You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Rankin’s retired detective returns, creating conflicts


Scottish novelist Ian Rankin created a crime-fiction series set in Edinburgh, Scotland. These books featured Detective Inspector John Rebus. He ages Rebus in real time. In 2009 the author broke this reviewer’s heart when he put Rebus out to pasture. The Edinburgh Police had a mandatory retirement age. We knew it was coming. Rankin warned us. But we had hoped that Rebus might find a way to keep on working. Nope, when Rebus turned 60 Rankin retired him and ended the series.

Rankin has a new series featuring Malcolm Fox, an officer with “The Complaints,” the Edinburgh equivalent of the Department of Internal Affairs. He’s published a couple of the Fox books, and they are wonderful. But Fox isn’t Rebus.

Fortunately, good things can come to those who wait. Rebus is back in a new novel, “Standing in Another Man’s Grave.” Rankin found a way to bring this beloved sleuth back into print. Rebus is still retired but he has found a new task working with the Serious Crime Review Unit.

Rebus and some other retired cops are poring over the records of about a dozen unsolved crimes. These old cold cases date from as far back as 1966. Rebus is back in his element, the hunt for criminals: “He hoped all these killers were out there somewhere, growing more ill at ease with each passing year as they read about advances in detection and technology.”

When he was still with the police force Rebus worked closely with another detective named Siobhan Clarke. They worked well together. She overlooked his unorthodox techniques. Rebus loves his music, alcohol, tobacco and solving crimes.

The return of Rebus to police work, even on this new basis, creates some conflicts for Siobhan. Rebus has this unfortunate habit of annoying his superiors. He is old-school all the way, an analog cop in a digital world. Over at “The Complaints” Malcolm Fox has had his fill of this dinosaur and his archaic methods. The retired crime boss Big Ger Cafferty has been spotted recently having drinks with Rebus. This makes Fox very suspicious.

Rebus connects a cold case to some other unsolved crimes. Young women have been vanishing along one particular stretch of highway, never to be seen again. If you are one of those mystery readers who takes pride in solving the crime before the detective does, you might find that Ian Rankin presents a unique challenge for you.

In an interview I told Rankin that “you really had us stumped and confused about who the perpetrator might be.” He responded: “There’s a good reason for that, Vick. I don’t know myself when I start the book.”

“When I start the first draft I’ve no idea who did it, why they did it, what’s going on here. … I think I was 20 or 30 pages from the end of the first draft of this one and there were three or four people in my head that it could be … so if I don’t know, then probably the reader doesn’t know either. I just trust to the muse. I trust that the novel has a sense of where it wants to go and it will take me there.”

You can hear my interview with Ian Rankin this Sunday morning at 11 on WYSO-FM (91.3).



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Springfield Entertainment

Hip-hop music has fewer drug references than any other genre, but still dominates
Hip-hop music has fewer drug references than any other genre, but still dominates

Think Migos and other rap artists mention molly and marijuana the most in their songs? Think again, because hip-hop has the least number of drug references compared to any other musical genre, according to a recent study.  Using data from Songmeanings API, Addictions.com analyzed eight music categories to determine which style’s lyrics mentioned...
George Clooney takes trip back in time through classic movies in new coffee ad
George Clooney takes trip back in time through classic movies in new coffee ad

Actor George Clooney journeys through a number of classic movies in a new coffee commercial for Nespresso. Clooney, with the help green screen technology, travels from a remote movie set through scenes of six famous movies to get to a Nespresso store for a cup of coffee, only to find out that Andy Garcia has made it in the end to the original remote...
End of an era as Ringling Bros. gears up for last two shows 
End of an era as Ringling Bros. gears up for last two shows 

It’s the end of an era.  After 146 years, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding up the big tent forever, shuttering the ticket windows and putting the animals out to pasture. The circus has been a staple of American entertainment since the mid-1800s, wowing audiences with an array of exotic animals, breathtaking acrobatics...
Will Ferrell reprises role as George W. Bush for 'Not The White House Correspondents Dinner'
Will Ferrell reprises role as George W. Bush for 'Not The White House Correspondents Dinner'

Comedian Will Ferrell reprised his role as former President George W. Bush on Saturday night to thunderous applause at “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” hosted by Samantha Bee. The event was taped as journalists gathered at the Washington Hilton for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Meanwhile, President Donald...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday
Dale Earnhardt Jr. pays tribute to dad on what would have been his 66th birthday

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took a moment Saturday morning to pay tribute to his father on what would have been Dale Earnhardt’s 66th birthday. “Happy Birthday dude,” Dale Earnhardt Jr. wrote on his Instagram page alongside a photo of himself as a child with his dad. It had already been quite a week for the younger Earnhardt. He announced...
More Stories