Best-selling crime author Ian Rankin has written a TV series for Channel 4 that will see members of the public take on the role of detective and lead their own investigations.
Murder Island, which was filmed during the summer and airs next month, will blend factual, drama and competition formats.
Filmed on the Scottish island of Gigha, the six-part series is based around a murder plot, written and developed by Rankin, that stars a group of amateur detectives who will compete to solve a crime and build a “watertight case” that can stand up in court.
Born in 1960 in Fife, Rankin is best known for his Inspector Rebus series of novels, which are set mainly in Edinburgh.
He has published more than 20 novels, two short story collections and one original graphic novel.
Contestants on Murder Island will be overseen by some of the UK’s leading senior investigating officers.
Rankin, 61, said: “When it comes to writing a whodunit I usually call the shots, taking the reader only to the places I want them to visit and showing them only the characters I want them to see. Murder Island is different.
“The detectives can follow any strand, uncovering clues as they go and asking the suspects any questions they like.
“Will I manage to stay one step ahead of them? I think I’ve constructed my twistiest story yet – so let’s see.”
Kelly Webb-Lamb, deputy director of programmes and head of popular factual at Channel 4, said: “We are incredibly excited to be working with the world-renowned Ian Rankin, STV Studios and Motion in making this ambitious, challenging and genre-busting series.
“In a television first, members of the public step into the crime scene and compete to solve the murder.”
Craig Hunter, creative director of factual at STV Studios, said: “I’m thrilled that Ian agreed to work with us on this project.
“It was certainly a leap into the unknown when he set out to write the plot for Murder Island. But, in true Rankin fashion, he has created an incredible narrative, from which this exciting new format hangs…”
Melanie Darlaston, executive producer of Motion Content Group, said: “It has been a pleasure working with STV Studios on this innovative new C4 series.
“Ian Rankin’s plotline will no doubt keep our wannabe detectives – and viewers – guessing to the bitter end.”
– Murder Island is produced by STV Studios and Motion Content Group for Channel 4.