A relationship with a stranger


I am having a relationship with a fellow Ian Rankin fan, I think? They probably don’t know I exist and I am assuming it’s the same person.

Three years ago as we landed in this new land I had just been put on to Ian Rankin. The suggestion was, as someone very new to the crime genre and someone who had never really read crime, I should read him. I had started with one of his first books, Black Book, but I still wasn’t a convert.

It was only a week after our arrival in Brisbane that it all changed. We went to the local school fair where I picked up The Naming of the Dead and Exit Music. They looked brand new. I wondered if a publisher or book seller had donated them. If they had been read it was only once. I can’t remember the price but it was cheap, maybe $2. I devoured them and realised this is Rankin. Now, after many re reads, both books look a lot more worse for wear.

So, I went back the following year with the hope of finding more but there were none!

This year I saw Dogs in the Wild and a rare early story called The Watchman, this hardcover came with a new introduction by the author.  Now I don’t know if it’s that the story is about spys and watching people or the idea of a fellow Rankin reader out there somewhere that I’m sharing stories with. But I’ve been thinking a lot about who this person might be. They are probably local, definitely a once only reader. The books are in near mint condition. Maybe they aren’t reading them at all, maybe someone thinks they are a Rankin fan and keeps buying the books for my poor reader who isn’t reading them at all, instead saving them up for the next school fair.

Not sure where I’d start but I do feel like there could be a great mystery to unravel here.






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