Latest Rankin book inspired by guitarist Rory Gallagher

Kickback City to be published as part of compilation album of rocker’s music


Crime writer Ian Rankin has written a novella inspired by the music of guitarist Rory Gallagher.

The book is being published as part of a compilation album of the Irish rocker’s music, called Kickback City, which was in turn influenced by his love of crime fiction.

Rankin, whose most famous creation John Rebus has appeared in a string of bestsellers, said: “I was approached by Rory’s brother Donal Gallagher who asked if I knew that Rory was a big fan of crime fiction? And of course when you look at it, the songs, the lyrics and especially the titles: Kickback City, Continental Op (the title of a Dashiell Hammett book), it all makes sense.

Donal mentioned that he was thinking of putting together an album of Rory’s songs that are to do with crime and thriller elements and asked if I wanted to get involved. It was great fun and writing the story for the Rory Gallagher album was just obvious to me. It would be noir, the classic Raymond Chandler or Philip Marlowe private eye.”

The release also includes an audio version of the story read by actor Aidan Quinn as well as the 44-page novella, called The Lie Factory, which is illustrated by graphic artist Timothy Truman.

Truman, who has worked for DC comics and designed for the Grateful Dead, said: “I turned on to Rory’s work in 1973 when I was a junior in high school in West Virginia. One Friday night, I turned on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and that’s when I first saw Rory. He immediately blew me away. I thought he was the greatest guitarist and performer I’d ever seen and I’ve been a devoted follower of his music ever since.”

Rankin, whose creation Rebus is described in the books as a music fan, said the connection to his character could get “weird”.

He said: “If this album ends up in Rebus’s record collection, I could end up writing a story in which Rebus takes out this album and sits reading an Ian Rankin story whilst listening to a Rory Gallagher album.”

Kickback City is released on October 28th.