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End in Tears

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The twentieth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The young woman in the car behind is spared. But only for a while... A few weeks later, George Marshalson lives every father's worst nightmare: he discovers t The twentieth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The young woman in the car behind is spared. But only for a while... A few weeks later, George Marshalson lives every father's worst nightmare: he discovers the murdered body of his eighteen-year-old daughter on the side of the road. As a man with a strained father-daughter relationship himself, Wexford must struggle to keep his professional life as a detective separate from his personal life as husband and father. Particularly when a second teenage girl is murdered - a victim unquestionably linked to the first - and another family is shattered...


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The twentieth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The young woman in the car behind is spared. But only for a while... A few weeks later, George Marshalson lives every father's worst nightmare: he discovers t The twentieth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The young woman in the car behind is spared. But only for a while... A few weeks later, George Marshalson lives every father's worst nightmare: he discovers the murdered body of his eighteen-year-old daughter on the side of the road. As a man with a strained father-daughter relationship himself, Wexford must struggle to keep his professional life as a detective separate from his personal life as husband and father. Particularly when a second teenage girl is murdered - a victim unquestionably linked to the first - and another family is shattered...

30 review for End in Tears

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kavita

    Sexist crap. Racist crap. Stereotypical clichés crap. A whole bunch of plot holes. Useless family background stories to bolster up the sexist agenda. There really are not a lot of good things I could say about this book. A girl is killed and Inspector Wexford takes over the case. He and his team investigate the death of Amber and then another girl is killed as well. There is a connection between the two so the investigation proceeds gradually to an unbelievable and unrealistic end. I found this bo Sexist crap. Racist crap. Stereotypical clichés crap. A whole bunch of plot holes. Useless family background stories to bolster up the sexist agenda. There really are not a lot of good things I could say about this book. A girl is killed and Inspector Wexford takes over the case. He and his team investigate the death of Amber and then another girl is killed as well. There is a connection between the two so the investigation proceeds gradually to an unbelievable and unrealistic end. I found this book extremely misogynist, not just that the characters are misogynist but the author herself is horrible and slut shaming at every opportunity possible. The author makes fun of Hannah who is politically correct and prefers to gain knowledge of people before assuming traditional roles for them. Somehow, insisting that women be addressed as ‘Ms.’ or as ‘women’ instead of ‘girl’ is oh, so horrible and PC! Let’s just send them to make sandwiches in the kitchen, shall we? Why, Ms. Rendell, oops, sorry Mrs. Rendell, have you a profession instead of cooking for your husband? “Apart from her name and her lack of a thyroid cartilage, he had said to Wexford, she might as well be a man, and perhaps she once had been. You never knew these days. She had no breasts, no hips, her hair was crew cut and no scrap of make-up had ever settled on her virgin face.” – this about a competent police post mortem specialist. And apparently, black policemen are also very nostalgic of times when they get screamed racist shit by neighbours. Now, of course, it would get them in court. “What a funny world we live in.” Trust me, Rendell, that’s NOT what black people are thinking. They are thinking, thank god someone changed the law and horrible racist old women can’t get away with it any longer. You need to do some serious fucking off, Ruth Rendell! One might be able to overlook the above – not me, but someone else, perhaps – but there is also a major plot hole. A plot hole so yawning that unless you believe that women have water in the brain and no knowledge of reproduction, it simply does not work. Apparently, according to the author, some women are SO dumb that they would believe that they can give birth to babies without actually getting pregnant. And because they give birth in Africa, the babies will be black! It is apparently explained by women wanting babbbeeesss! No dear author, men don’t have sex and self preservation as main instincts while women’s instinct is all about BABEEEESS! What complete clichéd crap! On another note, I would also like to know how and why Wexford decides who the culprit is. He just picks a name randomly and pursues him doggedly. It’s very lazy writing. I also don’t see how the entire background story about Wexford’s daughter helps the main story in any way, unless the author really wants to push her ‘traditional family = best family’ agenda in her readers’ faces. I just hated this book!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    Nigel Anthony 10 Hours 13 Mins Description: At first there was no reason to link the killings. The first one, months earlier, seemed totally random: a lump of concrete pushed off an overpass onto a passing car. By contrast, the gruesome bludgeoning death of Amber Marshalson, returning home late from a night out clubbing with friends, was obviously calculated. The killer had been seen waiting for the girl in a nearby wood. But when Chief Inspector Wexford discovers that Amber had been the driver Nigel Anthony 10 Hours 13 Mins Description: At first there was no reason to link the killings. The first one, months earlier, seemed totally random: a lump of concrete pushed off an overpass onto a passing car. By contrast, the gruesome bludgeoning death of Amber Marshalson, returning home late from a night out clubbing with friends, was obviously calculated. The killer had been seen waiting for the girl in a nearby wood. But when Chief Inspector Wexford discovers that Amber had been the driver right behind the crushed car - and that she'd been driving a silver Honda, while the car in front of her was a gray Honda - he knows that someone wanted the teenager dead badly enough to kill twice to get the job done. And as it turns out, this murderer's plans are only just getting underway. Can Wexford unravel the complex knots that connect these murders in time to save future victims? Or is he, as he begins to fear, losing his touch and fast becoming a relic of another time? The concrete block reminds me of Who Needs Information, which in turn was based on a tragic event in the 1984 coal strikes 3* From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1) 3* A New Lease of Death (Inspector Wexford, #2) 3* Wolf to the Slaughter (Inspector Wexford, #3) 2* The Best Man to Die (Inspector Wexford, #4) 3* A Guilty Thing Suprised #5 3* No More Dying Then (Inspector Wexford, #6) 3* Murder Being Once Done (Inspector Wexford, #7) 3* Some Lie and Some Die (Inspector Wexford, #8) 3* Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9) 3* A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10) 3* Put on by Cunning (Inspector Wexford #11) 1* Speaker of Mandarin (Inspector Wexford, #12) 3* An Unkindness of Ravens (Inspector Wexford, #13) 3* The Veiled One (Inspector Wexford, #14) 3* Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15) 3* Road Rage (Inspector Wexford, #17) 3* Harm Done (Inspector Wexford, #18) 3* The Babes in the Wood (Inspector Wexford, #19) 3* End in Tears (Inspector Wexford, #20) 3* Not in the Flesh (Inspector Wexford, #21) 2* The Vault (Inspector Wexford, #23)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Craig Monson

