Tag: Knots and Crosses

Hide and Seek by Ian Rankin

Posted April 22, 2016 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Crime / 4 Comments

Hide and Seek by Ian RankinTitle: Hide and Seek (Goodreads)
Author: Ian Rankin
Series: Inspector Rebus #2
Published: Wheeler Publishing, 1991
Pages: 397
Genres: Crime
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Detective Inspector John Rebus is back following the case in Knots and Crosses; this time he finds himself on a case that that may have supernatural elements to it. The body of a drug addict is found in a squat, in between two burnt down candles and a pentagram painted on the wall next to it. While most people were quick to discard this of a heroin overdose, Rebus is determined to investigate to find the true circumstances surrounding this death. What transpires is something far more sinister than a simple overdoes, is it murder? Or even worst, is it a conspiracy?

One thing that I really enjoyed about Knots and Crosses was the way Ian Rankin took on a different approach to the crime genre. The crime took a back seat in the story and the novel spent most of the time developing characters and building the backstory that will set up the rest of the series. I understand that Hide and Seek would not be able to continue developing John Rebus as a character the same way Knots and Crosses but I still expected more. I knew Rankin could write a crime novel that was not formulaic or unoriginal, but Hide and Seek was not on the same level as the first book in the series.

It has been come out that Hide and Seek was Ian Rankin’s attempt in presenting a modern take on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A story that fascinates Rankin; he has even filmed a documentary (Ian Rankin Investigates Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) exploring the origins of this classic from fellow Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. There are a few nods to the classic found in this book from ‘Hide’ in the title of the novel and the private member’s club known as the Hyde club.

Ian Rankin found himself in the middle of a scandal when a case featuring similarities to the novel became apparent. This scandal was mentioned in parliament and two lawyers opened an investigation into Rankin to determine if there was any connection. While any allegations made towards Ian Rankin turned out to be false, this real life scandal gave this book some extra attention in the public eye.

I was very disappointed with Hide and Seek and will continue my search for a new crime series. I have very particular taste, but mostly I want a series that is dark, gritty, original and does not feel like a ‘crime of the week’ situation; is this too much to ask for? I thought Inspector Rebus may have been a good series to explore, but this novel convinced me otherwise. Not sure if the next book (Tooth and Nail) is any good but I do not think I will be finding out.


Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

Posted December 22, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Crime / 2 Comments

Knots and Crosses by Ian RankinTitle: Knots and Crosses (Goodreads)
Author: Ian Rankin
Series: Inspector Rebus #1
Published: Wheeler Publishing, 1987
Pages: 341
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I have been reading a lot non-fiction lately; my plan was to devote the entire November to non-fiction. However I got a little run down and found myself in need of some mindless fiction. I picked up Knots and Crosses, the first book in the Inspector Rebus by Ian Rankin. While writing my review of Dexter is Dead, I felt the need to find a new crime series to read through, but I have particular taste; I want something with an interesting protagonist and an overarching story arc. I have heard some good things about the Inspector Rebus series, so I thought I would check it out.

Knots and Crosses starts off telling a lot of the backstory of John Rebus, former member of Britain’s elite S.A.S. suffering from PTSD. Using his connections he got out of the army and joined the police force. However Edinburgh is being terrorised by a serial killer who is taking teenage girls and someone is sending Rebus mysterious notes.

There is something very different about Knots and Crosses to the normal bestselling crime novels, it deals with developing the main character and the mystery seems to be back story. I enjoyed the way Ian Rankin did this but I am unsure about the series; I might have to attempt another book first. I found the mystery completely obvious but that did not bother me much, I was more interested in the characters more than the plot.

I am not sure if there is an overarching story arc in this series but there were a few threads left, so hopefully this means book two will continue on. Unfortunately the crime is not dark and gritty, like I normally enjoy but the character development made up for that. I am not sure how this will fit in throughout the series but I am curious enough to find out. If you know of a crime series that you think I might like, please let me know.