Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book Review: Knots & Crosses, by Ian Rankin

Ian Rankin
Doubleday, 1987
182 pages
Crime / Detective

Recently discovering Ian Rankin, thanks to a book group I belong to on Facebook (Crime Book Club), I decided to give the author a try. Where to start, since he has so many novels out? Why, at the beginning naturally!

KNOTS & CROSSES is a quick read, and introduces us to Inspector Rebus, the first in a long running series of novels. There is a serial killer on the loose. Young girls are abducted. Days later, bodies found.  Rebus and Inspector Jack Morton are added to the task force. The task they are assigned is menial.   However, not insignificant. In a manhunt of this size, and nature, no investigative work done is useless.

Additionally, the last few weeks Rebus has received odd letters at home. The letter in side usually contains a single sentence, or two. Obscure, and for the most part, meaningless. Along with the letter, however, is a
piece of rope tied off into a knot, or a matchstick turned into a cross. Annoying, but relatively harmless, and with everything else on Rebus' plate, the investigator has little time to fret over such . . . randomness.

When the task force gets closer to the killer, the hunt becomes more intense, and for Rebus, personal. When his daughter Samantha is kidnapped, Rebus is forced to remember his past. Time is running out. If he can't unlock the mystery behind identifying the serial killer, his daughter will be murdered.

With an amazing cast of characters, and even a new love interest with the press liaison from the task force, we get a personal, and raw look into Rebus' world. A former military man, once with the Parachute Regiment with the Special Air Service (SAS), Rebus is also divorced, and not handling the separation from his family very well. The background on his father, and brother, Michael (both stage hypnotists by trade), seemed so ludicrous a concept that it ended up feeling authentic and believable, and fit perfectly within the tale.

At the time I bought KNOTS & CROSSES I also picked up another seven (7) Rankin novels. I cannot wait to read them, and as always, I cannot wait to share my reviews with all of you!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy

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