    Well, it doesn’t, in fact, “end in tears,” but quite jollily for those we come to care about. Which is to say, the secondary characters, the ones investigating rather than committing crimes. There’s an unusually large dollop of romance this time, between a rather severely PC and judgmental police sergeant and an apparently dishy and charming fellow officer of Indian origins. The schizoidal English weather, ranging from the hottest day on record to a blizzard in November, also plays a major role. Well, it doesn’t, in fact, “end in tears,” but quite jollily for those we come to care about. Which is to say, the secondary characters, the ones investigating rather than committing crimes. There’s an unusually large dollop of romance this time, between a rather severely PC and judgmental police sergeant and an apparently dishy and charming fellow officer of Indian origins. The schizoidal English weather, ranging from the hottest day on record to a blizzard in November, also plays a major role. Then there’s Wexford’s highly opinionated if endearing wife (think Mrs Maguire, the vicar’s housekeeper on “Grantchester”) and his interesting daughter (the boring one is off in Bora Bora [sic!]). Sylvia seems once again to be engaged in activities that lead others into crime. In Harm Done she was assisting at a shelter for victims of spousal abuse (which proved deadly for others) and here she’s serving as surrogate for her ex-husband’s infertile wife-to-be. (How’s that for an amicable divorce?) Surrogacy and babies, both wanted and unwanted, loom large in this round of criminal pursuits, which are rather eclipsed by the less murderous, more tangential sub-plots. (I had trouble keeping the illegal acts and actors straight, in fact.) Things do get tense on the criminal, romantic, and familial sides toward the end, before Wexford steps in in the last few pages to explain to the reader and to his colleagues who had been doing what wrong to whom. More appealing, perhaps, to Wexford fans than to those literarily bent on crime alone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lois Bouchard

