Talk of the Town: But will author Ian join the Rankin file?

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HE is famed for his accurate portrayals of the inner workings of Lothian and Borders’ finest – and now Ian Rankin has revealed he has had inside help.

The best-selling crime writer admitted that a senior officer at Lothian and Borders Police granted him access to the police college at Tulliallan, Fife, for research while he was writing his 1992 book Resurrection Men.

In a radio interview Rankin said he had made the request after being criticised for not knowing about the police training facilities. “There’s only one police college in Scotland, so I wrote to him and said ‘if you can sneak me in for a few weeks to do some background, I’ll set a book there’.

“And so he did and I got to wander around as though I was a member of staff.”

Hell on earth as secret society summons devil

EVERYONE likes a good scare at Hallowe’en – but Edinburgh’s Secret Society might just find it has bitten off more than it can chew with its latest event.

The super-spooky stage shows have already sold out, and it seems the big draw this year is the devil himself. In the sort of foolish stunt that horror film fans will recognise as a Biblical apocalypse waiting to happen, the society has pledged to try and summon the devil for their own amusement.

And in the manner of all the best Satan-summoning ceremonies, they have also pledged to sacrifice a virgin – little wonder the show is billed as “not for the fainthearted”.

Fat cats

AS the home to Sir Fred “the Shred” Goodwin, you might think Edinburgh has more than its fair share of fat cats.

A new survey from vets charity the PDSA suggests around a quarter of the Capital’s pet cats are being overfed. Top cat snacks included takeaways, cheese, crisps and cakes, with some cossetted kitties getting cake on a daily basis. Even worse, it seems the majority of owners don’t think there’s anything wrong with letting their cat have the occasional fish supper – with just four per cent admitting to feline guilty.

Better off in bed

“IT’S grim up north”, often heard in those genteel towns anywhere south of Dagenham.

And it seems we Capital-dwellers agree with new research showing Edinburgh residents offset the dark mornings and sub-zero temperatures by sleeping longer and eating more. A survey suggests we enjoy an extra ten hours in bed each month to cope with the short days and general meteorological misery.