" (1993) (published in Constable New Crimes 2)
- "Castle Dangerous" (1993) (Rebus; published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, EQMM, October)
- "Someone Got to Eddie" (1994) (published in 3rd Culprit)
- "Facing the Music" (1994) (Rebus; published in Midwinter Mysteries 4)
- "A Deep Hole" (1994) (published in London Noir)
- "The Serpent's Back" (1995) (published in Midwinter Mysteries 5)
- "Adventures in Babysitting" (1995) (published in No Alibi and in Master's Choice Two)
- "Principles of Accounts" (1995) (published in EQMM, August)
- "Window of Opportunity" (1995) (Rebus, published in EQMM, December)
- "Natural Selection" (1996) (published in Fresh Blood)
- "Herbert in Motion" (1996) (published in Perfectly Criminal)
- "The Wider Scheme" (1996) (published in EQMM, August)
- "My Shopping Day" (1997) (Rebus; published in Herbert in Motion & Other Stories [limited edition chapbook of 200 copies])
- "No. 79" (1997) (published in Herbert in Motion & Other Stories)
- "Glimmer" (1998) (published in Blue Lightning)
- "Unknown Pleasures" (1998) (published in Mean Time)
- "Detective Novels: The Pact Between Authors and Readers" (1998) (article; published in The Writer, December)
- "Death is Not the End" (1998) (novella later expanded into Dead Souls)
- "The Missing" (1999) (published in Crime Wave, March)
- "Get Shortie" (1999) (Rebus; published in Crime Wave 2, Deepest Red, June)
- "The Acid Test" (1999) (Rebus; published in EQMM, August)
- "The Hanged Man" (1999) (published in published in EQMM, September/October)
- "The Only True Comedian" (2000) (published in EQMM, February)
- "Unlucky in Love, Unlucky at Cards" (2000) (published in EQMM, March)
- "The Confession" (2000) (published in EQMM, June)
- "The Slab Boys" (2000) (published in Scenes of Crime)
- "No Sanity Clause" (2000) (Rebus; originally titled "Father Christmas's Revenge, published in The Daily Telegraph, December)
- "Tell Me Who to Kill" (2003) (Rebus; published in Mysterious Pleasures)
- "Saint Nicked" (2003/2004) (published in The Radio Times, 21 December 2003 & 4 January 2004)
- "Soft Spot" (2005) (published in Dangerous Women)
- "Showtime" (2005) (published in One City)
- "Not Just another Saturday" (August 2005) (written for SNIP, a charity organisation; people in attendance of the event were provided with a "typescript" of the story)
- "Atonement" (2005) (written for the anthology Complete Short Stories, which combined the contents of A Good Hanging & Other Stories and Beggar's Banquet, but was far from "Complete")
- "Sinner: justified" (2006) (published in Superhumanatural)
- "Graduation Day" (2006) (published in Murder in the Rough)
- "Fieldwork" (2009) (published in Ox-Tales)
- "Penalty Clause" (2010) (Rebus; published in Mail on Sunday, December)
- "The Very Last Drop" (2013) (Rebus; written to help the work of Royal Blind)
- "Dead and Buried" (2013) (Rebus; published with Saints of the Shadow Bible)
- "In the Nick of Time" (2014) (Rebus; published in Face Off)
- "The Passenger" (2014) (Rebus; published in the UK and US editions of The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories)
- "A Three-Pint Problem" (2014) (Rebus; published in the UK and US editions of The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories)
- "Cinders" (2015) (Rebus; published in the US edition of The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories)
- "The Travelling Companion" (2015) (novella, published by the Mysterious Bookshop, NYC; signed, lettered limited cloth edition of 26 copies and 100 numbered copies; softcover edition of 1,000 copies)
- "Cafferty's Day" (2016) (Rebus; published with Rather be the Devil)
- "Oxford Bar" (2007) (Essay published in the anthology How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors)
- "John Rebus" (2007) (Mysterious Profile #8, a chapbook published by the Mysterious Bookshop in NYC in a signed limited hardcover edition of 100 copies and 1,000 softcover copies; reprinted in the UK edition of The Beat Goes On: The Complete Rebus Stories as "Rankin on Rebus")
- Ian Rankin interviews Arthur Conan Doyle (2013), published in Dead Interviews
- 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 April 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 April 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 March 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. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "'Reader beware ...'". The Guardian. 18 November 2006. Retrieved 18 November 2006.
Interviewers and Inspector Rebus fans often express surprise when I say I was influenced by Pynchon.
- Sturgis, India (26 December 2015). "If I Could See Me Now... What Your Younger Self Would Make of you Today – Ian Rankin" (Weekend supplement). The Daily Telegraph.
- "Ian Rankin 1960- Biography". BBC Two; Writing Scotland. September 2004. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
- Rankin, I. (1998) Tooth & Nail. London: Orion. p. vii.
- "Profile: Ian Rankin", January Magazine
- "Ian Rankin", Bookslut, April 2005.
- Barnett, Laura (11 December 2012). "Ian Rankin, Author—Portrait of the Artist". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- "Ox-Tales". Oxfam.org.uk. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
- "WC: Vertigo - Innovative and Provocative". Comic Book Resources. 1 March 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009.
- "Starting Vertigo's Crime Line: Ian Rankin on Dark Entries". Newsarama. 25 March 2009.
- Duin, Steve (7 April 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 Archived 1 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. No. 1 Magazine, Retrieved 24 February 2014
- Scott, Chris. "Mysterious paper sculptures". Central Stn. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
- "Ian Rankin". BooksfromScotland.com. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Ian Rankin". The British Council. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "The CWA Short Story Dagger". Crime Writers Association. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "The CWA Gold Dagger". Crime Writers Association. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
- THES Editorial (26 November 1999). "Glittering Prizes". The Times Higher Education Supplement. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "University honour for award winning author". University of St Andrews. 3 February 2000. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "University of Edinburgh Honorary Degrees 2002/03". University of Edinburgh. 28 August 2003.
- "The Cartier Diamond Dagger". Crime Writers Association. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "Doctor of the University 1973-2011" (PDF). The Open University. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- (in French) Guide des Prix littéraires, online ed. Le Rayon du Polar. Synopsis of French prizes rewarding French and international crime literature, 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 8 January 2013.
- Allen, Katie (6 October 2008). "Rankin and P D James pick up ITV3 awards". theBookseller.com. Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
- "Shortlist for Theakston’s Crime Novel of the year Award 2009". digyorkshire.com. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
- Alison Flood (5 December 2012). "EL James comes out on top at National Book awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- "New Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh" (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Ian Rankin to be UEA visiting professor". University of East Anglia. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "Current RSL Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- Natasha Onwuemezi, "Rankin, McDermid and Levy named new RSL fellows", The Bookseller, 7 June 2017.
- "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 8 November 2012.
- "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 4 November 2010.
- "Karen Berger On The Vertigo Crime Line". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 4 November 2010.
- "Publication Listing for How I Write:The Secret Lives of Authors". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- Dan Crowe (editor) (2013). Dead Interviews: Living Writers Meet Dead Icons. Granta, London. pp. 143–153. ISBN 978-1-84708-827-7.
- Media related to Ian Rankin at Wikimedia Commons
- Ian Rankin Official website
- Ian Rankin on IMDb
- 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