Showing posts with label classic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label classic. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Ian Rankin's Knots and Crosses Book Review

Knots & Crosses: Tartan Noir Crime Novel by Ian Rankin 

In 2019, I was introduced to Ian Rankin via Carleton University’s Learning in Retirement program, Classics of Detective Fiction: From the 1960s to Today. I really enjoyed Rankin's Black and Blue, which was the book we read but only recently returned to start at the beginning of the series and read Knots and Crosses.

When Rankin wrote Knots and Crosses in 1987 he thought he had written a standalone crime detective novel and had even planned on killing Detective Rebus at the end of the book. Success for Rankin and Rebus was not fast in coming. After publishing Knots and Crosses to little fan fare, Rankin put Rebus aside and moved on to write his next book with no idea that he would eventually return to Rebus' world and that he would still be writing books for the series in 2020

Knots and Crosses Book Review
Anyway, I read Knots and Crosses. I really enjoyed it. I recommend it. Need I say more? Well, yes, I suppose I should because you may not have read anything by Ian Rankin and you may not have seen my earlier review of the eighth book in the series, Black and Blue.

I wrote about the number of covers that the eighth book has had and you won't be surprised to hear that this book also has had many covers. I had to work a bit to find a picture of the original cover, which I believe the image at the bottom of this page to be since Rankin describes the original cover as having knots and crosses on it and this is the only one that fits that description. 

Knots and Crosses is a classic detective story with a strong plotline. It was written in 1987 and based firmly in the Scotland of the time. It is considered British Realism Noir or Tartan Noir as it was written by Scottish writers and is set in Scotland. The Scottish story has style elements from other American and European crime writers of the same time period. 

Detective Rebus is a former Special Air Service (SAS) officer now doing police work and coping with a difficult past in a very destructive manner. Typical to noir, he is a working class main character who doesn't have ordinary heroic qualities like idealism, courage and morality. He's a drinker and a smoker and does not have many friends nor successful relationships. He is not above stretching the law in an effort to solve the case he is working on, which is also common in gritty, noir detective novels. 

Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin
Because Knots and Crosses is the first book in the series, we are given the back story of Detective Rebus while he attempts to solve the nasty case of a serial murderer who is killing young girls and advertising that fact to the police.

REVIEWS


"Most of Knots and Crosses is claustrophobically situated inside his mind – and it’s a lonely, uncomfortable place. His asperity, his broken marriage, his drinking, his cold flat, his falling asleep in chairs because he can’t quite drag his tired hide into bed … Perhaps you could argue that these too are the stuff of cop cliché. But they feel real here. He feels like a character with weight. Rankin...nails the essentials."  I agree with The Guardian, Rebus seems perfectly developed in this story.

Another review on The Guardian says, "It is not always easy to read because of the context, but it grips you so hard that it feels compulsory to read on..."  Yes, this book has some uncomfortable moments but it will have you wanting to know who did it and you will read on.

Ian Rankin's First Book, Knots & Crosses
Finally, in the year that this book was written, Kirkus said, "Solidly drawn characters, keen psychological insights and an intriguing, well-knit plot—along with a rather florid but individual writing style—make Rankin a newcomer to watch." More than twenty successful novels later, I say they were right with that prediction. 

Knots and Crosses comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me.

WHO WILL LIKE KNOTS & CROSSES? 


If you enjoy a well-written detective novel, I believe that you will enjoy this one. It is a crime fiction classic now and it is immensely readable. It does have violence, sex, drugs and murder but nevertheless I enjoyed the story, getting to know Detective Rebus a bit better in the process. For armchair travelers, it is also a look at the nice and the not-so-nice underbelly of Scotland's Edinburgh.

On Amazon, you will find Knots and Crosses by clicking here and all of Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels by clicking right here.

See you at 
the book store! 
Brenda 
Treasures By Brenda 

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Knots & Crosses Book Review

Ian Rankin's Knots and Crosses Book Review







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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Totes Clear Bubble Umbrella


During the spring of 2020 when the world was under lock down because of the pandemic, my husband and I have tried to take two walks every day. These walks do not quite replace our regular and beloved visits to our gyms but they are definitely better than doing nothing. Plus not only do they give us much needed exercise, they also make us feel better mentally.

Did you know that walking has been proven to improve your mood? We know this as a fact from our firsthand experience walking. We also know that we need to take advantage of whatever it is that helps us keep on smiling during these tough days. For us, our walks work wonders.

Anyway, because we are walking come rain or come shine and because it is spring in Canada, we frequently wear raincoats and carry umbrellas. We are lucky enough to have a couple of really big umbrellas that are very good at protecting us from the elements. However, they are not clear, which means that on a gusty day we are walking blind trying to peer around the outer edges of our umbrellas. It is a constant effort to make sure that no one is coming at us from the other direction!

Yesterday, I revisited some pages that I wrote previously about umbrellas and was reminded of the wonderful Totes Classic Clear Umbrella. When I originally wrote about it in 2009, it was the best-ranked Totes umbrella on Amazon.  I cannot image that fact has changed much but I do see that it is still readily available for both adults and children in the clear version but that it is also made in a variety of different colors that are opaque and still easy to see through.

The bubble style of this umbrella provides extra protection from the rain because of its rounded shape and of course, because of its size. It has an a large canopy when opened and plenty of headroom. Because it is clear, it will not block your sight, which makes walking in the rain a little bit safer and the unique shape also keeps your husband's or in our case, your wife's umbrella out of your face! "Brilliant," says my husband.

The next time I need a new umbrella that is generously sized, I will buy the Totes Classic Clear Umbrella so that I can see the way forward. If you would also like a little clarity in your life, you can find this Totes umbrella right here on Amazon.

Don't let those raindrops
keep falling on your head!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

See Amazon's complete collection of Totes umbrellas.
Discover the Rainbrella golf umbrella on Review This.
Discover some Good Vibes t-shirts for women on Treasures By Brenda.
Find vintage umbrellas by designers like Burberry, Gucci, Christian Dior, Pucci, Chanel, Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta and Bakelite on eBay.










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