Ian Rankin, Knots and Crosses (1987)

As some of you guessed, the quotations of the other day were from the first Scottish Inspector Rebus police procedural.

I could have added the following paragraph about the setting:

“Edinburg slept on, as it had slept on for hundreds of years. There were ghosts in the cobbled alleys and on the twisting stairways of the Old Town tenements, but they were Enlightenment ghosts, articulate and deferential. They were not about to leap from the darkness with a length of twine ready in their hands.”

Two young girls are abducted. When they are found dead, Rebus and his partner Jack Morton are put on the case – to carry out the mindless legwork as the DI in charge doesn´t exactly like big-mouthed Rebus.

Rebus does his best, but for some reason memories about his nightmareish past in the SAS elite division keep disturbing him. Besides he gets anonymous letters from some crank who likes playing games.

In the ending, all threads are woven together very elegantly, of course, and I enjoyed reading the book in the original language – so much that I can´t help sharing a final quotation with you:

“At his first house, Rebus battered on the door and waited. It was opened by a rank old woman, her feet bare, a cardigan comprised of ninety-percent hole to ten-percent wool hanging around her scarp-like shoulders.”

A very fine debut which makes me look forward to several other Rebus gifts on my shelf.

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
This entry was posted in Ian Rankin, review, review 2011, Scottish. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Ian Rankin, Knots and Crosses (1987)

  1. Dorte – This is really a fine series, I think. Admittedly, I don’t think all the books are equally good, but it’s a terrific series. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  2. Sounds like a GREAT read. As a “Blair” I love finding out about my ancestral country–both its history and it’s “now”. You’ve provided a tasty little tidbit–as you always do!

  3. This is indeed a great start to a fantastic series. As Margot said not all the books are equally good – but they are all good.

  4. Joanne says:

    I’ve only ever read the very last Rebus book EXIT MUSIC, which makes me feel like a bit of a cheat. I’d love to read the series from beginning to end, but I’ve started on his new series with DI Fox. So far so good.🙂

    Enjoy the other Rebus books!

  5. Kelly says:

    I love the imagery in that last quotation!

  6. Patti Abbott says:

    I’ve read several over the years. A fine writer and series.

  7. I love the last quotation! What a description. Thanks for the review.

  8. Thank you for your comments. I enjoyed the language and the setting immensely.

    Linda: the name Blair is indeed interesting & worth some investigation.

  9. Pingback: Review: Knots And Crosses, by Ian Rankin | The Game's Afoot

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