Ian Rankin’s wife runs a critical eye over the next Rebus novel


Ian Rankin’s wife is not completely happy about his new novel if the author’s latest Tweets are anything to go by.

Rankin, who was once described by his other half as “like a teenage student” when writing, was giving her opinion on his next Rebus mystery.

But it seems there is some work to do before his detective tale will hit the book shelves.

On Twitter yesterday [Tuesday] Rankin wrote: “Sat with my wife in cafe this morning while she wrote copious notes in margins of my new manuscript. Not *quite* the perfect novel then…”



Philip Pullman author of the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials commented: “I wouldn’t dare to sit nearby when that sort of thing was going on.”

“Made it difficult for me to focus on my crossword, admittedly…” Rankin replied.




The 54-year-old who lives in Edinburgh then added: “‘Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea’ – Iris Murdoch.”




Rankin met his wife Miranda Harvey when they were both English students at Edinburgh University.

Talking previously about what it is like living with the author she compared him to a “teenage student”.

“Writing is a very solitary thing to do,” she said.

“You do it yourself in isolation and I suppose he really goes into himself. And that can be a bit annoying until I think ah-hah, it is the build up to a novel.


03 Ian Rankin posed in black leather jacket
Ian Rankin (pictured) met his wife Miranda Harvey when they were both English students at Edinburgh University.


“Once I realise that’s what’s happening it’s fine because I just sort of get on with life and he’s like a teenage student.”

But she also plays a vital role in getting Rankin to the end of his books.

She explained: “One of my things to do is to remind him of which phase he’s in when he’s writing.

“We always talk about the 65 page pause where he has poured on to the page all of the things he’s thought about and rehearsed, all of his ideas are down in black and white and then he kind of runs out of steam.

“He’ll always say ‘it’s going really badly’ and I’ll say ‘oh yes, page 65’ and he says ‘I am at page 65’, and I say ‘it’ll be all right’.”