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Knots and Crosses

Knots and Crosses

Scritto da Ian Rankin

Narrato da Michael Page


Knots and Crosses

Scritto da Ian Rankin

Narrato da Michael Page

valutazioni:
4/5 (49 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
5 ore
Pubblicato:
Aug 13, 2013
ISBN:
9781480523760
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Detective John Rebus's city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders…and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. 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….

"Ian Rankin is up there among the best crime novelists at work today." -Michael Connelly

"A superior series." -The New York Times Book Review

"Ian Rankin, you cannot go wrong." -The Boston Globe

"A novelist of great scope, depth, and power." -Jonathan Kellerman

Pubblicato:
Aug 13, 2013
ISBN:
9781480523760
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Ian Rankin is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. He is a winner of the Edgar Award, the Crime Writers of America Silver Dagger Award, and the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship, among others. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his partner and two sons.

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    I read a couple of Ian Rankin's books a while ago, probably three or four years ago now. This one hadn't faded entirely out of memory, so I didn't find anything too surprising about it. Ian Rankin's own observations about it, in the introduction, about how obviously it's a first novel and how inexperienced he was, are true. It shows sometimes, not that I think it's necessarily bad writing -- just, Ian Rankin is still finding his feet in this book. I might actually have enjoyed it more if I hadn't known the plot mostly already, if things had been more surprising to me.

    His writing is nicely atmospheric. There's a sense of foggy days and wet days and Scotland about it. The characters and such are okay: the relationship with Gill Templer isn't done terribly, even if it doesn't particularly fire me with enthusiasm. Rebus himself is at times pitiable rather than sympathetic, I think, partly because the plot is all about how he's broken and things that are very personal to him and the narrative tries to sneak that hint of doubt into you about his connection to the murders. He doesn't seem like a nice guy or a terrible one, just a guy getting by -- I didn't love or hate him.