    I really liked this book but found it a little confusing at times. There was a large number of characters. I sometimes had to go back and review who they were. I liked the feeling I got for the small British towns and surrounding .woods. I thought her characterizations were excellent. I developed vivid images of the players in this drama.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I think this is the second book of hers I have read. This one was a little harder for me to interpret. I think it had more British expressions than most and so I had a problem following it. Something like shorthand. Nothing seemed fully explained and so it felt incomplete, even when it was done and all the pieces were in place. I had trouble feeling the emotions of the characters. Going to try a different one and see if it is better. She has won so many awards and prizes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    4* Going Wrong 4* The Keys to the Street 3* The Fever Tree and Other Stories 4* A Judgement in Stone 3* Fall of the Coin 4* People Don't Do Such Things 3* The Girl Next Door 2* To Fear a Painted Devil 3* Dark Corners 3* Live Flesh Inspector Wexford series: 3* Some Lie and Some Die (Inspector Wexford, #8) 3* Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9) 3* A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10) 3* The Veiled One (Inspector Wexford, #14) 4* Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15) 3* Harm Done (I 4* Going Wrong 4* The Keys to the Street 3* The Fever Tree and Other Stories 4* A Judgement in Stone 3* Fall of the Coin 4* People Don't Do Such Things 3* The Girl Next Door 2* To Fear a Painted Devil 3* Dark Corners 3* Live Flesh Inspector Wexford series: 3* Some Lie and Some Die (Inspector Wexford, #8) 3* Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9) 3* A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10) 3* The Veiled One (Inspector Wexford, #14) 4* Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15) 3* Harm Done (Inspector Wexford, #18) 3* The Babes in the Wood (Inspector Wexford, #19) 3* End in Tears (Inspector Wexford, #20) TR From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1) TR A New Lease of Death (Inspector Wexford, #2) TR Wolf to the Slaughter (Inspector Wexford, #3) TR The Best Man to Die (Inspector Wexford, #4) TR A Guilty Thing Surprised (Inspector Wexford, #5) TR No More Dying Then (Inspector Wexford, #6) TR Murder Being Once Done (Inspector Wexford, #7) TR Death Notes (Inspector Wexford, #11) TR Speaker of Mandarin (Inspector Wexford, #12) TR An Unkindness of Ravens (Inspector Wexford, #13) TR Simisola (Inspector Wexford, #16) TR Road Rage (Inspector Wexford, #17) TR Not in the Flesh (Inspector Wexford, #21) TR The Monster in the Box (Inspector Wexford, #22) TR The Vault (Inspector Wexford, #23) TR No Man's Nightingale (Inspector Wexford #24)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bulent Yusuf

    Tedious, middle-class claptrap! A book peopled by insulting stereotypes in service of a meandering plot. My first Rendell, and most certainly the last.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Leone Davidson

    I love Rendell's mysteries, and the Wexford series in particular. The best thing is that you do not need to read them in order, as there is very little backstory, and what there is she covers again for anyone unfamiliar. This story is about a young mother, still living in her dad's house, who is more interested in partying than in being a mom, finishing school, or getting a job. One morning she is found dead, successfully murdered after at least one failed attempt. Very engrossing mystery - High I love Rendell's mysteries, and the Wexford series in particular. The best thing is that you do not need to read them in order, as there is very little backstory, and what there is she covers again for anyone unfamiliar. This story is about a young mother, still living in her dad's house, who is more interested in partying than in being a mom, finishing school, or getting a job. One morning she is found dead, successfully murdered after at least one failed attempt. Very engrossing mystery - Highly recommend any of the Wexford stories!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate Stark

