Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1) by Ian Rankin

Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)

Detective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders...and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain's elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn'...

Details Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)

TitleKnots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)
Release DateDec 15th, 1995
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
GenreMystery, Crime, Fiction, Cultural, Scotland, Thriller

Reviews Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1)

  • Dan Schwent
    Girls are being kidnapped and murdered around Edinburgh and John Rebus is on the case. But what, if anything, do the disappearances have to do with bizarre letters Rebus has been getting in the post?The mother-in-law of the owner of my favorite used bookstore has been on my ass for years to give the Inspector Rebus books a shot. When this one turned up during one of my semi-weekly visits, I decided it was time.This slim volume packs quite a punch...
  • Barbara
    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....
  • Brad
    I had low expectations going into this. Being a big fan of Scottish lit, I've always kept Rankin at arms length, thinking that he'd be too pulpy and pop culturey to be worth reading. I'm comfortable enough to own my snobbery. Lately, though, I've felt Rankin's pull, especially since Henning Mankell's Wallander books reignited my interest in crime fiction. I have a thing for those damaged, brooding, middle aged, drink-too-much detectives, whose wo...
  • Lawyer
    Knots and Crosses: John Rebus and the Book of Job “Job, actually. I read it once a long time ago. It seems more frightening now though. The man who begins to doubt, who shouts out against his God, looking for a response, and who gets one. ‘God gave the world to the wicked,’ he says at one point, and ‘Why should I bother?’ at another.” “It sounds interesting. But he goes on bothering?”“Yes, that’s the incredible thing.”Conver...
  • Andrew Smith
    I first sampled the Rebus series at book 12 (The Falls) and have subsequently read books 8 to 19 (Rankin’s latest) in random order. This hasn’t been a problem, there is a background thread that runs through the series – an army career, a failed marriage and a daughter – but it’s really just background noise to whatever is happening in the current book. This time I decided to go back to the start, to book 1. The first thing that struck m...
  • Brenda
    This is my first time reading a book by Ian Rankin. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it definitely delivered. It’s not so much a police procedural as it is a character study.John Rebus is a Detective Sergeant in Edinburgh. He is a complex character, and the book provides an in-depth portrayal of him. We see how he fits into his environment at home and at work, how he relates to family, friends, and co-workers, and how his past haunts him. Th...
  • Lewis Weinstein
    Many detective stories start out with a bang. Something dramatic happens. "Knots and Crosses," Rankin's first Rebus novel, and maybe his first novel altogether, is not that way. After 50+ pages, still not much had happened.Most detective novels alternate scenes of tension and scenes of relief. Not this one. When the tension finally starts to build, it continues on an unrelenting screaming frightening path to the end of the story.I guess you can t...
  • Emily
    I will admit to wanting to read this book in part because I heard the author on NPR about a year ago and he is Scottish and I have a big weakness for Scottish accents. But! In my defense, I was actually intrigued by what he said (and not just how he said it!). Having finally read the book, I have to say, it was a great read. I realized about a third of the way through that it has been a long time since I've read both an apt and original metaphor ...
  • Karl
    "Knots and Crosses" was first published in 1987 and is a crime novel. It is the first of the Inspector Rebus novels. It was written while Rankin was a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh.This edition of the book was given out as part of a subscription, one of a series of 'Banned Books' produced exclusively for the Independent newspaper and is book 20 in the series done to try and promote reading.
  • Simona Bartolotta
    3.5I most surely did not expect to be so pleasantly surprised by this book. Ian Rankin shows, throughout the novel, an uncanny ability to lift the veil of one's everyday thoughts and perceptions to reveal a somewhat twisted reality lying underneath, like a lurking beast of prey, and he does it subtly enugh, thoughtfully enoough, to convince me he is no mere hireling. So are you thinking to dive into Knots and Crosses and find just the umpteenth c...
  • Lee Broderick
    I was a little disappointed by this book. Ian Rankin's Rebus novels have been widely praised as literary detective fiction. In the introduction to my edition he acknowledges some surprise at this and I agree with him. This was an uncomplicated, character-driven noir with a protagonist that I couldn't care less about.Perhaps the author's writing improves with later books but here I felt like I was being kept very much at arms length from the narra...
  • Michael Robotham
    Wonderful to go back and discover the beginnings of John Rebus. I was incredibly impressed with Ian Rankin's writings, particularly given that he was only 25 years old when he wrote Knots and Crosses. The plotting is a little clumsy and Rankin has become much more sophisticated in this area. Here, he was learning. He became a master.
  • Toby
    Soft-boiled crime fiction? Hard-boiled light? Lightly fried with a twist of tarragon?As the debut of Ian Rankin's Rebus this is a fine book filled with promise.Rebus is a drunk divorcee formerly of the SAS and now a DS in the Edinburgh police force. There's somebody abducting and killing children and there's no pattern that anyone can see. So far, so cliche. Where Rankin differs from all those other generic modern police procedurals that are oh s...
  • Joseph Delaney
