WITH Logan McRae of the Aberdeen police, Stuart MacBride has created one of Scotland’s most popular detectives.
McRae and his dysfunctional colleagues have appeared in eight novels to date, including a number of No.1 bestsellers.
But apart from McRae and Ash Henderson, who makes a second appearance in MacBride’s most recent book, A Song For The Dying, who are MacBride’s own top ‘tecs?
Inspector Jack Frost. Creator R. D. Wingfield. Played by David Jason in the ITV series A Touch of Frost. "That was the first crime writer I read where he had more than one crime in each book. That was a real revelation to me. This is what it must be like to be a real police officer: you don’t just get one case at a time. Crime still goes on."
Inspector John Rebus. Creator Ian Rankin. Played by John Hannah and Ken Stott in the ITV series. MacBride is far from the only Scottish writer who would acknowledge a debt to Ian Rankin, but as an unpublished author, he interviewed Rankin, who suggested Aberdeen would be an excellent location for a crime series.
Tony Hill. Creator Val McDermid. Played by Robson Green in the ITV series Wire In The Blood. A profiler rather than a policeman, the creation of Fife’s other crime writing star is "another great detective-y character" according to MacBride.
Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe. Played by Richard Griffiths in the BBC1 series Pie in The Sky about a reluctant policeman who doubled as a restaurant owner and chef. "I used to love that show. Not a very likely detective and that’s what’s great about him. He’s completely unlikely to be doing what he is, but at the same time very good at it."
Harry Dresden. Creator Jim Butcher. Played by Paul Blackthorne in the Sci-Fi Channel television series The Dresden Files. Private investigator and wizard (the only wizard in the Chicago Yellow Pages) who investigates supernatural crimes in modern day America. "It’s essentially crime fiction – so much of what is written is essentially crime fiction. Dickens was really a crime fiction writer, Shakespeare was as well. Beowulf was one of the first serial killer stories. Crime fiction is everywhere and I love it, and have ever since I was wee."
Stuart MacBride will be at Waterstones Inverness branch from 12.30pm on Saturday 25th January to sign copies of A Song For The Dying (published by Harper Collins) and chat to his readers.