RARA-AVIS: BritNoir--Ian Rankin

From: Joy Matkowski ( jmatkowski1@comcast.net)
Date: 17 Aug 2002

If I'd had my thinking cap on, I'd've held off reading this book until we shade into police procedural month--is that definitely on?
    Anyway, I've run out of on-hand new-to-me authors, although I still plan to acquire Peace and maybe some others. I've read a couple of Ian Rankins and have been sort of on the fence as to whether they're police procedurals. Rebus has seemed to either take off on his own or be sent off; he is often only very loosely affiliated with the police department. I can see that the series isn't the exemplar of police procedurals while still allowing it in my version of that category.
    _Knots and Crosses,_ the first book in the series, clearly is a police procedural, with realistic-sounding division of labor, rank structures, relations with the press, and shift work. Yet this book also has more raw Rankin than later series books--his family background, his army problems, his religious inclinations, and his self-control attempts.
    The plot involves a clever, clue-seeding serial strangler of girls--one of those that's implausible in retrospect--but it worked perfectly fine while I was reading.
    Anyone who hasn't read any Rankin--probably nobody on this list--ought to start with this book because it provides so much backstory.

Joy, beginning Mina's _Exile_

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