Choose your protagonists with care

John le Carre once said he chose a destination he wanted to go to and then wrote a novel based on the experience. Ian Rankin, taking entirely the opposite approach, describes the most salient feature of the detective he has chosen to succeed Rebus as the protagonist of his books.

Unlike his whisky-loving predecessor, however, Fox doesn’t drink. “Yes, that’s right, he doesn’t drink. He really doesn’t. Not a drop,” Rankin said last month. “The research, needless to say, was hell.”

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