Someone is strangling children in Edinburgh. Inspector John Rebus starts receiving what he thinks are crank letters, each enclosing a small neatly tied knot. While investigating the serial strangler, Rebus takes the reader with him on a tour of the seedy side of Scotland's second city. Along the way we learn that Rebus has lost his marriage, has forgotten how to communicate with his young daughter, drinks too much and feels and acts the loner. We meet the other detectives and minor characters that flesh out the story so well. While Rebus starts to see where all the clues are pointing, the reader is completely drawn into the story. Rankin set out to write a modern day parallel to Jekyll and Hyde, not a crime fiction book at all. But the result is the beginning of the best mystery series I've yet to read. Inspector Rebus is fascinating enough to carry a book by himself, but the mystery is absorbing, thought-provoking and makes this book a fast paced page turner. I can't recommend this book highly enough. Ian Rankin has penned a masterpiece with this series. I hope you will read them all.
This report prepared by Vicky Shultz