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Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus) Paperback – June 1, 1998

Book 3 of 19 in the Inspector Rebus Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Rebus
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orion mass market paperback (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752809407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752809403
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,359,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A novelist of great scope, depth, and power." --Jonathan Kellerman

"In Rankin, you cannot go wrong." --The Boston Globe

"Ian Rankin is up there among the best crime novelists at work today." --Michael Connelly

"A superior series." --The New York Times Book Review

"Reading [Ian Rankin] is like watching somebody juggle a dozen bottles of single malt without spilling a drop." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into twenty-two languages and are bestsellers on several continents. Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for 'Resurrection Men'. He has also been shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews and Edinburgh. A contributor to BBC2's 'Newsnight Review', he also presented his own TV series, 'Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts'. He recently received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons.

Customer Reviews

Nothing more to say; just buy it!
Steve Sherry
While the writing is descriptive, the main character, a Scottish detective, does basically nothing throughout the book except reveal the serial killer at the end.
Amazon Customer
I've read all of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus tales.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker on November 14, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
this may be one of the earliest Rebus novels, but it is without shadow of a doubt one of the best. Ian Rankin here presentes an excellent serial killer novel, published around the time when the sub-genre itself was really on it's infancy. (After all, there weren't all that many serial killer novels around in 1991) It's a very assured, seasoned, mature novel, somewhat before it's time.
Rebus is a great character, and here his development continues. However, we are presented with a great twist to the normal formula here...Rebus has been sent to London to work on a case, and the fish-out-of-water effect really works very well. Instead of the in-depth and realistic descriptions of Edinburgh, we now see London through Rebus, a visitors eyes, and Rankin proves that his evocations of place are not merely limited to Edinburgh. He describes London excellently, and observing Rebus wandering round the city like a lost soul (until he realises that, in terms of problems, London is basically the same as his home turf, when he seems to get more comfortable with the place) is really interesting.
The plot is great, and it twists and turns subtly but excellently, with Rankin misleading the reader like an illusionst all the way to the end as to the real identity of the killer. He shocks and surprises again and again, until a brilliantly exciting climax, a car chase through the busy streets of London.
Along the way, Rebus meets some brilliant characters, several of whom i would love to see again in the future. George Flight, his opposite number in London, is a wonderfully drawn creation. He is a likeable man, and a great copper. He is darawn well, and i liked the way Rankin shied away from the cliche of making him an unlikeable, difficult to work with, arrogant and not very good police-officer.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "bevjoy" on November 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read all of Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus tales. Thus, I've spent many hours with John Rebus, and his deep, dark, intensity. His world of pain and loss is usually Edinburgh where the city becomes a living being as conscious and present as Rebus himself-and the shadows that fill his life. In Tooth and Nail, we are thrust with Rebus into an alien land, London, and much more into the alien mind of the murderer. The insanity within the serial killer is disconcerting, creating anixity within us as we read the words. No longer are we curled up with a good book reading about paper characters. We become no more safe from the demons of imagination than the do victims in the novel. But Mr. Rankin not only chills us, he saves us, at least for the moment. I could not bear such unease if it wasn't for the realization that Inspector Rebus will succeed in the end, at least enough for me to sleep without nightmares . . bravo, Mr. Rankin. You are an artist.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Burgmicester VINE VOICE on November 2, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the genre of murder/thriller/detective works, I read quite a few authors. Most of them have a detective team/person that they write about for most of their stories. I further break that down into American/British/Other nationalities as I like to look at other cultures other than mine here in the U.S. I have settled down with Peter Robinson, PD James, and Ian Rankin as the British authors of choice. I'm sure that there are more out there, and would love to hear from anyone that reads another that I should include into my reading habit.

Tooth and Nail (formerly called Wolfman) is the third book in the detective, John Rebus series. It is not a great story nor is it very exciting - although there are moments. But instead, it seems that Rankin concerned himself with the further development of Rebus - a little less dark in this book - and those surrounding him. The detective work was not really a focus nor was the serial killer. I enjoyed this work, but as I sit down to write the review, I cannot say why exactly. It was rather formulaic and the killer rather poorly developed. The verbal sparring was adequate, but not at top of his game. That said, I really couldn't put the book down. The John Rebus character has me hooked. He is somewhat similar to Alan Banks of the Peter Robinson series, but there is a darker side that showed up in the first two novels. In this book, you could feel that darker side, but it only threatened to show.

Rebus is called from Edinburgh to London to help with a serial killer that has stymied the local coppers. While there is some animosity amongst the troops for bringing in an outsider, the development of this part of the plot is lacking.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rick Mitchell VINE VOICE on April 5, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Inspector Rebus mystery and I shall certainly read more.
The main character, Inspector Rebus, is a self-effacing Scot sent to London as an "expert" on serial killers (he certainly would not describe himself as such). As he hunts for the gory killer, he faces prejudice of the locals, a love interest and his daughter (by divorced wife) dating a criminal.
The mystery is a good one. The serial killer mutilates his victims but, unlike some other authors, this is not a major theme. It is raised, but not dwelled upon - leaving more to the imagination and fewer pages devoted to gore.
The author's descriptive passages are his strongest writing. The description of the autopsy is unforgettable, yet he again does not dwell on long passages of grossness or gore. He concentrates on the perceptions being experienced by the good Inspector.
Inspector Rebus is thoroughly likeable. He is human, fallible and uncertain in many of the steps he takes. Yet he pursues hunches and acts on reflex, sometimes to his detriment. His relationship with the lead London inspector, George Flight, is described realistically through all its ups and downs.
I found this to be a very well-written book with characters who were believable and likeable. I generally hesitate to read serial killer mysteries because so many use excessive gore to make up for thin plotlines. This book had a very good plot/mystery and excellent writing. I strongly recommend it to mystery lovers.
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