    Tedious, meandering, improbable plot. With a side helping of an obsessively politically correct straw woman for no reason. She learns her lesson by getting kidnapped and rescued and then we get about ten pages of Wexford explaining the plot, in multiple locations, with coffee breaks. He makes some deep point about the nature of true evil, but everyone is asleep at this point and the book is finally over.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eitakbackwards

    I hoped it would be good, was hoping to be into it to begin with but when it all unravelled I got bored. Characters were odd, stereotypical, strange views for no reason, odd fixations with sexist/racist stereotypes? Story wasn't the clever rabbit from hat thing i was keen for, it was more like present the hat, then take the audience to pets @ home, have them help u pick out a rabbit, lend u 20 quid for it cos ur wallets in the car, ask them to hold your wand whilst you shove it in the hat. Et Vo I hoped it would be good, was hoping to be into it to begin with but when it all unravelled I got bored. Characters were odd, stereotypical, strange views for no reason, odd fixations with sexist/racist stereotypes? Story wasn't the clever rabbit from hat thing i was keen for, it was more like present the hat, then take the audience to pets @ home, have them help u pick out a rabbit, lend u 20 quid for it cos ur wallets in the car, ask them to hold your wand whilst you shove it in the hat. Et Voila, magic etc. Nah

  11. 5 out of 5

    LJ

    END IN TEARS (Pol Proc-CI Wexford, England-Cont) – Okay Rendell, Ruth - 21st in series Crown Publishers, 2005, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780307339768 First sentence: When he lifted it off the seat the backpack felt heavier than when he had first put it into the car. Chief Inspector Wexford and team are investigating the bludgeoning death of 17-year-old Amber Marshalson. The case takes on an extra dimension when they realize Amber was the actual intended victim when a piece of concrete had been dropped f END IN TEARS (Pol Proc-CI Wexford, England-Cont) – Okay Rendell, Ruth - 21st in series Crown Publishers, 2005, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780307339768 First sentence: When he lifted it off the seat the backpack felt heavier than when he had first put it into the car. Chief Inspector Wexford and team are investigating the bludgeoning death of 17-year-old Amber Marshalson. The case takes on an extra dimension when they realize Amber was the actual intended victim when a piece of concrete had been dropped from an overpass onto the first two grey/silver Hondas a short time before. Who wants Amber dead so badly when they failed the first time, they tried again…and succeeded. I found this a bit of a slow-go. I liked C.I. Wexford but really didn’t care much for any of the other characters, of which there were many with very little dimension. DS Hannah Goldsmith is interesting in her compulsive PC-ness, but annoying for the very same reason. Way too much time was spent on her relationship with another officer for the narrative result. The story was over plotted; I identified the instigator of the deaths quite early. Most annoying to me was the number of women who became pregnant after one encounter. In my life, I’ve only known one person for whom that was true and certainly not several within a short period of time. It was much too contrived. So much of the book was involved in dealing with the various relationships and following red herrings in the investigation, the ending, when it finally came, was very abrupt with only a modicum of suspense. I found it a very slow read; not bad enough to make me want to quit, but not good enough to race through the pages. The best I can say is, “I read it.”