    I'm pleased enough with the results of rereading this one that I'm going to read the rest of the Rebus books, sometime soon.
  • (4/5)
    First Rebus book proves interesting having read a number of the later books. This book, originally planned as a one-off, follows conventional plot twists and thrills and includes a finale straight from the cinema. In between there is a lot of head stuff going on, which sometimes threatens to weight the book down, but overall it just manages to remain a largely absorbing read.
  • (2/5)
    Well, I started this book twice because the first time it was just too boring to read. The second time it was a bit better, but... nothing actually happens in it. I guess it was intended to introduce Rebus and give us his history, but... I thought it was kinda pathetic. There is some "crime" plot going on in the background, but the entire book is about Rebus and his sex life and his army nightmare (which was also pretty dumb because, come on, no military does that stuff to their own people). And there is a secondary character (newspaper reporter) that gets a lot of page-time but does absolutely nothing in or for the story so... Someone suggested this for a Reacher replacement... yeah, whatever... if Child's books were as lame as this one, they'd have to get, I dunno, Tom Cruise to play Reacher in the movies (oh, err... oops...)
  • (2/5)
    A pleasant diversion, and Rebus has promise of being an interesting character, especially the cross of God-fearing believer and rules-be-damned rationalist detective. But not intriguing enough to pursue other installments, time better spent on Bernie Guenther or similar historical fiction.I did enjoy the glimpses of Edinburgh, though, and Scottish turns of phrase. Favourite bit: "outwith", as in "He looked ... fearful all the same, for the very reason that it was outwith any physical control". [217] Old Scots?
  • (4/5)
    I used to live in Edinburgh and love that city dearly, so I'll just start with my little caveat that I may not be entirely unbiased when it comes to this book. The Edinburgh I lived in wasn't quite the grimy underbelly that Rebus hangs out in, but I know its edges and that, of course, raises the stakes for me. This book turned out to be the start of a long series about Rebus and it's quite a good start. We find out the reason why Rebus is the "standard" cranky detective - and it's not your average-detective reason. The plot line is a little messy, but for a first novel it presents a nice array of characters, foremost a sarcastic detective who reads (and buys) huge amounts of books - what's not to like?
  • (3/5)
    I did finish this and it passed quickly--but then I do enjoy stories set in Britain by British authors, so this does bias me towards this serial killer police procedural set in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the setting was evocatively rendered. The style wasn't strong however--the author can't hold a point of view to save his life, and I even picked up slips in tense. I didn't care for the detective protagonist, John Rebus at all and given the story is more a character study of him than a mystery, that did affect my enjoyment. He's not much of a husband, brother or father (or a detective) and his distance from those around him meant I never felt close to him as a character--in fact a time or two he struck me as downright creepy. Several aspects of the plot, such as the use of hypnosis seemed pat and cliched--and it was unbelievable to me that it took so long for Rebus to get the connection between the string of anonymous notes he receives and its connections to him and the murders. This isn't a series I'll be revisiting.
  • (4/5)
    The first of Rankin's novels featuring flawed detective John Rebus. This is definitely a character study first and a murder mystery second. While it is nice to get the background on a character I really hope the other books in this series focus more on the crime element and less on Rebus' emotional problems. In places this is very dark and depressing and features an Edinburgh very unfamiliar to tourists such as myself.
  • (2/5)
    This started out interestingly but kind of fizzled out. Maybe I've read too many mysteries but I guessed a lot of the plot (but not the killer, who was suddenly pulled out of nowhere.) When you have a serial killer who goes after little girls and the detective has a young daughter, well...Also, I dislike the mystery genre in which the detective's angst, unhappy marriage, etc., are a major part of the plot, which was the case here.
  • (4/5)
    There are some mysteries you read because they are the only things available in the airport gift shop and you are desperate; then there are those that rise above the designation of “airplane book” and are more aptly considered “crime novels.” Ian Rankin’s books fall into the latter category.I ordered this book from the library because I had won a couple of Ian Rankin books featuring Inspector Rebus, but I do have an obsessive need to start at the beginning of a series. Knots and Crosses is Book One of the Inspector Rebus series. (The series begins with Knots & Crosses published in 1987, and ends with Exit Music published in 2007.) I’m so glad I read this first book; it’s very good, and gives a lot of background on Rebus that one might be glad to have later on in the series. And how can you not feel favorably disposed toward a book with the epigraph “To Miranda, without whom nothing is worth finishing.”John Rebus is a 41-year-old