Published On: Sun, Nov 12th, 2017

Ian Rankin says world events are putting people OFF gritty novels


Rankin, 57, who has written 25 novels, 21 featuring the detective John Rebus, said growing numbers of terror attacks and mass shootings, were leading people to crave “kind and gentle” books.

He also said the Trump presidency could spark a change in reading habits.

Rankin, from Fife, said: “Fiction must be credible. The real world right now feels to me like the opposite of that.

“People crave normality and stories of kind people helping each other.”

And he predicted “a move away from serial killers and bleak dystopian crime fiction”.

He added: “Maybe good will be seen to triumph and ordinary people will overcome crises in psychological crime novels.”

But Joseph Knobbs, crime fiction buyer at Waterstones, disagreed.

He said: “No doubt some readers will go looking for that comfort book but as…The Jinx, Serial and Making A Murderer suggest, people are still enraptured by tales of crime and punishment.”

Rankin told the Hong Kong Literary Festival he was too set in his ways and too much of a cynic to give up on Rebus.

He said: “Maybe my books will become wilder and more chaotic instead.”


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