Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin - Book Review

Knots and Crosses

by Ian Rankin

Knots and Crosses, is a book written by the British(Scot) crime novel writer, Ian Rankin, the best-selling crime novel author in the UK. This is Ian Rankin's second book. I like Rankin for his writing style, his description of the scene. He is the only author with whom I've had no problems with visualising fight scenes.

This is the first book out of the seventeen books of the Detective John Rebus series. Although, it is mentioned as a mystery novel in many reviews, I'd classify this novel as a thriller. This is also a very serious book with hardly any humour and so, for the ones who expect a bit of humour, I shall not recommend this book.

John Rebus is a man in his late thirties, drinks too much, smokes too much, was an ex SAS personnel who had served in Ulster. He had quit SAS due to a nervous breakdown and the Lothian and Borders Police took him so that he could recover from his trauma. Comparing John Rebus with Sherlock Holmes, I like Rebus' character more as he is not a “hero-type” fellow. He is a normal police detective like so many others unlike the former, who can find everything about the person with a walking stick.

The plot is also good. It was about the murders haunting the Scottish capital city, Edinburgh. Two girls (age – around 12, but for that, no other similarities, such as school, religion, area of residence, etcetera) were abducted and murdered even before the start of the story. The strangeness about this was that there was no struggle when they were being kidnapped. Rebus himself was a little worried since he has a daughter, same age. He had also started receiving crank letters which made no sense and each of those was attached with a knot or a cross made with matchsticks. Four such letters were sent and it was found out that when the letter was sent, a murder took place. So, Rebus had to discover the mystery behind these murders and also the perpetrator. Moreover, he is not some ordinary police officer who is handling the case, he is also the person who holds all the pieces of the puzzle in this case.

The descriptions and expressions in this book were great, just like in any other book of Ian Rankin. The story was also quite good, the investigations, police proceedings, etcetera, but the end was quite disappointing. There were also frequent digressions from the plot in this book and it was quite boring, however, I agree that some of those were necessary, since, this is the first Rebus novel, things regarding his past were required and the author tried his best to connect them to the book. Had it not been for the needless digressions, the book could have been shortened by at least fifty pages.

Overall, this is a good book, and if someone asks me whether I'd recommend this book to others, the answer is “yes”. The correct audience for this book would be of age – 15+, those who like thrillers, read books for description and language, police proceedings and any other related category. As far as the rating is concerned, I'd give this book a 6.

Rating - 6 / 10  

So, if you've read the book, you can comment on my review and give a rating if possible.

Have a nice day,


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