Detective Sergeant of the Great London Road police station in Edinburgh, Scotland. Formerly, he was one of the elite Special Air Service (a special forces regiment of the British Army) – a sort of Delta Force - but left after some kind of nervous breakdown, the circumstances surrounding which he has repressed. It has haunted his life however, and probably contributed to the break-up of his marriage. He sees his eleven-year-old daughter Samantha periodically, but interaction with her is awkward; in part, it is because she is a teenaged girl with very different interests than his own, and in part, it is because he is a loner, and a troubled man.Rebus’s character is flawed in most interesting ways. To start with, he smokes and drinks to excess and tends to flout authority, but those traits are almost de rigueur these days for detectives in novels. But he has more unusual eccentricities as well: he has occasional bouts of kleptomania; flashbacks to his SAS training that can cause outbreaks of tears or even misdirected violent behavior; and an obsession with Christian guilt and the possibility of redemption.As the story begins, someone is strangling little girls about Samantha’s age. The police are working around the clock to catch the killer before he strikes again.Rebus, putting in very long hours, mulls over the case as he straggles home each night from the station, wondering where the killer might be hiding:"Edinburgh 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.”I love the depiction of Edinburgh as having Enlightenment ghosts.Tension builds, and Rankin adds some very clever twists. The question of course is how many girls will die before Rebus and his colleagues can solve the mystery.Evaluation: I did not anticipate the denouement at all, although I’m generally rather dense anyway when it comes to mysteries. But even had I done so, I still would have enjoyed the journey. This is not a book of "cheap thrills," but there is sufficient tension and interesting characterization to keep you reading until late at night. Rankin is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, he won America's the Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been short-listed for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis.I found him to be an intelligent writer; I definitely want to continue with the Inspector Rebus series!
  • (4/5)
    Interesting-- for the first half of the book, I thought it was more of a character study than a mystery. That was OK, I like books that are primarily about characters. In the second half of the book, many seemingly extraneous details tied in to the murder, as the character picture and the mystery filled in together.
  • (2/5)
    Thought it started a little slowly, but then as the characters developed the pace of the story picked up. Can see that there's plenty of mileage in the main character, John Rebus, and the character of the city that Rankin is developing. Don't usually read crime books, but found this had the desired effect of making you anxious to get to the denoument.
  • (4/5)
    Knots and Crosses is the first of Ian Rankin's mysteries starring Scottish detective John Rebus. The novel begins with Rebus visiting his father's grave on the fifth anniversary of his death, and then dropping in unexpectedly on his older brother Michael. These scenes introduce Rebus to us and set a tone of bleakness that continue throughout much, but not all, of the novel. Back at work in Edenburgh, Rebus is assigned to work on a case involving two murdered young girls. Soon he beginsreceiving envelopes that include a knotted string and cryptic note. We see a little of Rebus's life: he is divorced, and sees his twelve-year old daughter Samantha occasionally. He appears to be a loner and a drinker; he is unsuccessfully trying to stop smoking. We learn that he was in the armed forces, including some time in the Special Air Service. He suffered a nervous breakdown and was helped to get a job with the police. John is a Christian of some sort, probably a Presbyterian. He tries at various times to pray and often feels he has failed. I would say that his character is the primary focus of the book, and the story is constructed to help us learn about him. It is as much a psychological profile as a mystery novel. All of Rebus's relationships arestrained in one way or another. Rebus's apparent kleptomania is entertaining and will presumably be expanded in sequels. During a couple of dalliances with women he does not know well, he apparently has flashbacks during sex, presumably to his time in the army. He is frustrated by the lack of progress in the investigation, especially after a third girl is murdered.He is hospitalized, suffering from exhaustion, after another sex-induced flashback. He has continued to receive the odd mailings, which now include crosses made of matchsticks. Finally, he decides that they must be connected to the case. I could not tell whether wewere supposed to recognize that he had a blind spot, or see further than I did into his emotional trauma, or what; I would say that Rankin does not succeed entirely in portraying his character's emotional states and why Rebus does not see the solution much sooner. But what Rankin is trying to do with Rebus's character, even without total success, is nonetheless fascinating.The reporter Jim Stevens adds another viewpoint and set of assumptions to the story. He knows that Michael Rebus is dealing drugs, and suspects that John is involved too. His involvement adds