Fate of Hare marks new chapter for old colleague

Peter Ranscombe's debut novel about body snatcher William Hare was launched in Edinburgh's Old Town. Picture: Alex Hewitt

Peter Ranscombe's debut novel about body snatcher William Hare was launched in Edinburgh's Old Town. Picture: Alex Hewitt

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Former Business Desk operative Peter Ranscombe was reunited with some of his erstwhile colleagues from The Scotsman at the launch of his debut novel on Wednesday night.

The choice of venue – Blackwell’s Bookshop on Edinburgh’s South Bridge – seemed tailor made. Ranscombe’s book, Hare, takes the story of notorious criminal double act Burke and Hare and asks what happened to the latter after his partner in crime was hanged for a string of murders. Burke and Hare sold their cadavers to Dr Knox in Surgeon’s Square, a stone’s throw from the book store.

Ranscombe managed to steady his nerves and deliver a taster from Hare to an appreciative audience. There was disappointment for some, though, hoping for a signed copy of said novel. By the end of the evening, supplies of the hardback had run dry. An apologetic debut novelist has promised fresh stock in time for Christmas.

Ineos boss powers to top

INEOS chairman and founder Jim Ratcliffe can put last year’s painful industrial dispute at the firm’s Grangemouth complex behind him after topping an influential industry power league.

Ratcliffe received the most votes to head the ICIS Top 40 Power Players ranking, which highlights the senior executives who have had the greatest positive impact on their companies and the wider global chemicals industry “through clever investments, mergers and acquisitions, and new innovations in 2014”. The Ineos boss saw off competition from Dow Chemical chairman Andrew Liveris, who took second spot, while Saudi Aramco chief Khalid Al-Falih came in third.

Runners raise £6k for blind

Well done to Kim Dawson, Heather Goldsworthy and Lynsey Taylor of accountants Johnston Carmichael, who raised more than £6,000 for Guide Dogs Scotland with their marathon running. The firm has presented its 2014 charity partner with a cheque for £18,960 following a year of fund-raising activities.

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