A Fife homecoming for Rebus and Rankin

Ian Rankin will celebrate 30 years of DI Rebus in Kirkcaldy  (Pic by Jane Barlow)
Ian Rankin will celebrate 30 years of DI Rebus in Kirkcaldy (Pic by Jane Barlow)

Multi-award winning crime writer Ian Rankin makes a return to Fife next month with a special event marking his three decades as a writer.

The Cardenden-born author will take to the stage at the Old Kirk in Kirkcaldy to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first book to feature his most famous character – Detective Inspector John Rebus.

Rankin came up with the character of the grizzled, world-weary cop in 1985 and two years later in 1987 the first Rebus book – though Rankin’s second novel – Knots And Crosses was published, with Rankin later admitting he’d “accidentally” written a crime novel.

Rebus: A Son Of Fife, hosted in conjunction with Waterstones Kirkcaldy, will take a look back on Rankin’s life in crime writing, and reflect on the global success of his famous fictional detective, 30 years to the very day that the first Rebus book was published.

It will also chart their own journeys and how they both ended up in Edinburgh, putting the Scottish capital firmly on the crime writing map.

Later on this year he will curate a Rebus Fest in Edinburgh – another 30th anniversary celebration.

But despite residing in the capital, the author is no stranger to Kirkcaldy, having taken part in signing sessions in town before and once a year he visits Fife College to meet the winners, chosen by himself, of the annual Ian Rankin Writing Scholarship.

And the Lang Toun was also the main setting of one of his novels. 2011’s The Impossible Dead saw another of his creations Inspector Malcolm Fox conducting an investigation in Kirkcaldy, which was chosen as the location after Rankin took part in a fundraising event for Raith Rovers called Dining In The Streets Of Raith in 2009.

Kirk Wynd’s The Pancake Place was featured in the book after its former owner, the late Dennis Alexander, bid £1500 for the honour.

There was even a mention for the Fife Free Press!

Tickets for the celebration evening, on Sunday, March 19, are available from Waterstones Kirkcaldy costing £5.