This event was the opening for the Scottish Festival in Dunedin.  It was promoted by the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies.  I don’t read crime fiction.  Apparently a lot of people do as several hundred people were present in the auditorium.  By the looks of things mostly older readers.

So what’s New Zealand like?  To the author on a whirlwind visit, it’s a series of hotels and airports as he visits one main centre in the country each day.  Later he is going to spend time on a road trip.  Maybe his main character, the hard cop Rebus, will visit Dunedin, a sort of bus-man’s holiday.  In the latest outing he is investigating a cold case on the highway, crossing over the Edgelands.

Is crime fiction so popular that they are diluting the genre?  In Scotland each region has its crime writer, a good guide to what parts in a region not to visit; and in Rankin’s case, a good guide to where to find and enjoy drinking beer (or so he would claim).

If I want to read this author I should follow his suggestion that the book that he is most proud of is Black and Blue.  This is the book where everything fell into place with story-telling, character and confidence.  It seems to be the right jumping-off point.

Or The Door’s Open which started off has an idea for a screenplay for an Oceans Eleven-style movie in Edinburgh, went into a drawer until a newspaper wanted a serial, which expanded into a book and was picked up by Stephen Fry to make into a movie releasing for Christmas 2012 in Britain.  Rankin doesn’t watch the adaptions of his works, he would rather write them in his own voice.  This one he recommends.

Every Novel is the wreckage of a perfect Idea-Iris Murdoch

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