another complicating factor, especially because of his past affair with Gill, the colleague with whom Rebus is beginning to develop a multi-faceted relationship.One key to the mystery is offered by a college professor, who notices a pattern in the names of the murdered girls. This will be key to solving the mystery and also to learning key facts about Rebus and perhaps seeing how Rankin chose his name.Rankin's style is OK, nothing exciting, but basically compatible with the story. He seems to be struggling with stylistic issues as he struggles to clarify Rebus's character. He successfully introduces Rebus and gives us some glimpses of his work and personal life, setting the stage for numerous sequels, which will presumably include Gill and others. In the subsequent volumes he will (I hope) give us more detail to make Rebus more than another angst-ridden cop. He has given us a nice portrayal of Edenburgh and I assume he will continue to use this setting.
  • (5/5)
    Young girls are being kidnapped and killed, Rebus's brother is involved in drug trafficking, Rebus is getting strange letters from an unknown person. Rebus will have to unlock memories of his past to catch the killer
  • (4/5)
    I have to admit—being a Yank, an America, one of those—that I didn't realize the significance of the title until I was well into it. We call it Tic-Tac-Toe out here, a name that is relatively meaningless, and I believe I like "Noughts and Crosses" much better since it actually represents the characters being played. Also, it would have let me in on the clever play-on-words that is this title.I was recommended this book by a salesman who calls me every once in a while at work to see if I would like to purchase his products (I never have) and I assumed he was just being friendly (which he usually is); however when I looked it up at the local bookstore, something about it reminded me of a series of books I read when I was a kid, mysteries by Lawrence Sanders (the Deadly Sin books). So even though this wasn't the sort of thing I'm reading now, for some reason I decided to pick it up anyway, and I was pleasantly surprised when I sat down to read it.First of all, I was intrigued by the setting. My work has afforded me the opportunity to visit Edinburgh and the surrounding area a couple times in the past year, and I really love that place. Something about it reminds me of the American Midwest (if the America Midwest had a big-ass castle in the middle of it). Reading a book set in the same city captivated me. Perhaps if I wasn't as familiar, or enthralled, by the setting, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much.Second, the writing wasn't half-bad. This was one of Rankin's first books, and I've read in reviews that his style has matured since then, but even still it is not written with the usual clichés that I'm used to. I found that refreshing. His prose has a nice flow to it that, while not Dickens, is many steps up from the drivel that passes for pulp mystery fiction these days (it seems).His character, Inspector Rebus, is well-rounded, not a 100% good guy, just enough darkness under the covers to make him interesting. I think I would like to read more about him in future books, perhaps read them in chronological order to see how Rankin's writing style evolves. Here, Rebus is crass and sharp, sometimes a jerk, sometimes a good cop and a caring father as well.About the only thing I didn't like about this story was the plot, which ended up being a little too choppy (looking for the right word, here) as we're strung along by the unusual Macguffin of these knots and crosses, which happen to be sent to Rebus and would lead any imbecile (except most of characters in the first 2/3rds of this novel) to realize that he was somehow connected to the killer. It's almost as if Rankin doesn't really know what he wants to write about as he's working his way though this story. Maybe that's true. It was one of his first books, after all. Perhaps the rest get a little more organized. This one was good enough as is for me to want to find out.
  • (2/5)
    i listened to this and missed a lot so i decided to read it because the series is so famous. this was just so improbable and the character so drunk and peculiar that i couldn't get into it. so little attention paid to the 3 girls who died for absolutely nothing,
  • (4/5)
    A really good read. This novel delves into Rebus' past life when a friend from the past devastates the present. A killer is loose and the police cannot get a lead on his motive or how he is choosing his victims. This killer wants more than revenge - he wants Rebus and his family to suffer.
  • (4/5)
    Finally… At long last I have read my first Ian Rankin Rebus novel – and although it wasn’t at all what I expected (whatever that was) it certainly didn’t disappoint. And, as the beginning of a long series, Knots & Crosses, although written over twenty years ago, is quite relevant today and is an absorbing opening to, what many have remarked to me as, a much-anticipated set of books.With little preamble Detective-Sergeant John Rebus, of the Great London Road police station, Edinburgh, is introduced, along with all his frailties. A divorced, mediocre father, who smokes and drinks too much, he lives a solitary, unsatisfactory existence, maintaining a fleeting contact with his only brother; his past, reluctantly surfacing with recurrent lurid visions, is as much an impasse to himself, as to the reader. But when Rebus is assigned to the seemingly