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bookmarks Magazine

    Ruth Rendell's quality work is both a blessing and a curse. With over 20 Wexford novels__and an even greater number outside the series and under her pseudonym Barbara Vine__reviewers have had ample opportunity to relish her characterizations and get wise to her narrative proclivities. Here they identify a case of the strengths of Rendell's writing (characterization and the use of metaphor) playing second fiddle to the contrivances of a thriller. Plot twists abound for those into neck-snapping pl Ruth Rendell's quality work is both a blessing and a curse. With over 20 Wexford novels__and an even greater number outside the series and under her pseudonym Barbara Vine__reviewers have had ample opportunity to relish her characterizations and get wise to her narrative proclivities. Here they identify a case of the strengths of Rendell's writing (characterization and the use of metaphor) playing second fiddle to the contrivances of a thriller. Plot twists abound for those into neck-snapping plots, but most critics agree that Rendell is at her best when she foregoes narrative theatrics and focuses on the metaphoric parallels between plot and theme. End in Tears is not bad, but isn't great either__and for a writer of Rendell's status, just good doesn't seem to be good enough.This is an excerpt from a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I started this book on audio CD and finished by reading it. I'm not sure if the first half is much better than the last half or if it is just more a satisfying book when consumed by listening to John Lee voice the characters. Hearing the accents of various characters made them more enjoyable. The mystery unfolds over several months which is a nice change of pace for the usual fiction where the mystery is solved in about 3 days. A number of interlocking stories about changing moral standards and in I started this book on audio CD and finished by reading it. I'm not sure if the first half is much better than the last half or if it is just more a satisfying book when consumed by listening to John Lee voice the characters. Hearing the accents of various characters made them more enjoyable. The mystery unfolds over several months which is a nice change of pace for the usual fiction where the mystery is solved in about 3 days. A number of interlocking stories about changing moral standards and infertility were rather interesting at first but I found some of the characters so implausible that it was hard to remain engaged in the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Fabulous. One of the best of the Wexford series. The murder mystery itself is great, and the side stories about Sylvia and about Bal and Hannah are also great. This is my second time through this one (this time as an audiobook, last time as a paperback). It's dawned on me that the subplots about Sylvia are better than those about Sheila. I've been reading about this family for more than 20 years, and yet I learn new things about them with each re-read. Fabulous. One of the best of the Wexford series. The murder mystery itself is great, and the side stories about Sylvia and about Bal and Hannah are also great. This is my second time through this one (this time as an audiobook, last time as a paperback). It's dawned on me that the subplots about Sylvia are better than those about Sheila. I've been reading about this family for more than 20 years, and yet I learn new things about them with each re-read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kath B

    Average detective story with too many suspects and too much time spent on the developing relationship between two of the police officers.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    An excellent Wexford mystery/procedural spoiled in part by the presence of a too politically correct to really exist police sergeant who seems to be in the story only to get her comeuppance and another dreary soap opera subplot involving one of Wexford's daughters. Some of the stories of the misadventures of the Wexford progeny are pretty good but this one is forced. Rendell seems to want to sum up a good deal of the social and economic changes that have occurred in the murder-ridden town of Kin An excellent Wexford mystery/procedural spoiled in part by the presence of a too politically correct to really exist police sergeant who seems to be in the story only to get her comeuppance and another dreary soap opera subplot involving one of Wexford's daughters. Some of the stories of the misadventures of the Wexford progeny are pretty good but this one is forced. Rendell seems to want to sum up a good deal of the social and economic changes that have occurred in the murder-ridden town of Kingsmarkham and, judging by the characters who represent the steady downward march of society, does not approve of them. Worth reading for the whodunit aspects. As is almost always the case with this series the solution will be a surprise.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Barnhouse

    This is atmospheric and well-written: Rendell uses her skill at evoking landscape and weather, and readers'/characters' long familiarity with Kingsmarkham and its changing social environment, to good effect. That said, I felt the denouement of the mystery itself to be less than fully satisfactory, especially given the skillful way in which it was built up and the players introduced. I would have liked more exploration of the savagely topical allusions to Ibsen and the Bible. And (as not infreque This is atmospheric and well-written: Rendell uses her skill at evoking landscape and weather, and readers'/characters' long familiarity with Kingsmarkham and its changing social environment, to good effect. That said, I felt the denouement of the mystery itself to be less than fully satisfactory, especially given the skillful way in which it was built up and the players introduced. I would have liked more exploration of the savagely topical allusions to Ibsen and the Bible. And (as not infrequently in Rendell's novels, I find) I was left somewhat unsettled by her treatment of gender as biological and social phenomenon. I'm not entirely sure what she thinks about it, which feels strange when dealing with a writer who is so skilled at precise communication of ideas and impressions.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jack Goodstein

