FaceOff, the brilliant new anthology featuring popular suspense characters squaring off against each other (or working together), just came out this week, and Ian Rankin, author of the Inspector Rebus series, answered a few questions about his story with Peter James (the DS Roy Grace series)!
What was it like collaborating with Peter James on In the Nick of Time?
It was fun, as well as challenging. Peter and I have known one another for years. Our biggest problem was how to bring together two quite different cops who work 500 miles apart in different countries! Once we had nailed that, the ride got more comfortable.
The characters Roy Grace and John Rebus are like night and day. Was it difficult to create a connection between two very different people?
Rebus and Grace come from different backgrounds, have different philosophies of policing, so we knew they wouldn’t exactly be best buddies when they met. But that is always interesting – as a writer you want relationships that provide sparks. Of course, they share one crucial imperative – they want to put away the perpetrators. Doesn’t matter where your cops are from or in what ways they differ – they’ll have that in common.
Explain why you chose Brighton as the setting for the story.
Well, we had to get Rebus to Grace’s jurisdiction or vice versa. Brighton made sense because Rebus is a big fan of The Who and in their album Quadrophenia they sing about the fights that used to take place in Brighton in the early 1960s between rival gangs. That gave us the inkling of a plot, and we found a way to make it work!