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Knots & Crosses

by admin on Jan.16, 2010, under The Rebus Books

Knots & Crosses 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.

Arden Street

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 Or if you are looking for a more special edition of the novel, I would recommend


. This is a site including 13,500 booksellers all around the world.

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