Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Knots & Crosses


Knots & Crosses: Ian Rankin, January 16—25, 2013

My rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

Knots&CrossesRebus has humble beginnings, both as a character and as a series. Knots & Crosses is a relatively straightforward serial killer case that boasts fantastic setting but vague plotting.

John Rebus is a perfectly flawed character, with enough humility and likeability to endear his miserable, pessimistic outlook to the audience. Indeed, the limited omnipotence of the narration – framed within Rebus’s mind almost always – adds a layer of intensity and depth to the character who is well developed and one hundred per cent believable. Rebus is easily one of the most realistic literary detectives of recent times and commands respect, derision, understanding and sympathy from an audience who just want him to succeed.

The supporting characters don’t have much to do, but the likes of sleazy reporter Jim Stevens, no nonsense Gill Templer and loveable rogue Jack Morton have the potential to develop into excellent co-stars. As it stands, they serve their purpose well enough, to add meat to Rebus’s bones and function as and when the plot requires them to.

Much has been made by Rankin himself of the fact Rebus was supposed to die at the end of the book, and that – given there was to be no series – the possibility of Rebus being the perpetrator would have been much more credible at the time of its initial release. However, as a detective novel it lacked much in the way of actual detection with precious little in the way of leads, suspects, motives or clues. Although the monotony of Rebus and Morton’s trawls through the annals of history in completing the paperwork and day-to-day murder investigation is in fact one of the novel’s greatest charms and USPs, it is also a crippling weakness that results in the plot moving very slowly and in no particular direction. The investigation is a backdrop to explore Rebus more, and there was space and time to develop it further.

Rebus’s hypnotised flashback to his SAS days is a great sequence, and Rankin switches from third to first person in an inspired move. It works well, introduces the series’ protagonist brilliantly and sets the scene for the finale.

Although slightly immature, Rankin’s first attempt is a good one and it’s hardly any wonder Rebus came back for a new case time and time again.


One comment on “Knots & Crosses

  1. Pingback: Hide & Seek | Simon's Bookcase

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on January 25, 2013 by in 4 star, Rebus and tagged .

Author Cloud

@Queen_UK Adolf Hitler agatha christie Alan Clements Alastair Campbell Aldous Huxley Aleksandr Orlov Alex Shaffer Andrew Neiderman Anthony Burgess Arthur Miller Bateman Ben Brooks Ben Elton Bram Stoker Bret Easton Ellis C.J. Cherryh Carolyn Jess-Cooke Charles Dickens Chuck Palahniuk Dan Brown Dante Alighieri dashiell hammett david baldacci David Brin David Glattauer David Kirkpatrick David Line David Tennant David Wolstencroft Dylan Jones E.L. James Edgar Allen Poe Emilia Fox Eoin Colfer Erica Spindler Frank Peretti Gabrielle Lord Gareth Roberts Geoff Ryman George Orwell George R. R. Martin George W. Bush Gillian Flynn Gillian Slovo Graham Greene Guy Piran Harper Lee Harriet Lane Herman Koch Ian Rankin J.K. Rowling Jack Thorne Jacqueline Rayner James Herbert James Patterson Jasper Fforde Jeff Green Jeff Kinney Jeffrey Archer Jem Lester Jenny Robson Jeremy Clarkson Jerry B. Jenkins Jim Thompson John Crowther John Green John Grisham John Tiffany John Verdon Jonas Jonasson Judith Kerr Juliana Foster Justin Richards Kaci Hill Karen Levine Keeley Bolger Louis Walsh malorie blackman Marissa Meyer Mark Haddon Mark Z. Danielewski Martin Sixsmith Mary Higgins Clark Mary McNamara Matt Haig Matthew Ravden Michael Berry Michael Connelly Michael Morpurgo Michael Quirke Miguel de Cervantes Mike Lancaster Morris Gleitzman Morton Rhue Neil Sinclair Nick Hornby Nick Page Patricia Cornwell Patricia Stotley Patrick Ness Paula Hawkins Paul Johnston Peter James Phil Allcock R.J. Palacio Rachelle Dekker Raymond Chandler Richard Bachman Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Ludlum Robin Cook Robin Kirkpatrick sandra brown Sebastian Beaumont Sharon Osbourne Stella Rimmington Stephen Cole Stephen King Steve Lookner Steve Lyons Stuart MacBride Sue Townsend Suzanne Collins ted dekker Terry Pratchett Tim LaHaye Tim Randall Todd Strasser Tom Avery Tom Bower Tom Cain Tom Hoyle tony blair William Golding William P. Young William Shakespeare