Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Knots and Crosses

Image by me.
I've been meaning to read a Rebus novel for a very long time. Ian Rankin has almost grown to mythic proportions in my world over the last 9 years. At uni, a friend of mine (who went on to be a housemate and so much more) wrote her Honours thesis on these books. For most of that year, I couldn't for the life of me actually work out what her thesis was about. I thought I was missing something. But it has ended up sinking in. For one whole year of her life, she wrote about and studied Scottish murder mysteries and crime fiction. I also have realised I chose the wrong degrees.

So I eventually thought I needed to work out what all the fuss what about and got myself the first Rebus novel. This book did read like a first novel in many ways. Every now and then there was a clunky turn of phrase or a little logic jump in the plot. But if I had written this as my first novel, I would have been incredibly happy.

Mainly because it does exactly what I as a reader want my crime fiction to do. Give me an interesting protagonist with a good background story to fill in the down times of the book, who tracks down clever nasty people and stops them from being nasty again. Rebus seems to have buckets and buckets of back story as well (yay for troubled, broody, European policemen. Where would us crime readers be without them?).

The bonus to this book is that this is all happening in Edinburgh so the book is full of Scots, and also has that absolutely beautiful city as a backdrop. I am so fortunate to have gone there before reading this book. Rankin turns the city into an inseparable part of the novel, like a character really, that just adds this other dimension to the story.

It's a short novel (I read it in a day), and a pretty good read as an introduction to a series ... 18?... books long. I will be revisiting Edinburgh and paying another visit to Inspector Rebus, without a doubt.

No comments:

Post a Comment