Title: Knots and Crosses
Author: Ian Rankin
Author: Ian Rankin
Goodreads Synopsis: 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't just one cop trying to catch a killer, he's the man who's got all the pieces to the puzzle...
I originally heard about this book and series when the author appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (which I absolutely love). In this interview the author discussed the release of the newest book in this series, the Inspector Rebus Series. At this point, there are nearly twenty books in this series.
In the interview, the book they were discussing got my attention and I was interested enough to go looking for it online. It didn't take me long to discover that this was a new book in a very lengthy series, and to get to the most recent book being discussed, I would have to start from the beginning. So, I found the first book in the series, and placed my order.
Knots and Crosses is the first book in the Inspector Rebus Series. This is a series of crime/detective novels. In this book the reader is introduced to John Rebus and his life as an inspector in Edinburgh. The reader learns that he has a troubled past and several aspects of his life are relatively unstable.
In the end, I enjoyed this one. I haven't read a detective/mystery novel in a long time. I used to read a lot of them, but over time, I kind of drifted away from them. So, it was nice to go back to a good one that I enjoyed read.
Pros: There were several things about this book that I really liked. To begin with, I loved the setting of this novel and the role it plays in the development of the plot. I love Scotland and I love Edinburgh. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to visit, and as a result, I am always naturally drawn to books and movies that are set there. To me, this adds a "realness" to the story. I also really like main characters that aren't your typical "good guys." Inspector Rebus is not a normal, run-of-the-mill good guy. He has demons from his past that still continue to haunt him as well as a few skeletons in his closet. But, for me, as a reader, these are the types of things that really draw me to a character.
Cons: There were also a few aspects of this novel that were a little bit of a distraction as I was reading. Given, this book was written in the 80's, there are details that are no longer relevant. The references to technology and how it is used to conduct investigations are a bit dated. Also, there are moments of this book that feel very predictable. If you've read enough mysteries and detective stories, sometimes there are things that are to be expected and it can be pretty easy to see them coming. And, as a reader, I don't like to be able to tell what is going to happen next.
Overall, this was an enjoyable quick read. I will probably continue to read my way through this series over time. I won't be marathoning through all of them to get caught up to the most recent books. This is the kind of easy series to jump into and enjoy.
I would definitely recommend this book, and probably this series, to anyone who normally enjoys detective/crime mysteries. Also, I think this book could be enjoyed by other who enjoy the backdrop of the setting, even if this genre isn't their typical comfort zone. This could be an easy and comfortable way to ease into this type of reading.
Do you have any thoughts or comments about this series? Or even about any crime or detective series? Is there a particular series that your love or hate? I know this is a very popular genre and a lot of the time people have a lot to say whether they like these types of books or not. So, I would love to hear your ideas.