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Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin.
The complete review ‘s Review:. Knots and Crosses is the first John Rebus book. It is self-contained and ambitious.
Knots and Crosses – Wikipedia
The possibility that a series might develop around this character is there, but the John Rebus that is introduced here is a character whose life-story and lingering pains and hurts all impact on a single case: For all its ambition Knots and Crosses is also a surprisingly thin book.
Most of the Rebus novels that have followed have had considerably more heft. Unfortunately, this story is as large as practically any Rankin has written; but the presentation here is rushed, often skimming speedily along on the surface, and there are many bits he could linger over at considerably greater length not the least of which is the resolution, as the aftermath of events that have been extraordinarily traumatic for Rebus’ family is barely touched upon.
The story is a sensational and too elaborate one: Surprisingly, there is no evidence that the girls were sexually molested or assaulted; they are simply if somewhat gruesomely killed. Detective Sergeant John Rebus is assigned to the case, a top priority in Edinburgh, where the locals like to think this sort of thing can’t happen.
Knots and Crosses
At the same time Rebus is also receiving anonymous notes which say things like: And Rebus happens to have a daughter, Samantha, “eleven going on twenty-one”. And so it’s pretty clear pretty soon where this is heading. Still, Rankin does complicate matters nicely: There’s the journalist Jim Stevens, who’s well aware of what Michael Rebus is involved in, and who xrosses what John’s role in all this is. There are the women Rebus gets involved with: And, most of all, there’s Rebus’ past, the years in the army and SAS that he won’t — or can’t — talk about.
Unfortunately, Rankin also tries way too hard iam parts: The clues finally fall into place — and Michael’s hypnotic skills kan the last pieces another less than ideal plot device — and it comes down to one last, frantic hunt and show-down.
It’s all a bit croses — and presented much too fast, as in a one-hour television show — but there’s some talent at work here. There are a few too many pub scenes, and the crsoses idea borders on the ridiculous, but Rankin shows a nice touch occasionally, and it takes some skill to make such an outlandish story readable, which he does.
Thin, but a decent fast read — and with a gleam of promise to it.
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