Ian Rankin Introduces His New Rebus Book Even Dogs in the Wild Transcript
Hello, I’m Ian Rankin. My new book is Even Dogs in the Wild – a new Inspector Rebus novel, published in November, just in time for Christmas.
Even Dogs in the Wild started with the notion of Cafferty – the villain who has in the past run Edinburgh, he’s been a big name gangster but he’s now in his twilight years – of there being a threat against him, and he’s now having to contact Rebus for help. And would Rebus be willing to help, and if so what would happen to their relationship, how would it change their relationship?
So I just got the idea of Cafferty in his house one night and someone fires something through the window. And at first he’s very reluctant to go to the police, but then he realises that he does need help. And he turns to Rebus because the other notion that I got was that Rebus would no longer be a cop. Much to my publisher’s surprise and, at first I think, devastation.
We start this book with Rebus no longer a professional police officer, he is once again retired, and so he becomes by default like a private eye. He is a consulting detective, he has much fun with this notion of him being a modern day Sherlock Holmes. And he’s brought in partly to help Cafferty, but also to help the police with an investigation because the second idea I got for the book was the notion of some hidden treasure, some trove that somebody would be after.
And this was a true story, somebody told it to me about an alleged drug dealer, suspected drug dealer, in a village who died, and the rumour had been that he had hidden his stash of money and drugs in the woods outside the village. And the people would go from time to time for a weekend to just see if they could have a rummage and see if they could find the location of this buried treasure.
And I tell you idea of a treasure hunt in Edinburgh, featuring some gangsters from out of town. And Cafferty suspects that these gangsters from out of town may have been responsible for the attempted hit on him. And so we tie the two stories together, and we start with Rebus trying to help Cafferty, and Siobhan and Malcom Fox – the two detectives in the series – partly investigating these gangsters and also investigating the murder of a senior law official in Edinburgh.
Quite a complicated story now that I start talking about it. I thought it was quite a simple story when I started to write it but trying to explain it, it’s more and more convoluted. More plots emerge as the story goes on and some of them I am holding back because they would give away far too much if I started to talk about them.