    The almost cliche explanation at the end is rather disappointing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Roger

    I found this, my first Ruth Rendell hard to get my head round but I will try another.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    This gets 3 stars because I can't really rate anything by this author lower. However, I was somewhat disappointed in it. Other reviewers (on Amazon) have noted that it's like two books, splitting in the middle and losing the plot (pun intended) to an extent. I've read lots of Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine books and think they are the usually among the best of both the police procedural and psychological crime genres. This one starts out promisingly and the first half is a pleasure to read, but t This gets 3 stars because I can't really rate anything by this author lower. However, I was somewhat disappointed in it. Other reviewers (on Amazon) have noted that it's like two books, splitting in the middle and losing the plot (pun intended) to an extent. I've read lots of Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine books and think they are the usually among the best of both the police procedural and psychological crime genres. This one starts out promisingly and the first half is a pleasure to read, but the pleasure is overshadowed by the descent, halfway through, into a bit of a convoluted mess. The second half of the book is dense with seemingly unnecessary detail, multiple characters and numerous plot threads. I'm more than happy when reading crime to untangle clues and keep track of multiple plots, but in this case none of this seemed necessary. The core of the story (I won't spoil it by going into detail) would have stood up without all the extraneous plot details, and I think this would have made a stronger book. That said, I'll always come back to novels by Ms Rendell/Vine, and in fact am about to hop onto Abebooks to get hold of any that I've missed along the way.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Mclaren

    A young woman is murdered four short months after an accident in which a car, similar in color and make to her own, is hit with a piece of concrete that kills the passenger. The woman stops driving but continues to go about her life, which includes going out to nightclubs — just one of those nights, she is killed. But that tenuous connections a long tie coming for the police who soon find themselves investigating not one young woman's death, but two. What's the connection, why and how? Could it b A young woman is murdered four short months after an accident in which a car, similar in color and make to her own, is hit with a piece of concrete that kills the passenger. The woman stops driving but continues to go about her life, which includes going out to nightclubs — just one of those nights, she is killed. But that tenuous connections a long tie coming for the police who soon find themselves investigating not one young woman's death, but two. What's the connection, why and how? Could it be drugs or something else. Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Wexford is dealing with a family crisis – his daughter, divorced from her husband, is carrying his child for the man's girlfriend, who is unable to have a baby. Her mother is angry, hurt and vehemently opposed to the plan but Wexford is just trying to keep peace. Will this plan tear apart his family? A engrossing, complex investigation and a wonderful story that keeps the reader focused and drawn to the mystery, the characters and the conclusion. I loved it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Another wonderful entry in the Wexford series--I haven't read one of these mysteries in several years and this book was a very good reminder of Rendell's storytelling abilities. She writes about interesting characters, modern dilemmas, complex relationships and realistic moral ambiguities. In truth I bought into the obligatory red herring earlier than Wexford himself does but it turned out that it was only part of the solution. There was a surprise in store for him as well as for me. Another wonderful entry in the Wexford series--I haven't read one of these mysteries in several years and this book was a very good reminder of Rendell's storytelling abilities. She writes about interesting characters, modern dilemmas, complex relationships and realistic moral ambiguities. In truth I bought into the obligatory red herring earlier than Wexford himself does but it turned out that it was only part of the solution. There was a surprise in store for him as well as for me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Worfolk

