Book – Knots and Crosses
Author – Ian Rankin
Year – 1987
Genre – Crime
One wonderful thing about working in a school is my introduction to something called the Book Club. Contrary to my original belief, this is not just a term for a group of people who gather together in order to read the same book and discuss, but instead companies who come into schools (and apparently some workplaces as well) with a box of books which they sell at massively reduced prices. Working in a primary school, there are a lot of kids books there, but every now and then they have something which catches my eye.
This was the case a couple of weeks back when they had a pack of ten Ian Rankin books for the wonderful cost of £10 – marked down from about £80. All I really knew of Rankin at the time was that he wrote a series of Edinburgh based crime novels about DS Rebus, but being a fan of crime stories, Edinburgh, and ultimately, bargains, I bought the set.
And a wonderful deal this would have been, if it were not for the fact that the earliest Rebus novel of the lot is book twelve in the series. So Knots and Crosses, the first in the series, is an Amazon buy at the price of £4.99. The pressure was on to enjoy this, considering I would otherwise have a massive pile of books that I didn’t want to read.
As it turns out, the first of the series is particularly ‘okay’. The novel is very easy to read, but lacks a lot of the intrigue that you would hope for in a crime novel, and an awful lot of the twists. The denouement is hardy edge of the seat stuff, and the ending pretty rushed. Yet Reus is a great character, and just by reading the first of this series, you can see that the potential to flesh him out is enormous, and considering the popularity of the series I imagine that this is something Rankin achieves over the course of the next books.
So whilst not the most groundbreaking book I have ever read, I will happily keep reading Rankin’s series at roughly the speed I find the early ones in charity shops (managed to pick up the second whilst i was waiting for the first to arrive in the post). It will be interesting to see if Rebus’ hometown of Edinburgh will make that search more fruitful when I visit next week.