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Download Knots and Crosses (Crime Club S.) epub

by Ian Rankin

Download Knots and Crosses (Crime Club S.) epub
ISBN: 0340487666
ISBN13: 978-0340487662
Category: Mystery
Subcategory: Mystery
Author: Ian Rankin
Language: English
Publisher: Coronet Books; New Ed edition (1989)
Pages: 176 pages
ePUB size: 1169 kb
FB2 size: 1400 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 191
Other Formats: mbr rtf rtf lit

Detective Sergeant John Rebus joined the Edinburgh police force 15 years ago, after leaving the special forces unit of the British Army (SAS). Rebus is a solid cop, respected (if not quite liked) by his superiors. As the story unfolds we learn that Rebus's brutal SAS training left him profoundly troubled, so that he drinks too much, has a failed marriage behind him, and has a somewhat distant relationship with his young teenage daughter Samantha.

When a serial killer starts murdering young girls in Edinburgh, Rebus is drafted onto the team investigating the deaths. At about the same time Rebus starts getting anonymous letters with cryptic messages, which he thinks are from some joker - maybe even his ex-wife or daughter.

As Rebus assists with the serial killer inquiry he's unaware that a reporter, Jim Stevens, is stalking him. It seems that Stevens thinks Rebus's brother Michael - a successful stage hypnotist - is pushing drugs and that detective Rebus is helping him. Stevens hopes that by cracking this 'conspiracy' he'll become famous and successful. The reporter becomes even more determined to nail Rebus when the detective starts dating attractive Detective Inspector Gillian Templer - who once went out with Stevens (literally once).

As the killings continue, and the anonymous letters keep coming, it becomes clear that the murderer has a fixation on Rebus himself. Unfortunately, Rebus can't think who might have a grudge against him, especially since he's blocked memories of his SAS days. Eventually (with a little help) Rebus recalls his past and a tip from the public provides needed clues. The detective puts all this together and figures out the identity and motives of the killer, which leads to a dramatic confrontation.

Though I've read many books in the Rebus series, I hadn't read this first one until now. The story serves as a good introduction to detective Rebus himself, but the plot is too simplistic and somewhat unlikely. It also starts off overly slowly but starts zipping along once Rebus gets into the thick of the investigation.

For a cop on the job for 15 years Rebus's intuition is underdeveloped. He's way too slow on the uptake about the anonymous letters. Granted Rebus has a clouded memory due to his SAS training, but getting weird letters in the midst of a murder spree should ring a bell in ANY detective's mind.

The author violates one of my pet peeves in this book. As much as I like Rebus as a detective I don't believe his paunchy, sloppy-looking self would get beautiful DI Gill Templer to sleep with him right off the bat. In my opinion (some) male authors are especially prone to write this kind of male fantasy and I never find it credible.

Overall, I enjoyed this first book in the series and feel like it's a good introduction to Rebus and his personality. The series gets even better in later books, with Rebus becoming more fully realized as a character and the mysteries themselves becoming more sophisticated and complex.

Still, I'd recommend the book to mystery fans. The Rebus books are well-worth reading and this is a good place to start.
John Rebus makes his debut as a Detective Sergeant in the Edinburgh police in Knots and Crosses. He’s been on the force for fifteen years following a decorated career in the British Army and, for a time, in the original special forces unit, the Special Air Service. He’s a disagreeable sort, disliked by most of his colleagues. His superiors tolerate him because he’s proven to be such a good detective.

It’s that reputation as a skilled investigator that leads to his being assigned to the task force pulled together to investigate a pair of horrific strangulation murders of Edinburgh girls aged 11-12—the age of Rebus’ daughter Samantha. Like several others, he and his partner are assigned to menial tasks. For days, the team makes no progress at all until finally Rebus turns up a useful clue in long-overlooked eyewitness reports. His recognition for this breakthrough brings him to the attention of Inspector Gill Templer, the force’s liaison with the press. Their relationship develops quickly as the investigation lurches forward—and more girls are murdered.

Rebus’ father was a stage hypnotist, as is his younger brother Michael. Michael soon emerges as a major character in the tale, as does the investigative reporter who is convinced he is involved in drug trafficking. In fact, the reporter believes that John Rebus is also involved, and his obsessive pursuit of that belief complicates the detective’s life.

Knots and Crosses is a cut above the usual serial killer thriller. The suspense is palpable, and Rankin succeeds in making us care a great deal about his protagonist. It’s no surprise that he resurrected Rebus in a long series of sequels and is successfully continuing to do so to this day.
About the author

Knots and Crosses, was the first of Ian Rankin‘s Inspector Rebus novels, published in 1988. Rankin was dismayed when the critics treated it as detective fiction. He had set out to write a mainstream novel. Presumably, he’s no longer disappointed, having won dozens of literary awards and sold millions of copies of his books. He, his wife, and their two sons live in Edinburgh near fellow writers J.K. Rowling, Alexander McCall Smith, and Kate Atkinson.
This was my first Ian Rankin book featuring Inspector Rebus. I have a close friend who has read every book by Mr. Rankin, but to explain, she is a Brit, who probably has no trouble with Scottish phraseology. I, on the other hand, stumbled through some of the Scottish dialogue. It took me an 1/8 of the book to figure out that Knots and Crosses was a reference to Tit Tat Doe. Not essential to comprehending the story, but it would have helped me understand the serial killer's motivation in picking victims, including Rebus' daughter. It wrapped up too quickly for my taste. I was left with the feeling that Mr. Rankin just got tired of writing a thorough epilogue. I also had no clear sense of Rebus' personality or character. This might be an incentive to give Rebus another chance. Unlike Jack Reacher who is a clear and concise protagonist, Rebus seemed moody and vague. There was an old TV show produced by the BBC with Rebus as the lead, but the fictional and TV character didn't jive in my mind. Again, maybe I should try another Rankin book after a respite.