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UK News 'Being Frank': Ian Rankin's new John Rebus exclusive short story Part 1

07:05  06 june  2020
07:05  06 june  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Ian James Rankin OBE DL FRSE FRSL (born 28 April 1960) is a Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. Rankin was born in Cardenden, Fife. His father, James, owned a grocery shop, and his mother, Isobel, worked in a school canteen.

Ian Rankin : The Complete Short Stories A brand new Rebus story , plus all of Rankin ' s A Good Hanging is Rebus ' exclusive domain, and Beggars Banquet is a combination of Rebus and Short stories being what they are , though, Rankin has no real loyalty to the idea of the "happy ending"

Ken Stott standing in front of a large city landscape: Inspector Rebus returns in new short story © ITV Inspector Rebus returns in new short story

He's sold more than 20 million books worldwide and is the UK's biggest crime writer.

Now, in the first of an exclusive three-part serialisation, Ian Rankin shares his gripping short story, Being Frank, featuring his famous detective, John Rebus.

His novel, Westwind, is out in paperback on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

a man looking at the camera: Ian Rankin © Handout Ian Rankin

Being Frank

It wasn't easy, being Frank. That’s what ­everybody called him, when they weren’t ­calling him a dirty old tramp or a scrounger or a layabout. Frank, they called him.

Only the people at the hostel and at the Social Security bothered with his full name: Francis Rossetti Hyslop. Rossetti, he seemed to remember, not after the painter but after his sister the poet, Christina.

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The Black Book is a 1993 crime novel by Ian Rankin , the fifth of the Inspector Rebus novels. It is the first book to feature Siobhan Clarke and Morris Gerald Cafferty appears as a main character. It is also the first book where Rebus is based at St Leonards police station.

John Rebus once served in Britain' s elite SAS. Now he' s an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories and misses promotions. Detective John Rebus : His city is being terrorized… Ian Rankin : The Complete Short Stories A brand new …

Most often, a person – a person in authority – would read that name from the piece of paper they were holding and then look up at Frank, not quite in disbelief, but certainly wondering how he’d come so low.

He couldn’t tell them that he was climbing higher all the time. That he preferred to live out of doors.

That his face was weatherbeaten, not dirty. That a plastic bag was a convenient place to keep his possessions.

He just nodded and shuffled his feet instead, the shuffle which had become his trademark.

“Here he comes,” his companions would cry. “Here comes The Shuffler!” Alias Frank, alias Francis Rossetti Hyslop.

He spent much of the spring and autumn in Edinburgh. Some said he was mad, leaving in the summer months. That, after all, was when the pickings were richest.

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Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow. He is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award, and he received two Dagger Awards for the year' s best short story and the Gold Dagger for Fiction. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St

Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow. He is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award, and he received two Dagger Awards for the year' s best short story and the Gold Dagger for Fiction. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St

But he didn’t like to bother the tourists, and besides, summer was for travelling.

He usually walked north, through Fife and into Kinross or Perthshire, setting up camp by the side of a loch or up in the hills. And when he got bored, he’d move on.

He was seldom moved on by gamekeepers or the police. Some of them he knew of old, of course.

But others he encountered seemed to regard him more and more as some rare species, or, as one had actually said, a “national monument”.

It was true, of course. Tramp meant to walk and that’s what tramps used to do. The term “gentleman of the road” used to be accurate.

But the tramp was being replaced by the beggar: young, fit men who didn’t move from the city and who were unrelenting in their search for spare change.

That had never been Frank’s way. He had his regulars of course, and often he only had to sit on a bench in The Meadows, a huge grassy plain bordered by tree-lined paths, and wait for the money to appear in his lap.

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English speakers living in New Zealand are likely to be familiar with a wider range of words of Maori origin A similar story applies to paraffin, formed in German in 1830 (from Latin elements), and then borrowed into John Rebus : The Lockdown Blues. An exclusive new Rebus short from Ian Rankin .

