Rankin says Rebus too maverick to get a job with Police Scotland


IAN Rankin has revealed that his famously maverick fictional detective John Rebus would have no place in Police Scotland.

Speaking at a Q&A with fans, the Edinburgh author said that if he were to begin the series from scratch today, detective John Rebus would likely not make the cut for Scotland’s new force.

Rankin said: “A police career these days precludes mavericks. Heck, Rebus didn’t even go to college – almost unthinkable these days.

“To discuss the themes I want to discuss maybe I’d have to make my main character a journalist instead.”

Rankin revealed a number of other titbits to eager fans in a live forum on The Guardian website on Monday night – promoting the latest novel in his series, Even Dogs in the Wild.

Rankin is touring after the release of his new book
Rankin is touring after the release of his new book


The Edinburgh author told fans that he has no immediate plans for big screen adaptations of his multi-million bestselling series and has locked down the rights.

He said: “No immediate plans for more films.

“I got the rights back and would like to see more expansive use of the stories, settings and characters to allow all three to breathe. Four hours maybe, rather than 45 minutes per book.”

He finished, teasing: “Maybe one day a TV company will take the opportunity…”

He also revealed that – despite his best-known writing being the John Rebus detective series – his best-selling novel to date is the standalone piece Doors Open.

And die-hard fans were told that they can expect a new book to be written by June – even though Rankin has yet to begin it, or even plan what it will be about.

He said: “I never have any long term plans. Don’t even know what my next book will be about, just that I need to start it in January.”

But, he hinted: “I’ve often thought about writing a Siobhan Clarke book but have never found a story that felt like hers. That may change of course.”

Rankin has previously mocked Police Scotland, calling it “touchy feely and human resources.”

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2013, Rankin said “a working class Scottish guy of a certain generation” would no longer want to don a police uniform.

Rankin told the audience that a man like Rebus, “for all his faults and all his difficulties”, is “still the guy who will stick with you through thick and thin”.

“Rebus is that kind of cop – he’s the last of his kind.”

Referring to the modern police force, he added :“It’s not so much they don’t want them, it’s that they wouldn’t get them.”