Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
7 out of 10
Knots and Crosses is the book that introduced Inspector John Rebus to the world. His world weary cynicism, and unhealthy habits forming, but still not fully developed, but right away we are introduced to Rebus’s environment of Edinburgh, its crimes, criminals, and a way of interfering in his personal life.
Two young girls have been kidnapped, murdered, and a third is missing, perhaps heading towards the same fate. Rebus’s personal life has collapsed, his marriage is over, and his daughter is down south, with her mother, and then it starts to get more and more personal.
The post arrives, knotted strings and matchstick crosses, and no indication of where they came from. Rebus delves into his own past in the army to for the answers, and doesn’t like what he finds there. As he gets closer and closer to the truth, rubbing the powerful of Edinburgh the wrong way with his blunt charm, we learn more about Rebus’s, and how his time in the army affected him, and the identity of the murderer comes as a complete shock to both Rebus, and the reader.
Knots and Crosses is where it all started for Rebus, and although originally it was only meant to be a one of, Ian Ranking soon discovered that there was a lot more to Rebus than he thought. It has the same characters we all know, but in a less formed state, this is an embryonic Rebus, but all fans of crime fiction, and Scottish fiction will find something to love within these pages.