random abduction / murders of young girls - a crime consuming all of Edinburgh - his much-vaunted skills neglect to connect a rash of persistent, personal crank letters with the case. And despite a niggling, subconscious belief, that the knot of string, or the cross, with the cryptic note inserted into each envelope is pertinent to the ongoing investigation, it is not until almost too late that Rebus grasps the personal aspect of the murders; only by confronting and uncovering the agonising memories he has deliberately suppressed from his previous life, can he solve this most distressing situation.From the very first page of this book, there is a tone, and an atmosphere, Ian Rankin extols concerning the life of John Rebus – a study of a character gone almost awry – which consequently reveals the fragility beneath an outer core of hard-won strength, plus the basis, the inner beliefs, of this most intriguing protagonist. And from the very first page I was hooked, did not want to stop reading; though exactly why is hard to pigeonhole - there is an innate skill with Ian Rankin’s writing craft which is at once pleasing, and which effortlessly cajoles the reader into a decided commitment, an unyielding investment in the tale. Conversely, this accent on Rebus: his disposition, his temperament, his underlying nature was unforeseen; pure speculation on my part contends many were initially expecting, and may prefer, a story somewhat more plot-driven in nature.In point of fact, I am unsure this novel was originally intended as a fit for the crime genre, yet regardless of this unexpected emphasis - on personality rather than action - a solid foundation is now established for the remainder of this series. A well-written, rapid read, this chronicle introduces a fascinating and formidable individual; and notwithstanding a persistent, purposely contrived, overall feeling of slight imbalance, I have a belief that the events exposed in this first instalment will resurface habitually, and not too far in the future; the inner turmoil of John Rebus underpinning forthcoming plot-devices. That alone is enough to furnish, in me, a strong desire to read the next of these books.(May 3, 2009)
  • (5/5)
    I have read many of the Rebus novels, thanks to the public lending library but, this is the first time that I have been in at the beginning of the great defective detective.The story is excellent and, ironically, answers questions that I have always harboured whilst reading the rest of the canon.Rebus is one of the best detectives that I have had the pleasure of devouring - sorry Mr. Rankin, but I put you second to Reg Hill, but head and shoulders above the rest!
  • (4/5)
    Like Edinburgh itself. John Rebus is very much a child of Edinburgh and the mystic highlands. This is the first book in the John Rebus series, and it's a good one. We get a good introduction to John Rebus, and the dark side of his character. I have seen some of these done on television, and I was really looking forward to beginning this series. It did not disappoint. It is easy to see why Rankin won the Gold Dagger and the Edgar prizes with this book. There is a lot of power in his writing, and he builds a good plot too. I am looking forward to reading more of John Rebus, and I will be prepared for more dark and brooding prose.
  • (3/5)
    As the voice of reason and humility on Newsnight Review I've grown fond of Rankin, and believe he's a big fan of Pynchon, so I decided to finally read of his novels. I must say I was disappointed at how badly written it was... Half the novel is taken up with building the character of Rebus, and the at times it seems like the other 1/2 is all cliché. And the ending is solved rather unsatisfactorily. But its his first novel, and the first in a series, so it'd be a bit harsh to expect anything else. I still like him, and I finished it in a single sitting - would more can you ask for from a crime novel? - so it can't be all bad. I'd read another if I came across one.
  • (4/5)
    Knots and Crosses is the John Rebus series intro. Rebus is a DS in Edinburgh and could quite easily serve as the poster child for angst-ridden policemen. Of course, he has reason for being this way: he’s divorced, has a child from who he has become a bit alienated, has recurring nightmares back to the time he was with SAS, and has kept all of this buried within. In this installment of the series, Rebus is assigned to work on a case in which two young girls have been abducted and afterwards killed. At the same time, Rebus is receiving some really bizarre mail: either pieces of knotted string or crosses made from matchsticks. When a crisis arises having to do with his daughter, Rebus is nearly pushed to the edge and realizes that his unspoken (and mentally blocked) past contains answers to the present. The book is well written; this one is really more character driven than plot driven and at times you may become a little annoyed that so much of Rankin's internal torment spills out on to the pages. But it's really quite necessary here, so hang in there. As always in the first book in a series, the main character's personality is not quite yet fully developed, so I'm waiting to see if Rebus is less angst ridden as the series progresses. The supporting characters are portrayed well, and I love Rankin's plotting. I'd recommend this book to people who enjoy mysteries from the UK, and to anyone who hasn't yet ventured into this series. Overall, quite a good start to the series. And since I have quite a few more by this author on my shelves, I know I'll be back.
