The Core Dump

The Core Dump is the personal blog of Nic Lindh, a Swedish-American pixel-pusher living in Phoenix, Arizona.

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[By Nic Lindh on Tuesday, 14 March 2006]

Review: Knots and Crosses

Knots and Crosses is the first in Ian Rankin’s multi-award-winning series of novels about Inspector John Rebus. According to the author himself, he intended the novel to be a modern update of the myth of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but ended up turning out a taut and psychologically believable police procedural.

As the first novel in a series, Knots and Crosses does have its issues—while the plot centers around John Rebus and his quite painful past in the Special Air Service, he doesn’t really come together as a person in the novel’s present, mostly due to an amplitude of “burned out cop” clichés such as chain-smoking, drinking everything liquid put in front of him, and problems relating to other people.

However, it is still a quite good story in its own right, and it sets the stage for the other mysteries in the series, where Rankin does a very good job of fleshing out Rebus’s character.

As a bonus, it is fabulous to read such a well put-together piece of crime fiction that does not take place in any of the “crime” cities such as LA, New York, or London. Rankin’s Edinburgh is a dark and gloomy place, haunted by the shadows of its past and the cold, merciless winds of the North Sea.

The perfect place for Rebus’s scarred soul.

You have thoughts? I’m @niclindh on Twitter and I want to know what you think.


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