Listen online: Doors Open - Ian Rankin

QUITE simply, Ian Rankin is the UK's number one crime writer.

In the 22 years since he published his first novel, the award-winning Scot has become an international bestseller with his Rebus series, which has been translated into 26 languages and adapted into a major TV drama.

In Doors Open, his first novel since the irascible detective took retirement in Exit Music, Rankin takes a new turn with a dramatic heist story set against the Edinburgh art world.

In this OutLoud interview, Rankin discusses the origins of Doors Open, his love of art, the surprise of writing a crime novel in which no one dies, and the controversy sparked by his comments about books written by women authors.

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Rankin, who was born and grew up in a small mining town in Fife, famously ditched his PhD at the University of Edinburgh to write novels. His first, The Flood, was published in 1986 and was followed a year later by Knots & Crosses, the first of his Rebus novels.

While his beloved Edinburgh forms an integral part of the Rebus story, Rankin wrote seven of the novels outside of the city, while living in London and, later, France.

He and his family moved back to Edinburgh while he was writing Dead Souls, the first of the series to become a best-seller.

As well as 20 Rebus novels, Rankin has penned three stand-alone novels under the pseudonym of Jack Harvey, Blood Hunt, Bleeding Hearts and Witch Hunt, as well as three others, The Flood, Watchman, and Westwind.

Rankin has earned a host of honours for his writing and work and was awarded an OBE in 2002.

Doors Open, 18.99, is published by Orion Books, ISBN: 978-0752890708.

For further information visit Ian Rankin's website at www.ianrankin.net or Orion Books.