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Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
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Knots and Crosses (original 1987; edition 2005)

by Ian Rankin

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2,267732,823 (3.57)152
Member:jpyvr
Title:Knots and Crosses
Authors:Ian Rankin
Info:Orion Paperbacks (2005) Kindle Edition
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Kindle, Fiction, Genre Fiction, Mystery, Scottish Literature

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Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin (1987)

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English (66)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
The book was a fun, gripping read from start to finish. It has all the elements I enjoy in a thriller/mystery book and an excellent protagonist to go with it.

I like Rebus as a character, he's raw and gritty, but he's still an enjoyable character to read about. He's realistic, he has multiple dimensions, and overall, compared to similar books in the genre, he stands out. I think it's why I enjoy this book and series so much. Because there's a very realistic protagonist, who is well rounded and compliments the plot. He can be an ass at times, but I think it is fitting for the mood and setting of the book.

This was definitely one of those, gripping reads, especially near the end. I ended up becoming immersed in the book, griping it, as I read on to find out what would happen next. And I think the author set up the scene, and ended it exceptionally well. I was hopping a certain reporter, would get a different ending, he was also a character who was well written, but he was also the type of character you wanted to be hit by a bus.

The story itself was well done, I liked it a lot and I enjoyed trying to piece together the mystery, although near the middle of the book, it began to drag on a little bit, I wanted the story to push forward a little faster than it did during that part, but all in all a great read.

Also found on my book review blog Jules' Book Reviews - Knots and Crosses ( )
  bookwormjules | Mar 1, 2015 |
This classic police procedural is a good introduction to Inspector John Rebus, a curmudgeonly Scot with, naturally, a tormented past and a messed up personal life. Rebus is investigating a murders of very young girls, most likely at the hands of a serial killer. He's also trying to patch up his relationship with his brother and recover from a failed marriage, while being haunted by events from his Army career. These seemingly disparate threads all come together and contribute to solving the crime.

This book is good, solid mystery fare. I was a little bothered by a massive clue that Rebus failed to take into consideration until quite late in the novel. Did the author think readers were naive enough to miss it, too, or are we supposed to be sitting on the sidelines shouting at Rebus, as I did? The reveal of "whodunnit" wasn't completely surprising either, but was still delivered with a twist. I liked Rebus well enough to continue reading this series. ( )
  lauralkeet | Feb 1, 2015 |
I went back to this, the first of Rankin's Rebus series, to get some understanding of Rebus's origins and also to get an idea of how Rankin's expertise progressed - progress that took giant steps. The characters were developed well over the series, but his main character, the city of Edinburgh, was his shining jewel. One of the things I like most about Rankin's books is that he incorporates the personality of Edinburgh: its history, good points, flaws and eccentricities. I'm glad I searched out this book that helps explain the Rebus persona and make sense of his anxieties and foibles. Obviously not Rankin's best novel, but still entertaining. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Dec 8, 2014 |
This is the first book of the Inspector Rebus series by Ian Rankin set in Edinburgh, Scotland. We get into an investigation of 12 year old girls who are being kidnapped and later murdered. The investigation is taking on the look of a hunt for a serial killer. John Rebus is a detective Sargent who is doing the usual leg work on the case with many others. He also is getting these crank letters which he disregards. But things get personal pretty fast and he has to do the quick thinking.

John comes across as dull witted character which we are are not used to in our leading men and till the end he does not redeem himself. Excepting that it's a fine read. ( )
  mausergem | Oct 15, 2014 |
Synopsis: John Rebus is a man with demons. They seem to surface at inopportune times making his professional, and personal, life difficult. The serial killer preying on young girls is also a difficulty in that rather than getting to work the streets Rebus is stuck reading and re-reading case files looking for clues. The dreariness is punctuated by letters from his own, personal psycho who seems to like nothing more than to leave messages that make Rebus vaguely uncomfortable, but not alarmed.
Review: While this story seems a bit disjointed, it does provide information about Rebus's background and his demons. It does finally all tie together with the identification of the serial killer, the psycho, and the drug scene. ( )
  DrLed | Oct 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (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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To Miranda

without whom

nothing is worth finishing
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The girl screamed once, only the once.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:40 -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)

(summary from another edition)

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