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Publisher's Summary

'And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you...?' 'That sort of thing' is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much, his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses - taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.

©2008 Ian Rankin (P)2011 Orion Publishing Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Julia
  • McCra Vic
  • 05-05-2016

Not sure about this series yet

I thought this book lacked depth of characters, I would have liked the story to focus a little more on the girls who were abducted both on their back story and means of abduction, I think this book was supposed to be a introduction to the main character but it wouldn't have hurt to evolve more of the story as this was quite a short book and also as a audio book I found it hard to distinguish between the Scottish accents, they all sounded the same to me, its a shame because I heard it was a good series and now I'm undecided if I would buy the next book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jacqui
  • NSW, Australia.
  • 29-06-2016

Great Story - Terrible Narrator !

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes the narrator.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Unfortunately no-one really stood out as likeable as yet. Given its the first in a series so maybe the characters need time to develop.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of James Macpherson?

Having previously listen to one of Ian Rankin's Fox novel narrated by Peter Forbes, James McPhersons narration lacks depth and subtlety. His intonations are extremely off putting and I don't know if I'll be able to get past them to enjoy another of Ian Rankin's excellent stories on Audible. McPherson tries to make his voice the star instead of Ian's characters.

Was Knots and Crosses worth the listening time?

Yes, because its an excellent story and series in the making.

Any additional comments?

I think I'll be reading the rest of the series instead of listening, all due to the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars

Crime + PTSD Disassociation

Trigger Warnings: This book contains scenes I would describe as torture and military violence, as two characters are treated like Prisoners of War in a Terrorist Camp, the actions in those scenes are described in graphic detail.

~Two Lines, No Waiting: There are two main plots going on this novel: the first one is the missing persons/murder case and the second plot is the drug trade operation that Rebus’s brother is involved in. From the beginning, the two plots don’t seem related at all, but as the novel progresses, the reader discovers just how interconnected these two plots are.
The plotting in general is phenomenal, all of the flashbacks and things mentioned link back to each other. In saying that, I do feel as though Rebus’s confusion and hesitation to seek out a hypnotist in the first place was a little drawn out, it could have been sped up a little.

~Multiple Points of View: Ian Rankin, while excellent at plot, is very character-orientated and If there is one detraction from this novel is that there are so many points of view. Some of them are necessary to further the plot, but some of the alternative points of view (like the reporter) helped to slow down the pace of the plot, rather than make the story more complicated and interesting, however, I’m willing to recognise that this could just be me. Maybe the reporter character has more relevance in later books.

~A Product of It’s Time: While it’s pretty clear early on that Inspector John Rebus is suffering from PTSD, the reader isn’t privy to all the details at first, but over the course of the novel, the PTSD and Dissociation that Rebus has been experiencing is explained (let’s just say, shit gets dark very quickly).
Nowadays, there are rules and procedures put in place to prevent this sort of situation from occurring. People in Rebus’s line of work (including social workers and nurses) would be given regular psyche evaluations and regular therapy sessions to manage PTSD (or at least this is the case in Australia).

All in all, it has a great plot, combined with an in-depth look at an interesting main-character, which has resulted in a great start to an interesting Scottish Crime series, I’m looking forward to Hide and Seek, the second book in the series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enter the world of Rebus.

What did you like most about Knots and Crosses?

I liked finding out the personal history of Rebus which I hadnt known about before.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Knots and Crosses?

When Rebus saves his daughter

What does James Macpherson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The accent makes the characters seem more real to me.