Oh, the blessings of being an author with too much time on his hands. I can just picture Ian Rankin sitting in the house (farm? cottage?) he and his wife bought in rural Dordogne, having whizzed through the manuscript for yet another increasingly well-written John Rebus novel and – having left behind all other employment across the British Channel and neither inclined to carpentry nor gardening – feeling his mind growing restless, in need of occupation. Now, wouldn't you have started looking for another outlet for your creative energy had you been in his spot?
The result of the aforementioned process, which Rankin describes in this compilation's foreword, were three thrillers written under the pseudonym Jack Harvey (Jack for his newborn son, Harvey for his wife's maiden name); now finally back in print and reunited in a single volume.