Two masters of suspense, leading crime writers Lee Child and Ian Rankin, reflect candidly on the art of creating compelling characters in this talk.
Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher novel, Past Tense, marks the return of one of the world’s most popular thriller heroes, following Reacher as he delves into his own father’s past.
Marking 30 years since Ian Rankin’s first John Rebus novel, In a House of Lies sees the return of a flawed but humane detective who has become an iconic character for readers around the world.
Both Lee Child and Ian Rankin are the recipients of numerous awards, and both have received the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association’s Diamond Dagger.
Lee Child is one of the world’s leading thriller writers. He was born in Coventry, raised in Birmingham, and now lives in New York. It is said one of his novels featuring his hero Jack Reacher is sold somewhere in the world every nine seconds. His books consistently achieve the number-one slot on bestseller lists around the world and have sold over 100 million copies. Two successful Jack Reacher movies have been made so far.
He is the recipient of many awards, most recently the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger for a writer of an outstanding body of crime fiction, the International Thriller Writers’ ThrillerMaster, and the Theakston Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first John Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into 36 languages and are bestsellers worldwide. He has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards, including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Rankin won the United States' celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the United States, and won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis.
A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a number one bestselling author in the UK, and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons.