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Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

Knots and Crosses (original 1987; edition 2005)

by Ian Rankin

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2,224672,899 (3.57)145
Title:Knots and Crosses
Authors:Ian Rankin
Info:Orion Paperbacks (2005) Kindle Edition
Collections:Your library
Tags:Kindle, Fiction, Genre Fiction, Mystery, Scottish Literature

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Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin (1987)


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Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Possibly the most boring police mystery I have ever read. It's a mystery, not a procedural...and the mystery seems secondary to Rebus' character. So, maybe this is really a very boring character study? Rankin's Rebus series was highly recommended. I'm willing to try a few more before I call it quits. ( )
  lesmel | Sep 18, 2014 |
Okay.... I am a fan. Didn't think I would be, what with the warnings received from my trusted LT buddies to forgo reading the first book in the Inspector Rebus series and pick up the series a couple of books in. The average overall rating for the book on the LT book page also didn't boost my confidence as I settled in and started reading but I was pleasantly surprised how much I prefer Rebus as a character to some of the leading characters in my recent police procedural/crime reads. Rebus comes across as .... well.... real. Damaged and with quite the shocking previous work experiences but REAL. Okay, so it took a little while for the story to get going, things are missing that would have given this one a nice cohesive story and have I mentioned that the plot was dead simple to figure out? Still, even with all of that going against it - and reading Rankin's somewhat cringing introduction to my copy where he half apologizes for this creation of his - I feel more of an affinity with Rebus than I do for Carl Moerck from Jussi Adler-Olsen's Department Q series or Anne Cameron from Karen Campbell's Anna Cameron series. As for the setting... I know Edinburgh pretty well - more so than I do Glasgow - and I like how Rankin has captured the region.

Will I be reading more in the Inspector Rebus series? You bet I will! ( )
  lkernagh | Jun 30, 2014 |
John Rebus is a District Sergeant working in Edinburgh. He’s overworked, that’s not the dozen on-going cases on his desk that will contradict this assumption. Of course, he drinks and smokes too much. A nut-job is sending him weird letters about knots and crosses and a serial killer is abducting young girls. Well he’s also divorced; he thinks that his past in the Special Air Service and its impact on their everyday life is partly to be blamed for that. He feels estranged from their twelve-year-old daughter Samantha and wonder when she became so grown-up.

Rebus is a copper not a superhero. The police’s work is not glamorized and the field’s work is admirably described. One of the main characters is Edinburgh itself. You feel the city, its dampness, the tourist side and the grimness of some districts. I had the pleasure to visit Edinburgh last year and I could easily see the parts of the city described.

I really appreciated that his hierarchy is seeing him not as a very good cop, just as a good cop; that’s more than enough for the work to be done. The other aspect that I found interesting is how he tries to deal with his past and how its affect his life, being it professional or personal.

Absolutely recommended for anyone looking for a realistic police procedural with a credible copper ( )
  electrice | Jun 19, 2014 |
Knots & Crosses is the first book in the Rebus series, and it is a reworking of the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. John Rebus, a complex and troubled man, is a detective sergeant who is investigating the kidnapping and murder of two eleven-year-old girls in Edinburgh. He is haunted by his past in the army, and his investigation suffers because of this. Jim Stephens, a journalist for the local paper, has uncovered a drug story that might involve Rebus, and he is determined to find out the truth. Both men have unconventional means to reach their ends. This enhances the suspense and makes the story more interesting. But there is also a third main character in this book: Edinburgh, a city with so many different layers.

Knots & Crosses is a promising start for the Rebus series. I’d like to know more about the detective and about Edinburgh. This can only mean one thing: I have to get my hands on Hide and Seek. So stay tuned for more reviews about this series.

To read the full review, please go to my blog (Cecile Sune - Book Obsessed). ( )
  cecile.sune | Apr 3, 2014 |
A worthy first novel. This was published during my tenth year in the Navy. I wasn't much of a reader back then. But, my mom remembered it and recommended it. She was right. It's a good quick read; it may be that when written, Rankin might not have been planning to continue with series fiction with Detective Sergeant Rebus, as he wrote two distinctly different books in between "Knots and Crosses" and "Hide and Seek." Nevertheless, Rebus is an interesting character and his (probably Rankin's) outlook on modern Edinburgh with all it's warts and scars is revealing. I hope I get to go back to Edinburgh one day, after I get through these novels, and see it with new eyes. My first visit was just too rushed and touristy. Anyway, it's well-written along the plot, I would have enjoyed more description of the city. I'll start on the next one soon, looking for the character and author to mature. ( )
  vsnunez | Mar 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (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.
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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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