Gill Templer is an inspector in the Lothian and Borders Police Force. Born in an air-force base in Wiltshire just after the war, her father had been an engineer in the RAF. She worked up the ranks of the police by sheer hard work, and by the late 80s had made Detective Inspector. During the case of the Edinburgh Strangler, she was press liaison and began a relationship with John Rebus, the main victim of the crimes.

She stayed with Rebus for 2 years before leaving him for a local disc jockey named Calum McCallum. However several months later McCallum was arrested for involvement with a dog fighting ring, and so Gill turned to Rebus for comfort. She left McCallum, having been betrayed by him, and moved to Fettes HQ.