Books in Edinburgh

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Ian Rankin's "Rebus" series of crime novels follows the career of fictional police detective John Rebus as he investigates crimes in modern-day Edinburgh.

  Born in the Kingdom of Elie Fife, across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh, Rankin has lived in Edinburgh for many years, and so his novels have a deep local flavour. If you enjoy the crime genre, you will find this series a brilliant introduction to the history, geography and seamier underside of Edinburgh.

  Rankin has plenty of material to work with, as the history of mayhem and murder in this city traces back hundreds of years, with such luminaries as Deacon Brodie, city councillor by day, and cutthroat thief by night and Burke and Hare, two grave robbers who just got sick of digging up corpses and decided to start making their own.

  In an interesting twist, while John Rebus has spent a lifetime investigating grisly crimes throughout the rich landscape of Edinburgh and the Lothians, Ian Rankin had never himself been to the scene of a murder until recently. Tipped off that police were setting up a crime scene in a back garden in his new neighbourhood of Merchiston, he wandered down for a look. He was shocked to discover that the brutally dismembered victim was known to him. Alan Wilson, at the time of his murder a local tour operator about to enter into business dealings with Rankin, also turned out to be a disgraced school teacher and convicted paedophile. Only in Edinburgh.

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