KNOTS AND CROSSES by Ian Rankin
Kirkus Star

KNOTS AND CROSSES

Featured vintage review selection (week of January 21, 2013)
Note from Kirkus' Vintage Review Editor:

In 1987 author Ian Rankin introduced Edinburgh, Scotland police detective John Rebus in his first novel, Knots and Crosses. Kirkus awarded the novel a starred review and encouraged our readers to carefully watch this newcomer. For the following 20 years, Rankin treated his loyal readers to a Rebus mystery every year or two until he retired him in 2006 in the excellent novel, Exit Music. As we interview Rankin this week about why he’s bringing Rebus back in his new novel Standing in Another Man’s Grave, we remind you what we thought about Rankin’s first go-round with Rebus.



KIRKUS REVIEW

A compelling first novel sent in Edinburgh, where a series of killings of young girls has the city in a panic. Ex-army police detective John Rebus is in the thick of the investigation. Scarred by his elite-corps army training, a nervous breakdown and a divorce, father of teen-age Samantha, Rebus is a dogged but not too sharp investigator. The anonymous letters he starts to receive after the first murder are shrugged off as the work of a crank; he never questions the affluence of his rarely seen hypnotist brother Michael; and he never figures out the one factor common to all the victims. In the meantime, his girlfriend Gill Templet, a press liason policewoman, and hard-bitten, hard-drinking reporter Jim Stevens are smarter. It slowly becomes clear that the killer's focus is Rebus himself, who must finally confront an implacable enemy and hie own long-repressed traumatic memories. Solidly drawn characters, keen psychological insights and an intriguing, well-knit plot--along with a rather florid but individual writing style--make Rankin a newcomer to watch.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1987
ISBN: 0312536925
Page count: 276pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1987




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