Inspector Rebus novels

      The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin
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The Naming of the Dead

G8 ... George Bush ... Rebus ...

The Naming of the Dead promises a potent mix of action and politics, set against a backdrop of the most devastating week in recent British history.

Set in July 2005 when the G8 leaders gathered in Scotland.  Facing daily marches, demonstrations, and scuffles, the police are at full stretch. Detective Inspector John Rebus, however, has been sidelined, until the apparent suicide of an MP coincides with clues that a serial killer may be on the loose. The authorities are keen to hush up both, for fear of overshadowing a meeting of global importance – but Rebus has never been one to stick to the rules, and when his colleague Siobhan Clarke finds herself hunting down the identity of the riot cop who assaulted her mother, it looks as though Rebus and Clarke may be up pitted against both sides in the conflict.

Ian on The Naming of the Dead

"I got the idea for The Naming of the Dead in June 2005.  I had started reading lots of media scare stories about the forthcoming G8 meeting of world leaders in Scotland, and thought the whole G8 week might make an intriguing backdrop to a novel. It also amused me that amidst rumours of police reinforcements, limitless overtime for cops, etc, Rebus would be the one detective left out of proceedings – there was no way his bosses would want such a troublemaker anywhere near the G8.  I stayed in Edinburgh during the whole of G8 week, taking notes, and then headed off on holiday to an area of Scotland north of Inverness called the Black Isle.  Had a whale of a time, and also came across a creepy spot called the Clootie Well. It's a glade with a small spring emerging from the ground, and local people down the years have left pieces of clothing there for luck – the trees were draped with decaying t-shirts and pants and socks; all very strange. I thought: what a great place for a body!  But Black Isle was too remote to make it accessible to Rebus, so I decided to 'move' the Clootie Well to Auchterarder, home of Gleneagles (which just happened to be where the G8 leaders had met). Suddenly, Rebus had a reason for visiting the G8... the story was up and running. Then I looked back over my notes, and remembered that some marchers had climbed to the top of Edinburgh's Calton Hill to commemorate the lives lost during the Iraq conflict, in a ceremony they called 'Naming the Dead'.  Thanks to them, I now had my title, too, though the book itself would take a further nine months to write.  But I'm pleased with the results – dead pleased."

Ian Rankin


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