Ian Rankin

(* 1960)

Ian RankinBiographical Sketch

Ian Rankin, OBE, DL (born Cardenden, Fife, Scotland, April 28, 1960) is a Scottish crime writer. His best known books are the Inspector Rebus novels. He has also written several pieces of literary criticism.

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 (the subject of Rankin’s uncompleted Ph.D. thesis). He was initially disconcerted by their classification as genre fiction, but later became reconciled when he realized that the statements he wanted to make about Scottish society were not going to be any less pertinent for their being contained in what was perceived as crime novels.

Rankin has received numerous awards and honors, including the 1997 CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction for Black and Blue, the 2003 French Grand Prix du Roman Noir, the 2004 Edgar Award for Resurrection Men, the 2005 CWA Lifetime Achievement Award (Cartier Diamond Dagger), the 2005 French Grand Prix du Roman Policier (France) for Set in Darkness, the 2005 Deutscher Krimi Preis (Germany) for Resurrection Men and the 2008 ITV3 Crime Thriller Award for Author of the Year for Exit Music. In 2002, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature. 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.

Read more about Ian Rankin on Wikipedia.


Major Awards and Honors

Order of the British Empire
  • 2002: Officer of the British Empire
British National Book Awards
  • 2005: Thriller & Crime Novel of the Year – “Fleshmarket Close”
  • 2007: Thriller & Crime Novel of the Year – “The Naming of the Dead”
  • 2012: Outstanding Achievement – Lifetime Achievement Award
Dagger Awards
(CWA – Crime Writers’ Association, Great Britain)
  • 1994: Macallan Short Story Dagger – “A Deep Hole”
  • 1996: Macallan Short Story Dagger – “Herbert in Motion”
    (in Perfectly Criminal and EQ #673-#674, September-October 1997)
  • 1997: Gold Dagger – “Black and Blue”
  • 2005: Diamond Dagger – Lifetime Achievement Award
ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards
  • 2008: Author of the Year – “Exit Music”
  • 2009: International Crime Writing Hall of Fame
Edgar (Allan Poe) Awards
(Mystery Writers of America)
  • 2004: Best Novel – “Resurrection Men”
Raymond Chandler Fulbright Scholarship
  • 1991
Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (France)
  • 2005: “Dead Souls”
Grand Prix du Roman Noir (France)
  • 2003
Deutscher Krimi-Preis (German Crime Fiction Prize)
  • 2003: Second Place – “The Falls” and
    “The Black Book”
  • 2005: First Place – “A Question of Blood”
Palle Rosencrantz Prize (Denmark)
  • 2001: “Black and Blue”
The Finnish Whodunnit Society
  • 2003: International Whodunnit Prize – John Rebus series



The Inspector Rebus Mysteries
  • The Early Years (1999)
  • A Good Hanging (1992)
    – Short stories.
  • The St. Leonard’s Years (2001)
    • Strip Jack (1992)
    • The Black Book (1993)
    • Mortal Causes (1994)
  • The Lost Years (2003)
    • Let it Bleed (1995)
    • Black and Blue (1997)
    • The Hanging Garden (1998)
  • Death Is Not the End (1998)
    – Novella, later expanded in Dead Souls.
  • Capital Crimes (2004)
    • Dead Souls (1999)
    • Set in Darkness (2000)
    • The Falls (2001)
  • Beggars Banquet (2002)
    – Short stories (including some non-series entries).
  • Three Great Novels (2007)
    • Resurrection Men (2002)
    • A Question of Blood (2003)
    • Fleshmarket Close (2004)
  • The Complete Short Stories (2005)
    • A Good Hanging (1992)
    • Beggars Banquet (2002)
    • Atonement (2005)
      – Stand-alone short story.
  • The Naming Of The Dead (2006)
  • Exit Music (2007)
The Malcolm Fox Books
  • The Complaints (2009)
  • The Impossible Dead (2011)
Books Featuring Both Rebus and Fox
  • Standing in Another Man’s Grave (2012)
  • Saints of the Shadow Bible (2013)
Non-Series Books
  • The Flood (1986)
  • Watchman (1988)
  • Westwind (1990)
  • Doors Open (2008)
  • A Cool Head (2009)
Writing as Jack Harvey:
Graphic Novels
  • Dark Entries (2009)
    – Vertigo Crime series book featuring John Constantine (Hellblazer); with art by Werther Dell’Edera.
  • The Third Gentleman (1997)
    – Black comedy set in 1790s Edinburgh; BBC broadcast of October 25, 1997.
  • Jackie Leven Said (2005)
    – Short story reading recorded live; joint appearance with Jackie Leven.
  • The Sixth Stone (2007)
    – With musician Aidan Moffat, on the album Ballads of the Book, featuring collaborations between Scottish musicians and Scottish writers.
  • This Has Been the Death of Us (2009)
    – With Scottish indie band Saint Jude’s Infirmary.
Nonfiction Books
  • Rebus’s Scotland (2005)
    – Memoir and reflections on Edinburgh and Scotland; with photographs by Ross Gillespie and Tricia Malley.


A Selection of Quotes

Beggar’s Banquet

“Rebus was eating breakfast in the canteen and wishing there was more caffeine in the coffee, or more coffee in the coffee come to that.”

Exit Music

“It seemed to him a very Edinburgh thing. Welcoming, but not very.”

Find more quotes by Ian Rankin on Goodreads.