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Episode 1 Rebus: The Black Book

Episode 1 Rebus: The Black Book

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It’s a mystery how Ian Rankin’s 60s rock-loving detective has managed to elude me for so long, but five minutes into this story of extortion and murder and the scent of distillery fumes and disappointment curling through Edinburgh’s shadowy side streets is palpable.

One of John Rebus’s fellow officers takes a terrible beating for getting too close to discovering the identity of a dead body found in a hotel fire years before, and when Rebus starts digging among the ashes his brother Mickey is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Rebus may have a tendency to rhapsodise the obvious but the grainy characterisations probe the varied strata of Edinburgh society to satisfying effect and Bruce Young’s sure direction of this supple dramatisation will have me tuning in for the conclusion.


First of Chris Dolan's two-part dramatisation of Ian Rankin's crime thriller. Maverick detective inspector John Rebus investigates when the notebook of a colleague left in a coma after a severe beating yields clues to the unsolved case of a murder victim who died from a bullet through the heart. Starring Ron Donachie.

Cast & Crew

DI John Rebus Ron Donachie
DC Siobhan Clarke Gayanne Potter
Mickey Rebus Steven McNicoll
DS Brian Holmes Sean Biggerstaff
CS Watson/Ringan Douglas Russell
Torrance/Vanderhyde Paul Young
Kintoul/Calder Simon Donaldson
Angus Gibson Richard Conlon
Nell/Marie Shauna Macdonald
Auntie Ena Anne Downie
Director Bruce Young
Dramatised By Christopher Nolan
Producer Bruce Young
Writer Ian Rankin
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