September 10, 2007


Ian Rankin: Why Rebus could return: After 20 years, the tough Edinburgh detective is about to retire. But his creator Ian Rankin tells Stuart Kelly that might not be the end of the story (Stuart Kelly, 11/09/2007, Daily Telegraph)

"The traditional English crime novel is very close to the pastoral, very close to Shakespearean pastoral, where you've got mistaken identities, people running around not knowing what's going on, everything gets chaotic and in the end order is restored. And even the American crime novel, the hardboiled PI novel, comes from a tradition that's basically the Grail Myth."

Nevertheless, he eloquently points out how writers such as P D James and Ruth Rendell have responded to life's "messiness" in creative ways.

His situates his own work accordingly: "The interest in it for me is that the crime novel can be about contemporary urban existence and the problems that exist in the real world, whether it's problems with asylum seekers, drugs, prostitution, people's fears, political shenanigans, corporate mismanagement, all these things. We're taking about the what-ifs".

Will Rebus return? At the start of the interview, Rankin says that he's "not 100 per cent sure" he'll do another Rebus novel. Later, he clarifies this position. "It would depend on two things. Does the theme and the plot need these characters, and do I still have anything interesting to say about Rebus? Are there still parts of his character that I want to explore? I get the feeling in the back of my mind that there's still quite a lot I don't know about him."

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 10, 2007 7:34 PM
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