Thursday, 23 July 2009

Dead centre of the city

Ian Rankin leads the way down a dark, stone stairway into the bowels of his city. He takes a turn, passes under the massive stone arch of a bridge and, after walking another 50 yards, turns and stops. "There it is," he shouts above the traffic. "Anyone who dies in Edinburgh starts their death here." We have arrived at an anonymous 1960s brick building, its two stories dwarfed by the towering structures around it. Inside, piled up against the highest window, is a stack of pots that look a lot like paint tins through the opaque glass. But it's doubtful that they ever contained anything quite so benign as paint, because this is the City Mortuary. Embalming f luid, perhaps?

Another Ian Rankin invterview - this one the cover feature in the T2 section of the Times. Read more here: Rebus Walk. The pun on the dead centre of Edinburgh was in the original copy but removed by a passing sub. It would never happen to Giles Coren, eh?

Here's a jolly spread about the joys of second hand books, which I helped out with: Old books.