It’s hard to find an Inspector Rebus novel by Ian Rankin that Midwest Dave hasn’t already read and reviewed, but I found one, the third of the 20 book series, Tooth and Nail. Having previously solved a serial murder case in Edinburgh, his home base, Rebus gets called to London to help with an ongoing serial murder case there. Of course, since he is “off his patch” the London cops resent his presence and most aren’t willing to give him much help despite the fact they have no clue how to solve the mounting number of murders of young women. Well, George Flight was the man who asked for Rebus to be sent to London, and he was very helpful, but expected the rebel Rebus to toe the line in London unlike Rebus had ever done at home.
The cast of characters included the pathologist, the overly formal pathologist, Philip Cousins, and his bizarre assistant and bedmate, Isobel Penny. Chief Inspector Howard Laine was one arrogant and controlling bad ass of a commander. Adding to the drama was the fact that Rebus’ ex-wife had moved to London with their 17-year-old daughter. And then there was the psychologist (or was she), Lisa Frazer, who was volunteering her time and body to Rebus so she could offer her help to solve the crimes. Was it a man or a woman, and why were there teeth marks on the abdomen of all of the victims? Rebus is a bit of a bumbling type guy, mixing Columbo and Inspector Clouseau, but he’s also intuitive and relentless.
Rankin spins a good story and I did not see the end coming until after the author already gave it away. I thought that was another misdirection and that the guilty party would be someone else. Far better than an “airplane book,” Rankin dependably writes an excellent crime novel.