17 Apr 2012



Because the first body was found in Wolf Street, because the murderer takes a bite from each body, the press have found a new terror, the Wolfman.

Drafted down to London thanks to a supposed expertise in the modus operandi of serial killers, Inspector John Rebus is on a train south from Edinburgh. His Scotland Yard opposite number isn't too happy at yet more interference and Rebus is going to have to deal with racial prejudice as well as the predations of a violent maniac. When he's offered a serial-killer profile of the Wolfman by an attractive psychologist, it's too good an opportunity to turn down. But in finding an ally, he may have given his enemies an easy means of attack.
........ Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Prologue): She drives home the knife.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 66): This wasn't an environment of good and evil: it was a moral vacuum and that frightened Rebus more than anything else.

MY THOUGHTS: The third in the Rebus series, originally published in 1992, this edition was reissued in 2011 and never having read any of the other books I believe read well as a self-contained novel. 

Set in London, as opposed to Rebus' usual haunt of Edinburgh, Tooth And Nail tells the story of the murderer known as the Wolfman though the author cleverly keeps us guessing as to the actual sex of the killer right until the end.

A seemingly complex and complicated character, it's interesting to read of Rebus' various relationships, both personal and professional, as a concerned father and a detective.

Too slow in pace and, dare I say it, not nearly grisly enough for my personal tastes, I nevertheless found the involvement of dental pathologist, Tony Morrison, and 'police psychologist', Dr Lisa Frazer, made for fascinating reading though I would question Rebus' relationship with Lisa which I found rather unconvincing.

DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of NEWBOOKS MAGAZINE, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given. 


Arti said...

Why no keep it or not this time?
It seems like a good book with a nicely set tale. Thanks for your review Tracy, have a wonderful week:)

naida said...

Hmmmm... Sounds interesting and clever enough but I do enjoy grisly, fast paced reads myself. Great review.

GMR said...

Hmm, curious indeed. I've often foudn though, the less grisly and slower pass befalls many of the London based murder/mysteries. Can't help but wonder if they are trying to pull a Doyle? Thanks for the review...great job!

Kelly said...

Not grisly enough? You would have thought with a premise about a serial killer who takes a bite from his victims they could make it amply grisly!!

I don't mind a slower paced mystery as long as it hold my attention with the character development. This sounds like it could have potential.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

At first I didn't think it would be a book I'd consider reading but, when you mentioned it wasn't grisly enough, maybe it would be. I don't like grisly, lol.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I like that it keeps you in the dark. Sounds like an interesting thriller.

Vivienne said...

Well done on reviewing for New Books magazine. That is brilliant.

Suko said...

Excellent review, Petty! I always enjoy your way with words and honesty.

anilkurup said...

I guess Ian Renkin is the new writer from Britain dealing in stories of crime .
I remember with great passion the books of Maurice Proctor the English Bobby turned writer. Have devoured most of his books from the British Council Library back home.

Jenners said...

I've been considering trying this series … but maybe I'll keep looking. : )

Betty Manousos said...

sounds like an interesting thriller; yet another brilliant review, tracy!

big hugs!

....Petty Witter said...

A good question Arti, thanks for noticing my lack of a Keep It Or Not.
As I have issues with space (too many books not enough space) I often find myself passing books onto family and friends or donating them to charity shops. As this was a book received solely for me to review, I decided to make it a policy not to pass on books without prior permission thus my letting you know what I intended to do with the book did not seem relevant.

Alexia561 said...

I'm a fan of John Rebus and read this one awhile back. Part of the reason I like the books so much is the Edinburgh setting, so think being in London hurt the story. Rebus does get more interesting the more you get to know him, so hope you give him another chance!