  • (3/5)
    I really enjoyed the characterizations of Edinburgh as much as I enjoyed the characters. I found the plot arc somewhat predictable, but enjoyed the book enough to want to read more of the Inspector Rebus series. Since I already have the second book in the series, I'll give that one a try and hope that I find the plot a bit less generic.
  • (3/5)
    Maybe it is because I am an American, therefore I identify better with trauma of the Vietnam vet like Henry Bosch (Michael Connelly) rather than the trauma of anti-IRA training--but this book seemed a little too melodramatic for my tastes. Does every city have its underground (literally) reality?
  • (5/5)
    Introducing Detective Sergeant John Rebus of the Edinburgh police.Rebus' past, which he can not remember, haunts him in dreams and even in waking life, with screams of "Don't leave me". Divorced, on good terms with his 12 year old daughter Samantha whom he adores, Rebus is caught up in a case of pre-teen girls who are strangled but not sexually assaulted, a puzzling type of serial murder. In addition, he receives a number of what he dismisses as crank notes, first at the station, then at home. It takes his lover, Detective Inspector Gill Templer, to intuit that the 2 are connected, and his brother Michael, a hypnotist, to unlock the past with the key to the murders.Very fast paced, tension kept high throughout. Concise prose, with gritty descriptions of characters and events. The descriptions of Edinburgh give what appears to be an authentic "feel" for the underside.Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading Knots & Crosses. It's the first of the Rebus novels, & the first of Ian Rankin's books I've read. It's quite a page turner, & kept me guessing.Shall definatley be reading more.
  • (3/5)
    The Amazon automated merchandise recommender keeps pushing this series to me because I loved Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks books, so I decided to try it out. This time I decided to do it chronologically. I certainly it gets better than the first book. Not that Knots and Crosses is terrible, it is better than most but I keep getting the feeling that Ian Rankin is capable of a lot more research and be elaborate more on the protagonist and antagonist's relationship. The description of the key to solving the mystery was done in a slap dash manner while I was really hoping for something more substantial.The characterization was a tad too cliched and workmanlike. The description of the chief protagonist was achingly pedestrian. the typical tortured anti-hero, the strong and silent cowboy non-conformist, no one understands and everyone leaves him because he i so odd, but he has a deadly secret ploy. This wouldn't be so bad except that it has been done to death.The best parts of the novel is the description of Edinbrough's streetscapes and what lays beneath the glitter and spit shine of the tourist's version of Edinbrough.All in all and in retrospect, this is an excellent start to a mystery series, but like I said, I was hoping for more. It may be unfair of me to say this but I really the plotting and the writing of Inspector Banks much much better.But I will go forth and tackle the next one in the series, hopefully it will improve.
  • (4/5)
    I can't help seeing John Hannah as Rebus, but there are far worse things in life. Anyway, there is a spate of girls going missing but no one can see any connection between them, making figuring out the next victim next to impossible. To make matters worse, a reporter has himself convinced that Rebus is trafficking drugs and just won't leave him alone. I have to say, I really didn't see the reason the girls were being abducted at all, which to me is great. I love when I can't figure things out.
  • (3/5)
    My first Ian Rankin, which was also his first, and I quite enjoyed it. It introduced Rebus as an ex-SAS man who has had a nervous breakdown before joining the police. Troubled, of course, but a character in his own right. I'm glad I started with the first in the series, because I have often considered the Rebus novels but couldn't be bothered coming in half way and trying to understand the motivations, relationships and all that. So I'll get 'round to his second one at some point this year.
  • (4/5)
    We are introduced to Detective Sergeant Rebus of the West Lothian police force. He is hot on the heels of a serial killer that seems to strike at random, with seemingly no connection between his victims. Well, he’s knocking on doors asking for information and searching through dusty old records, not chasing the killer down the main street, but he’s definitely on the case…This is the first book in the Inspector Rebus series, and it is very good, making you want to read more, even if it’s not as good as his other books that I have read. It’s interesting to see how Rebus started out, and this book gives you lots of information about his background before his police days, and why he joined the force, which isn’t in his later books much. Definitely worth reading, but make sure you don’t stop on this book but read the rest of the series.
  • (4/5)
    My first Ian Rankin read and my first crime/grit/inspector novel. A very good read and Inspector Rebus is an excellent character. It helps that Edinburgh is one of the settings...I've already purchased the second Rebus novel, Hide and Seek. I intend to read them in order if they continue to be this good.