John Rebus is probably no ideal policeman. He drinks to much, he smokes to much, he is quite undisciplined. In the first novel, <i>Knots & Crosses</i>, Rebus is a part of the team investigating “The Edinburgh Strangler”. Someone is abducting young girls and killing them. As the case progress it seems like this case is more personal to Rebus than he first believes. And on top of that, a ghost from his past as a soldier in the Paras is haunting him. In <i>Hide & Seek</i> Rebus is taking interest in something that for everyone else is looking like an overdose, while he really should be occupied with fronting an anti drug campaign initiated by his superior.</p><p>In <i>Tooth & Nail</i> Rebus is sent to London to assist the London police in the investigation of a serial killer named “Wolfman”. Of course Rebus is ending up annoying most of the people there as well.</p><p>In <i>Mortal Causes</i> Rebus is seconded to the Scottish Crime Squad because of his army experience from Ulster in the late 60s. </p><p>In the TV series Rebus is played by John Hannah in the first four episodes, and then by Ken Stott in the rest.
In the first novel, Knots & Crosses, Rebus is a part of the team investigating “The Edinburgh Strangler”. Someone is abducting young girls and killing them. As the case progress it seems like this case is more personal to Rebus than he first believes. And on top of that, a ghost from his past as a soldier in the Paras is haunting him. Shot by Gordon Reeves when trying to catch him. Ending up killing Reeves.
Detective Sergeant John Rebus is trawling the streets and pubs (although in the first four books these pubs are of a fictional kind) of Edinburgh in the hunt for a serial killer who’s abducting and killing young girls. Rebus himself is probably not the ideal policeman for this job either. He’s smoking too much, he’s drinking too much, and he even got a daughter at the same age, from a broken marriage, himself. But then it IS Rebus that is getting those messages that might tie in with the case. And somewhere in the back of Rebus’s mind bits and pieces from his former military career is nagging him…
Knots & Crosses is the very first novel in the Rebus series and was published in 1987. According to Ian Rankin himself it was not really his intention to write a crime novel. But that was what he ended up with, and quite a good one as well. Ok, having read ALL of the Rebus novels, it’s easy to see that Rankin has matured as an author on these 20 years, but even though Knots & Crosses maybe isn’t as complex as some of the later novels, it does have the nerve and tension all the way through, till the climax in the underground of the city.
Even though this is Rankin’s first Rebus novel he already here uses the city as a backdrop to the story, and even though a lot of places mentioned here are fiction you could really feel that you are IN Edinburgh
From the book’s cover:
“And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you…?’ ‘That sort of thing’ is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses – taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.”
This novel could be bought as paperback at Amazon.co.uk Or if you are looking for a more special edition of the novel, I would recommend
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