1. What was it like collaborating with Peter James on In the Nick of Time?
It was fun, as well as challenging. Peter and I have known one another for years. Our biggest problem was how to bring together two quite different cops who work 500 miles apart in different countries! Once we had nailed that, the ride got more comfortable.
2. The characters Roy Grace and John Rebus are like night and day. Was it difficult to create a connection between two very different people?
Rebus and Grace come from different backgrounds, have different philosophies of policing, so we knew they wouldn’t exactly be best buddies when they met. But that is always interesting – as a writer you want relationships that provide sparks. Of course, they share one crucial imperative – they want to put away the perpetrators. Doesn’t matter where your cops are from or in what ways they differ – they’ll have that in common.
3. Explain why you chose Brighton as the setting for the story.
Well, we had to get Rebus to Grace’s jurisdiction or vice versa. Brighton made sense because Rebus is a big fan of The Who and in their album Quadrophenia they sing about the fights that used to take place in Brighton in the early 1960s between rival gangs. That gave us the inkling of a plot, and we found a way to make it work!
About Ian Rankin
(From Goodreads): AKA Jack Harvey.
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987; the Rebus books are now translated into 22 languages and are bestsellers on several continents.
Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow. He is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award, and he received two Dagger Awards for the year’s best short story and the Gold Dagger for Fiction. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, and Edinburgh.
A contributor to BBC2’s Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin’s Evil Thoughts, on Channel 4 in 2002. He recently received the OBE for services to literature, and opted to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons.