LAST WRITES

IAN RANKIN PRE­DICTS DEATH OF CRIME NOVEL Re­bus cre­ator claims peo­ple want feel­good books in a trou­bled era

Sunday Mail (UK) - - The Judge -

Re­bus cre­ator Ian Rankin has fore­cast the death of the crime novel.

The au­thor, whose 21 books have sold mil­lions world­wide, says bad news is killing it off. The rise of Don­ald Trump, ter­ror­ist at­tacks and mass shoot­ings have left peo­ple yearn­ing for “kind and gen­tle” books, he claims. Rankin is cel­e­brat­ing the 30th an­niver­sary of his lit­er­ary cre­ation on a tour. But he says the bleak­ness of events world­wide is chang­ing read­ers’ habits. The 57-year- old said: “The world seems so crazy and ir­ra­tional that many nov­el­ists have dif­fi­culty try­ing to shape it into a co­her­ent nar­ra­tive. “Fic­tion must be cred­i­ble, the real world right now feels to me like the op­po­site of

Toby McDon­ald

that. Peo­ple crave nor­mal­ity and sto­ries of kind peo­ple help­ing each other.”

He added: “I think this may hap­pen – a move away from se­rial killers and bleak dystopian crime fic­tion to­wards some­thing with a more com­fort­ing mes­sage.

“Maybe good will be seen to tri­umph and or­di­nary peo­ple wi l l over­come cr i s e s in psy­cho­log­i­cal crime nov­els.”

Rankin has sold 30mil­lion books and Re­bus nov­els have been t rans­lated into 22 lan­guages in three decades.

They have been made into two TV se­ries star­ring John Han­nah and Ken Stott.

His 22nd novel about the Ed­in­burgh de­tec­tive will be pub­lished in au­tumn 2018. And Rankin says he is too set in his ways to give up on Re­bus. He said: “I’m too much of a cynic. Maybe my books will be­come wilder and more chaotic.

“When I write, I feel like a child, hav­ing ad­ven­tures with my imag­i­nary friends in a uni­verse where I play God.”

Crime buyer for Water­stones Joseph Knobbs said: “Some read­ers w i l l go look­ing for that com­fort book but The Jinx and Mak­ing a Mu r d e r e r sug­gest peo­ple are still en­rap­tured by tales of crime.”

TELLY HIT Ken Stott as de­tec­tive Re­bus

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