Follow Ian Rankin and explore their bibliography from Amazon.com's Ian Rankin Author Page. All of the contributors to FaceOff are ITW members and the stories feature these dynamic duos Strip Jack is a stellar entry in Ian Rankin ' s Inspector Rebus series, which The New York Times calls "A superior

That’s where he was when he heard the two men talking. It was a bright day, a lunchtime, and there were few spaces to be had on the meagre supply of Meadows benches.

Frank was sitting on one, arms folded, eyes closed, his legs stretched out in front of him with one foot crossed over the other.

His three carrier bags were on the ground beside him and his hat lay across his legs – not because he was hot, but because you never knew who might drop a coin in while you were dozing.

Maybe his was the only bench free. Maybe that’s why the men sat beside him. Well, “beside him” was an exaggeration.

They squeezed ­themselves on to the furthest edge, as far from him as possible.

They couldn’t be comfortable, squashed up like that and the thought brought a moment’s smile to Frank’s face.

But then they started to talk, not in a whisper but with voices lowered. The wind, though, swept every word into Frank’s right ear.

He tried not to tense as he listened but it was difficult. Tried not to move but his nerves were jangling.

“It’s war,” one said. “A council of war.”

War? He remembered reading in a newspaper recently about terrorists. Threats.

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Rankin is in negotiations to bring Rebus back to TV after buying back the rights as he was annoyed by the editing for the last series, starring Ken Stott. About 20 would be good.’ Regarding a new Rebus novel, Rankin says: ‘The second half of this year is looking a bit quiet, so I might find the time then.’

Rebus and roll: Ian Rankin ’ s new gig as a ‘dad rock’ singer. RebusFest, featuring Ian Rankin , is taking place all over the city, dedicated to ‘the many facets of the irascible old rogue’, DI John Rebus .

A politician had said something about vigilance. Or was it vigilantes? A council of war: it sounded ominous.

Maybe they were teasing him, trying to scare him from the bench so that they could have it for themselves. But he didn’t think so.

They were speaking in undertones; they didn’t think he could hear. Or maybe they simply knew that it didn’t matter whether an old tramp heard them or not. Who would believe him?

This was especially true in Frank’s case. Frank believed that there was a worldwide conspiracy. He didn’t know who was behind it but he could see its tentacles stretching out across the globe.

Everything was connected, that was the secret. Wars were connected by arms ­manufacturers, the same arms manufacturers who made the guns used in robberies, who made the guns used by crazy people in America when they went on the rampage in a shopping centre or hamburger restaurant.

So already you had a connection between hamburgers and dictators. Start from there and the thing just grew and grew.

And because Frank had worked this out, he wondered from time to time if they were after him.

The dictators, the arms industry, or maybe even the people who made the buns for the hamburger chains. Because he knew. He wasn’t crazy, he was sure of that.

“If I was,” he told one of his regulars, “I wouldn’t wonder if I was or not, would I?”

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And she’d nodded, agreeing with him. She was a student at the university. A lot of students became regulars.

They lived in Tollcross, ­Marchmont, Morningside, and had to pass through The Meadows on their way to the university buildings in George Square.

She was studying psychology, and she told Frank something: “You’ve got what they call an active fantasy life.”

Yes, he knew that. He made up lots of things, told himself stories. They whiled away the time.

He pretended he’d been an RAF pilot, a spy, minor royalty, a slave trader in Africa, a poet in Paris.

But he knew he was making all these stories up, just as he knew that there really was a conspiracy. And these two men were part of it. “Rhodes,” one of them was saying now.

A council of war in Rhodes. So there was a Greek connection, too. Well, that made sense. He remembered stories about the generals and their junta. The terrorists were using Greece as their base.

And Edinburgh was called the “Athens of the north”. Yes! Of course! That’s why they were basing themselves in Edinburgh too. A symbolic gesture. Had to be.

But who would believe him? That was the problem, being Frank. He’d told so many stories in the past, given the police so much information about the conspiracy, that now they just laughed at him and sent him on his way.

Some of them thought he was looking for a night in the cells and once or twice they’d even obliged, despite his protests.

