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Rankin and me

December 13, 2020

Another stumble last night, but this time it wasn’t me. Yes, managed to get all my lines out. One show left, a matinee, for which I need to get prepared, so no time to write much.

Instead I will share something I would have shared last month if I’d been writing, but I wasn’t.

One of the things I’ve discovered since I started “stalking” Ian Rankin a couple of years ago is that he does pay attention to mentions on Twitter.

So last month, the morning after I’d finished reading his latest novel, I posted this:


@AMHolmes711 One of the things I love about @Beathigh is his timing. Always (almost always) a new book for my November birthday. Just finished A Song For Dark Times and loved it. Oh, my god, so many doors left open! Especially the one to Big Ger’s penthouse.

Sometime later I received this comment.

@Beathigh Glad you enjoyed it! As for Cafferty… 🤫

That’s a shush emoji at the end, in case you can’t make it out.

I responded.

@AMHolmes· Only thing I didn’t love was the multiple plugs for @LeeChildReacher in the year he’s abrogated responsibility. 😡

That’s a furious emoji.

I mean, seriously, it was odd enough to suddenly be told that Rebus enjoys a Reacher novel as a bit of escapism or have Siobhan invited to go to a talk by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter or have her acquire a signed-by-Child copy of a Reacher novel as a present for Rebus. But these multiple mentions in the very year that Lee Child scandalously (yes, I do think it’s a fucking scandal) handed over Reacher to his brother? What the fuck?

I suspect mine wasn’t the first complaint he’d heard on this particular subject, because almost immediately afterwards I had a reply.

@Beathigh· He paid (handsomely) at a charity auction for the privilege!

Okay, still annoying to see Child get a plug this year, but at least there’s a valid reason. What about Slaughter’s mention?

@AMHolmes711 I am SO glad to hear that! Was Karin Slaughter the second highest bidder?

@Beathigh Equal highest!!

I’m still pissed off that Child got multiple name drops in a Rankin novel – especially the year that the first poorly-written-by-his-brother Reacher offering was released – but I guess a deal’s a deal. I hope Child paid very handsomely indeed and that it was for an extremely worthy charity.

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One Comment
  1. krysross permalink

    Think it’s great that you reach out to the authors you love in this way and also great that they respond. But I’m still bummed to see this kind of product placement in a Rebus. And, yes, it was pretty jarring.

    I think my weird spontaneous auto immune disorder is a response to the ‘monetization,’ the fucking galloping ‘monetization,’ of everything. And good books have been the safest haven and best antidote all my life. I hate these encroachments. It was bad enough finding out that publishers had to pay for their books to be at the front of the store, or on a table.

    Do you remember the Village Book Shop on Gerrard St.? Or Young’s books, on the east side of Yonge south of Dundas? Portals to sanity, long before product placement.

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