I have to admit, I had never heard of Ian Rankin before I picked up one of his novels at a used bookstore. And I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started on the first novel in the Inspector Rebus series, Knots And Crosses. Since I’ve been reading a lot of Irish author Ken Bruen lately, another plot set in the United Kingdom didn’t faze me. In fact, I was somewhat pleased with the setting being Scotland and not New York or Los Angeles once again. As the story starts, we are introduced to John Rebus, a Detective Sergeant in the Lothian and Borders Police in Edinburgh. We learn that Rebus was in the British Army and trained for the elite Special Air Service. (This tidbit proves important as Rebus struggles throughout the book with memory loss and other issues that came about because of his training.) When several young girls are murdered, Rebus is part of the team that investigates the crime. And it turns out an incident in his past has a bearing on the case. Not much else can be said without giving things away. Other than this being only¬† his second novel, Rankin does a real good job, and the story flows well. (The book is not perfect, though. As things move toward the climax, Rankin telegraphs the killer’s next target. Also, to help solve the case, we need some information from the repressed memory of Rebus and his younger brother just happens to be a famous hypnotist.) Small flaws aside, Rankin is off to a great start and I look forward to watching Rankin mature as the series unfolds and the his Tartan Noir style of writing starts to take shape.

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