Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin *

Reading dates: 01 August 2013 – 09 August 2013

Having given 1* to Fiesta, I did not feel I could give any more to Rebus’ first appearance, even though I enjoyed reading this much more than Fiesta, save for the fact that Neil and I read Fiesta aloud to each other. Rankin references Muriel Spark, Dostoyevsky and Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde in this book and, although laudable, I felt he was trying to hard. The plot needs work. Perhaps he should have referenced a bit more of Nabokov’s divine details, the way he introduces Clare Quilty in Lolita. How we find out who is sending the knots and crosses is one of those moments that almost made me close the book. It is a short book, so I continued, but I am not sure I will read any of the rest. Well, I probably will because crime fiction is addictive, but Rankin made me miss Denise Mina and the good in Jo Nesbo. Perhaps it is the voice, the fact that the narrator is not Rebus, that annoyed me. In crime fiction, the position of the narrator is crucial, which is where Denise Mina got it absolutely right with the Garnethill trilogy. Maureen O’Donnell is fascinating. Instead of more detection, though, I should return to Spark and read Dostoyevsky at long last. There’s that for Rankin, he inspired me to try Crime and Punishment.

My new year’s resolution of reading less 1* books is not quite working out is it? It was my first fall from the list, my first weakness. Forgive me, I have had my quick, cheap thrill. I am back on the serious work.