    I have been re-visiting the Rebus novels, this time starting at the very beginning and working my way through them mostly in the order that they were written. Prior to this, I’d read about a quarter of the books but I am reading those again because I know that I’ll enjoy them. My test of a good book is that it can be read and enjoyed more than once. This series passes that test; they are all five star books. I read for enjoyment and mostly co...
  • Ellen
    Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus, #1) by Ian Rankin.This was my first taste of Inspector Rebus, but it most definitely won't be my last!Rebus is not an unusual character. He has his strong points which I found to be in enduring until the case is solved. At the same time he's a vulnerable person with weak points. Weak points caused by something in the past he's trying desperately to forget or at least cram into a closet and lock it shut forever....
  • Clarice
    The first problem with this book is the unlikable main character. Rebus is supposed to be suffering from PTSD because of trauma he experienced during his Special Services training. That's right. He was so damaged during TRAINING that he never actually served in Special Services, but he gets all kinds of respect from his fellow cops because of his Special Services background - which is pretty weird since the symptoms of his PTSD makes him a pretty...
  • Paul O'Neill
    I found this to be disappointing fare. Rebus, the character was likeable, and the location (which, for the most part for me is right next door) was good and realistic. Pacing was good, story was ok. My problem with this is the fact that Rebus doesn't seem to be that great a cop. There was a lack of 'cop work' within this book also. Rebus could've easily been a random member of the public and it wouldn't have made a difference to the plot. Compare...
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    'Knots and Crosses' is an entertaining psychological/police procedural. It also is book one, first published in 1987, in the long-running Inspector Rebus series. I highly recommend it.Detective Sergeant John Rebus works in Edinburgh, Scotland with a love/hate obsession for his job with the police. Rebus wants to quit drinking and smoking, too, but so far he has failed in those goals. He certainly is a man of faults, and some might think him becom...
  • Laure
    Not bad but the later books in the series are much better. Still you can see the potential. :)
  • Stephanie Swint
    This could have been so much more. The concept or story is fantastic. I wanted to like it. I started out liking it. Unfortunately, as the story went on I noticed where it should have been amazing and wasn’t. ‘Knots and Crosses’ wasn’t bad, but it fell far short of its potential. This means it will probably be made into a much better movie. There is a solid mystery set in Edinburgh here. It has some true twists and interesting characters. ...
  • Dasha
    I was very excited to read this. I'd been meaning to read Ian Rankin and finding myself in a used bookshop in Inverness finally bought the first two books of the series [I think the shopkeeper was very excited that I wanted to read their own Scottish wonder - he won a main prize last year at the Edinburgh book festival.:]However found it a little disappointing - straightforward plot [that sounds ridiculous perhaps - because it is requisitely twis...
  • Dfordoom
    Knots and Crosses is the first of Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels, although in this one he’s still Detective-Sergeant Rebus. It’s almost impossible because of the way the plot is structured to say anything meaningful about the story without the rusk of giving away any spoilers. All I’ll say is that Rebus is an ex-army guy now a cop who finds himself involved in the investigation of the kidnapping/murders of several girls in Edinburgh....
  • Lisa
    This book was an excellent start to a long-running crime series set in Edinburgh that I've been meaning to get to for sooooo long.I actually have the first ten books in the series on my shelf as they were on offer and I knew I'd like them...but it still took me a couple of years and a mystery readathon to push me into starting this series.Omg this was so good even though a little dated.Yes there are the classic troubled detective cliches but it s...
  • Ross Cumming
    This is my first foray into Rankin's Rebus series and what better place to start than at the very beginning. I have put off reading them for several years as I normally prefer American crime fiction, as being an ex-Scottish Police officer myself I am usually easily put off if the procedural aspect of novels varies too much from real life. In this the first of the series we are introduced to Detective Sergeant John Rebus of Edinburgh C.I.D. who is...
  • An Odd1
    "Knots and Crosses" are scraps of string and broken matchsticks in anonymous crank messages to Edinburgh detective John Rebus during a serial kidnapping of girls around 12, his daughter's age. Or is it a tic-tac-toe game? Constantly overcome by memories of elite corps army training, he smokes, drinks, and sleeps around like a 70s divorced lonely dad, until his brother finally hypnotizes him to reveal his bitter past hiding the murderer. Either I ...
  • Mark Rubinstein
    Knots and Crosses is the first of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels. Despite some contrivances and convenient plot devices, it's a fine novel. Rebus is a fascinating character and one gets the feeling in reading this novel (published in 1987) that the author probably was planning a series based on this character. I understand full well that this series is far more than the usual group police procedural books. It has much more going for it, name...
  • Julie Christine
    It's great fun to read the inaugural adventure of Edinburgh's dubiously venerable copper John Rebus. In terms of a good whodunit, this was a bit over the top- secret paramilitary ops, repressed memory, little girls vanishing in the thick, damp Scottish air, sweaty hook-ups and always, always too many cigarettes and whisky chasers. But it was good to have a context for Rebus, a beginning that shed more light on his past. This was published the yea...
  • Miloš
    At the beginning it was a bit slow read, but very soon it picked up the pace. At the end really enjoyable read.
  • Tom Mathews
    This is an excellent beginning to the John Rebus series. I look forward to reading more of them.