Rebus meets Grace in crime collaboration

Rebus meets Grace in crime collaboration

Two of crime's biggest names will work together for the first time next year when Peter James and Ian Rankin have their most famous creations—DS Roy Grace and DI John Rebus—teaming up to look into a long-unsolved murder.

James and Rankin have co-written "In the Nick of Time" for a charity anthology for International Thriller Writers, the US equivalent of the Crime Writers Association. The as-yet-untitled anthology is edited by David Baldacci and has a string of crime authors co-writing stories including Lee Child and Joseph Finder; Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane; and Lisa Gardner and MJ Rose.

James and Rankin are the only British writers involved in the project. The anthology is published in the US in July 2014 but has yet to secure a UK deal.

"In the Nick of Time" involves an unsolved murder from the Mods and Rockers era, with the chief suspect now living in Scotland. The story has Grace and Rebus travelling to each other's respective bases of Brighton and Edinburgh to crack the case.

James said it was "great fun" working with Rankin. He added:  "The two detectives get on. But the first time Grace meets Rebus, I have him say: 'I thought you retired'."

Rankin's and James' Grace and Rebus novels have sold a combined £62m through BookScan since records began.

A full profile interview with Peter James runs in this week's Bookseller.