Belfast Telegraph

Crime writer baffled by tiger kidnap plot

The Insider's spies were at a Belfast Festival talk by crime novelist Ian Rankin last weekend.

Rankin, creator of Edinburgh Detective Inspector John Rebus, told the audience with some excitement about a report he read that day in the Belfast Telegraph.

He said it involved shots being fired in Northern Ireland during an attempt to "kidnap a tiger".

In fact, the report was about a tiger kidnapping, which means a robbery involving a kidnapping - for instance, when a bank manager's family is held hostage.

Alas, Ian, it does not mean a tiger was actually involved.

Rankin, meanwhile, revealed during his talk that he lives just two doors down from another best-selling Edinburgh crime novellist, Alexander McCall Smith.

Rankin has strong family ties to Northern Ireland and spent Christmas 2008 here.

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And McCall Smith used to live in Belfast and teach at Queen's University.

It's a small world, after all.

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From Belfast Telegraph