Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

Ian RankinIt is many years since I was first introduced to John Rebus, the detective created by Ian Rankin in his novels set in Edinburgh. It was just as long since I had first read Knots and Crosses the first of the series. It recently came up my back to read it again and, like all good fiction, it has stood the test of time.


In Knots and Crosses, Rebus is confronted by the brutal abduction and murder of two Knots and Crossesyoung girls. He then hits John Rebus particularly hard as his own young daughter has been spirited away south by his estranged wife.

Rebus, heavy smoking and drinking too much, is one of many policemen hunting the killer. However, when messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses these taunt Rebus and he becomes aware that this is a puzzle only he can solve.

It is a tautly written thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you enjoy this genre, I recommend Knots and Crosses.

Val Penny



  1. Rebecca

    I was thinking about reading the Rebus series, so it’s nice to know they stand up to time.


    • Val Penny

      I really enjoy them, Rebecca. I have read them all. Of course, not in the correct order. But that doesn’t really matter!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rebecca

        It doesn’t, and I love that each novel is a sequel but also a standalone. Have you tried the new series by Ian Rankin?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Val Penny

    Yes, I have read the new books with Malcolm Fox, as well as his earliest novels writing as Jack Harvey. All excellent and exciting stories.
    Who is your favourite author, Rebecca?


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