No, he didn’t want to spend another night locked up. There was only one thing for it. He’d follow the men and see what he could find. Then he’d wait until tomorrow.

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They were talking about tomorrow, too, as if it was the start of their campaign. Well, tomorrow was Sunday and with a bit of luck if Frank hung around The Meadows, he’d bump into another of his regulars, one who might know exactly what to do.

Sunday morning was damp, blustery. Not the sort of day for a constitutional.

This was fine by John Rebus: it meant there’d be fewer people about on Bruntsfield Links. Fewer men chipping golf balls towards his head with a wavering cry of “fore!” Talk about crazy golf!

He knew the Links had been used for this purpose for years and years, but all the same there were so many paths cutting through that it was a miracle no one had been killed.

He walked one circuit of the Links, then headed as usual across Melville Drive and into The Meadows. Sometimes he’d stop to watch a kickabout. Other times, he kept his head down and just walked, hoping for inspiration.

Sunday was too close to Monday for his liking and Monday always meant a backlog of work. Thinking about it never did any good, of course, but he found himself thinking of little else.

“Mr Rebus!”

But then The Meadows offered other ­distractions, too. “Mr Rebus!”

“Hello, Frank.”

“Sit yourself down.” Rebus lowered himself on to the bench. “You look excited about something.”

Frank nodded briskly. Though he was seated, he shuffled his feet on the earth, making little dance movements. Then he looked around him, as though seeking interlopers.

Oh no, thought Rebus, here we go again.

“War,” Frank whispered. “I heard two men talking about it.”

Rebus sighed. Talking to Frank was like reading one of the Sunday rags – except sometimes the stories he told were more believable. Today didn’t sound like one of those days.

“Talking about war? Which war?”

“Terrorism, Mr Rebus. Has to be. They’ve had a council of war at Rhodes. That’s in Greece.”

“They were Greek, were they?”

Frank wrinkled his face. “I don’t think so. I can give you a description of them though.

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“They were both wearing suits. One was short and bald, the other one was young, taller, with black hair.”

“You don’t often see international terrorists wearing suits these days, do you?” Rebus commented.

Actually, he thought to himself, that’s a lie: they’re becoming more smartly dressed all the time.

In any case, Frank had an answer ready. “Need a disguise though, don’t they? I followed them.”

“Did you?” A kickabout was starting nearby. Rebus concentrated on the kick-off. He liked Frank, but there were times...

“They went to a bed and breakfast near the Links.”

“Did they now?” Rebus nodded slowly.

“And they said it was starting today. Today, Mr Rebus.”

“They don’t hang about, do they? Anything else?”

Frank frowned, thinking. “Something about lavatories, or laboratories. Must have been ­laboratories, mustn’t it? And money, they talked about that. Money they needed to set it up. That’s about it.”

“Well, thanks for letting me know, Frank. I’ll keep my ears open, see if I can hear any ­whispers. But listen, don’t go following people in future. It could be dangerous, understand?”

Frank appeared to consider this. “I see what you mean,” he said at last, “but I’m tougher than I look, Mr Rebus.”

Rebus was standing now. “Well, I’d better be getting along.”

He slipped his hands into his pockets. The right hand emerged again holding a pound note. “Here you go, Frank.”

He began to hand the money over, then withdrew it again. Frank knew what was coming and grinned.

“Just one question,” Rebus said, as he always did. “Where do you go in the winter?”

It was a question a lot of his cronies asked him. “Thought you were dead,” they’d say each spring as he came walking back into their lives.

His reply to Rebus was the same as ever: “Ah, that would be telling, Mr Rebus.

“That’s my secret.”

Game of Life is a short documentary following the story of two veterans in their 70s who connect through video games .
A grandfather travels to meet his online gaming friend and peer in real lifeIt follows the story of 74-year-old RAF veteran and full-timer carer Garry Bowhill-Mann, who travels from Norfolk, England to California to meet his online gaming pal Mike Nolan, who also happens to be a services veteran in his 70s. Through video games, the two veterans meet and become best friends.

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