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Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

Knots and Crosses (1987)

by Ian Rankin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Rebus (1)

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2,8841073,003 (3.55)258
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English (98)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
I've read later Inspector Rebus novels, so going back and reading the first one of the series was fascinating. The changes in technology (Rebus struggles with typing his reports on a typewriter; trying to find a public phone for calls when he isn't at home or the office) are fascinating to me; so much has changed in the 30 years we've gotten to know Rebus. Quite enjoyable! ( )
  MeredithRankin | Jun 7, 2019 |
Given my affinity for the weary cop/detective who doesn't give up, you'd think I'd have read Rankin before now. Well, I finally got around to him, and what an intriguing series opener this is. I love that there are multiple layers of Rebus's character that I don't yet know or understand.

What I hope for this series is that Rebus will remain the distinct character he is here as the author works growth into him. As long as that continues, I'll keep reading. I love that he is well-read, that mythology and literature are naturally a part of his thought process. I love that he is a religious man who is wrestling with the nature of God and the nature of evil. His backstory is heartbreaking and awful and worked into this story with careful deliberation--introduced to the reader via the one case that would force these things into the forefront after he's tried so long not to let them in. (Has that been done before? Sure, but it works here in a way that feels unexpectedly new, at least to me.)

A few drawbacks... Giving point of view to other characters seems unnecessary; fortunately this isn't done too often, as I spent these bits wanting only to get back to Rebus. The hypnotist brother is a rather odd story piece (though of course he serves a purpose in the plot, even if it is mostly an obvious red herring). The prose sometimes feels a little forced, but overall I enjoyed Rankin's carefully understated voice.

This is a short but dynamic novel that leaves me wanting to know more about its protagonist. I'll be reading the second installment as soon as possible. ( )
1 vote AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
inspector rebus has been on my TBR list for years - my mum is a huge fan and periodically gets after me to start in on the series. this first book is a good first outing with rebus. i love that edinburgh is its own character for rankin. and, i don't know what it is about damaged detectives in fiction that is so attractive, but when done well they are so compelling. rankin has created quite an interesting character in rebus. he's been broken many times over, and carries around deep trauma. the mystery is a personal one, and challenges rebus to his very core. glad to finally have this series underway, and i look forward to seeing how rankin develops along the way. ( )
  Booktrovert | Dec 8, 2018 |
This is the first of the Rebus mysteries, and provides the truly horrific background of the character. The reader is pretty much one or two steps ahead of the detective, but the writing is good and the pace is taut. ( )
  ffortsa | Sep 7, 2018 |
Get the red hot backstory on Rebus, his military problem, his fling with Gil, his brother, his wife, and his daughter. Rebus number 1 explains it all in a nasty little serial killer hunt. ( )
  kerns222 | May 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Note from Kirkus' Vintage Review Editor:
In 1987 author Ian Rankin introduced Edinburgh, Scotland police detective John Rebus in his first novel, Knots and Crosses. Kirkus awarded the novel a starred review and encouraged our readers to carefully watch this newcomer. For the following 20 years, Rankin treated his loyal readers to a Rebus mystery every year or two until he retired him in 2006 in the excellent novel, Exit Music. As Rankin is bringing Rebus back in his new novel Standing in Another Man’s Grave, we remind you what we thought about Rankin’s first go-round with Rebus. — January 21, 2013

A compelling first novel sent in Edinburgh, where a series of killings of young girls has the city in a panic. Ex-army police detective John Rebus is in the thick of the investigation. Scarred by his elite-corps army training, a nervous breakdown and a divorce, father of teen-age Samantha, Rebus is a dogged but not too sharp investigator. The anonymous letters he starts to receive after the first murder are shrugged off as the work of a crank; he never questions the affluence of his rarely seen hypnotist brother Michael; and he never figures out the one factor common to all the victims. In the meantime, his girlfriend Gill Templet, a press liason policewoman, and hard-bitten, hard-drinking reporter Jim Stevens are smarter. It slowly becomes clear that the killer's focus is Rebus himself, who must finally confront an implacable enemy and hie own long-repressed traumatic memories. Solidly drawn characters, keen psychological insights and an intriguing, well-knit plot--along with a rather florid but individual writing style--make Rankin a newcomer to watch.
added by VivienneR | editKirkus Reviews

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Ian Rankinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rusconi, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312956738, Mass Market Paperback)

Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders...and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain's elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn't just one cop trying to catch a killer, he's the man who's got all the pieces to the puzzle...

Knots and Crosses introduces a gifted mystery novelist, a fascinating locale and the most compellingly complex detective hero at work today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:05 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

While investigating a series of gory killings of young, innocent girls, Edinburgh police detective John Rebus, a former member of Britain's elite SAS, discovers his own ties to the killer and is brought up against his own memories, which hold the key to unraveling the case.… (more)

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Average: (3.55)
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1.5 4
2 50
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3 238
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