Ian Rankin

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Ian Rankin was born in Fife, Scotland in 1960. He is best known for his John Rebus detective novels of which there are 19, published between 1987 and 2013. The novels are part of a sub-genre which might be called false police procedural in that the hero is a police detective who behaves far more like a fictional private eye than either a real policeman or a police detective attempting to resemble a real police detective such as Ed McBain’s Steve Carella. The false police procedural – whereby the detective is inauthentically permitted to completely ignore his superiors and colleagues and solves the crime all on his own in Hercule Poirot style – is surprisingly common, and includes Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse, James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux and Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. Rankin has justifed the genre as a means of examining the ills of society: “I just thought a detective was a great way of getting access to every nook and cranny. He can be talking to the politicians and the judges and the business people who run the city one minute and the next minute he can be down in the stews talking to the prostitutes and the down-and-outs and the people who have absolutely nothing. He’s a great tool for that dissection of society”