Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tooth and Nail

This morning on the way into work I completed my latest audio book, Tooth and Nail, by Ian Rankin. This was the first book I had read (or listened to) by Mr Rankin. I had picked it out of the library like I usually looked interesting: a serial killer is on the loose, with the interesting characteristic that he bites his victims sort of like a werewolf. I've done a little research since then and have found that Ian Rankin is one of the top selling British novelists alive today. In fact Wikipedia, if you can trust it, says 10 percent of all books sold in Britain are written by Ian Rankin. Wow, that's impressive. I also discovered this book is part of a series of crime solving novels featuring Detective Inspector Rebus.

From the moment I inserted the first disc into my car's CD player and heard the fantastic British accents of the narrator, Samuel Gillies, I was transported to London where the majority of the plot takes place. Inspector Rebus is a Scottsman and the narrator is incredibly adept at portraying the various British and Scottish accents of the characters, helping the listener to keep track of who's who. In fact, the narrator might be too good for I often found myself admiring his skill as opposed to following the plot. As a result I often found my mind wandering a bit and having to jerk myself back to the tale itself.

But that aside, I enjoyed this novel. It's been quite a while since I've read a straight forward detective novel. The mysteries I've read lately tend to be more of the amateur sleuth variety, the ones where the protagonist is a "normal" person (i.e. not a professional detective, police force, etc.) and happens to find themselves in the midst of a murder situation. In this novel, I particularly liked the other major character, George Flight, who is Inspector Rebus' equivalent in London. They work together on the case and it was a pleasant switch from the typical modern day detective novel where the protagonist is forced to work around the local buffoonery and tolerate their incompetence. I wonder if future Ian Rankin novels include Flight or perhaps he may have his own novel or two. The serial killer mystery itself was quite engaging...I didn't figure out the culprit until it was revealed in the course of the story, and yet it was entirely logical. No doubt my wife would have figured it out before hand but she is smarter than me. Nevertheless, this is always a good sign for murder mysteries.

So today I will visit the library once again and see what strikes my fancy. Can't wait.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire