crime novelist, was born in Fife, Scotland, and educated at Edinburgh University. He is best known for the ongoing series of ‘Rebus’ novels featuring world‐weary detective John Rebus, set in present‐day Edinburgh. In the tradition of Simenon's Maigret, Rebus has to deal with complex cases as well as the vagaries of his own domestic life. The first novel was Knots & Crosses (1987), and an ever‐darker atmosphere has developed, notably in Black & Blue (1997) and The Falls (2001). In A Question of Blood (2003), Rebus himself is under suspicion of murder, and revelations are choreographed towards a tense conclusion. His recent book, The Naming of the Dead, was published in 2006.