He lives in Edinburgh, and writes about the city in his award-winning 'Inspector Rebus' novels. The books have twice been dramatised for television (starring John Hannah and Ken Stott respectively), and are translated into 36 languages. Ian Rankin also appears regularly on television, notably as a reviewer on BBC2's 'Newsnight Review'. His three-part documentary series on the subject of evil was broadcast on Channel 4 in December 2002.
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh and has since been employed as grape-picker, swineherd, taxman, alcohol researcher, hi-fi journalist and punk musician. He was a prize-winning poet and short-story writer before turning to novels with The Flood (1986), followed by Knots & Crosses, the first of his powerful Inspector Rebus novels, in 1987.
Ian has won many writing awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Macallan Gold Dagger for Fiction for Black & Blue (1997), the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Novel for Resurrection Men (2004) – which also won the Deutsche Krimi Prize, Germany’s most prestigious award for crime fiction – and he has twice won the Crime Writers' Association Macallan Short Story Dagger Award (1994 and 1996). In 2005 he received the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, the British Book Awards Crime Thriller of the Year for Fleshmarket Close (2004) and France’s most prestigious award for crime fiction, the Grand Prix du Roman Policier, for Set in Darkness (2000). In 2007 he repeated his success at the British Book Awards, winning the Crime Thriller of the Year for The Naming of the Dead (2006).
In 2009 Ian was rewarded for his outstanding contribution to the cultural and social landscape of Edinburgh when he became the first recipient of the Edinburgh Award and was also appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Edinburgh. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from the Universities of Abertay Dundee, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University. He has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, is a past winner of the prestigious Chandler-Fulbright Award and was recently elected Edinburgh University’s Alumnus of the Year. He has an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Edinburgh and was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Birthday Honours List in June 2003.
In 2009, The Complaints was published, featuring the new protagonist, Malcom Fox.