From: K Montin ( kmontin@total.net)
Date: 23 Oct 2001

This isn't Edinburgh month, but I managed to catch one of the two made for TV Rebus movies last week on Showcase, Black and Blue. The other one was The Hanging Garden. There are apparently two others but I don't know when they'll be on, if ever.

This summer I read half a dozen Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, plus a book of short stories featuring Rebus (A Good Hanging). Unfortunately, I read them in completely haphazard order, whenever someone lent one to me or I found it in a used bookstore. It was kind of strange, especially since I read them one after the other. In one book, his teenage daughter is recovering from an accident. In another, she's still in elementary school. Then she has the accident. His drinking followed a similarly erratic pattern, but then maybe it does anyway.

To get back to the movie, Black and Blue was one I haven't read yet, so I don't know what liberties were taken with the plot and one-time characters. But Rebus was something of a disappointment. John Hannah, who plays him, is too young, trim and healthy. Not too hard, either. Twice he gently holds hands with a woman in a time of stress. The real Rebus would never!

There is a fairly scathing review of it on the Web. The critic rightly points out the music soundtrack was mediocre, and when you consider all the references Rebus makes to various bands and songs, it shouldn't have been difficult to put together a great one. The only charitable explanation might be licensing problems.

See http://www.twbooks.co.uk/crimescene/rebus.html

For info on Rankin, see http://www.twbooks.co.uk/authors/irankin.html Karin Montin

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