    Yes, more Wexford. My brain must be a bit taxed at the moment! Time for pleasant comfort reading. Rendell does get more grumpy and reactionary with each book, though she remains sly and entertaining. (I'm reading this as an e-book with the font size cranked up, so every once in a while I glance at how many pages I've got left and am startled to see it says something like "475 of 860 pages." So I guess I'm about...halfway done then.) Yes, more Wexford. My brain must be a bit taxed at the moment! Time for pleasant comfort reading. Rendell does get more grumpy and reactionary with each book, though she remains sly and entertaining. (I'm reading this as an e-book with the font size cranked up, so every once in a while I glance at how many pages I've got left and am startled to see it says something like "475 of 860 pages." So I guess I'm about...halfway done then.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    Inspector Wexford case 20: An average Wexford case - centred around crimes committed for and around children, covering surrogacy, teenage pregnancies, women who can't have kids and a few related murders! An OK read, nothing special. 4 out of 12. Inspector Wexford case 20: An average Wexford case - centred around crimes committed for and around children, covering surrogacy, teenage pregnancies, women who can't have kids and a few related murders! An OK read, nothing special. 4 out of 12.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Ruth Rendell at her worst is better than most. This was middling for Rendell, which is to say, not a bad book. I found the ultra PC detective sargeant a bit annoying, and I didn't care for the way the multiple storylines all climaxed together, but overall enjoyed it. Ruth Rendell at her worst is better than most. This was middling for Rendell, which is to say, not a bad book. I found the ultra PC detective sargeant a bit annoying, and I didn't care for the way the multiple storylines all climaxed together, but overall enjoyed it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Isobel

    A bit hopeless all round really. Surprised for such a big name author. I'm wondering if the earlier ones were much better. Was she just churning them out to a deadline by number 20? A bit hopeless all round really. Surprised for such a big name author. I'm wondering if the earlier ones were much better. Was she just churning them out to a deadline by number 20?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Two young women are killed and the murders are surely linked, but how? Turns out it's their ability to have children because children - or at least giving birth to them - is the underlying theme here. Wexford views it all with incomprehension: from the child left with his reluctant grandparents when his mother is murdered, through a scam which charges outrageous prices to women desperate to have a baby, to Wexford's own daughter who agonizes over having a baby she has agreed to give away to her Two young women are killed and the murders are surely linked, but how? Turns out it's their ability to have children because children - or at least giving birth to them - is the underlying theme here. Wexford views it all with incomprehension: from the child left with his reluctant grandparents when his mother is murdered, through a scam which charges outrageous prices to women desperate to have a baby, to Wexford's own daughter who agonizes over having a baby she has agreed to give away to her ex-husband's new wife who can't have her own. As a foil to all this baby talk, we have the judgmental, "post feminist" DS Hannah Goldsmith, a new member of Wexford's team. She's a self-styled, politically correct caricature (perhaps written tongue in cheek?) who distains old men, permed hair, and the middle class, and thinks it's a shame that the word "bourgeois" has gone "so utterly out of date." She's quick to throw away all her principles about relationships, though, when it suits her private life and she develops a school-girl crush on her colleague Baljinder Bhattacharya whose strict Indian morals she sees as overly puritanical and a challenge to her more liberal outlook. Rendell threw in some Easter eggs that played with the names of colors: A character has "ferocious tattoos of red, black and broccoli green." Another is fond of "beige as a furnishing color in tones varying slightly between shortbread and caffe latte." And maybe my favorite description of a reporter who had the "perpetually surprised expression of a fruit bat."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marl

    This is definitely not Rendell's strongest. I would have to agree with some of the reviewers when they mentioned how jarring some of the views and thoughts of the main characters were. At 1st I wasn't sure if Rendell was being deliberate but it became obvious she was. Several of her characters started having biases/thoughts/etc that I did not encounter from her previous works. To be fair, I understand what she was trying to convey here. I felt as if Rendell was hell bent on having a connective t This is definitely not Rendell's strongest. I would have to agree with some of the reviewers when they mentioned how jarring some of the views and thoughts of the main characters were. At 1st I wasn't sure if Rendell was being deliberate but it became obvious she was. Several of her characters started having biases/thoughts/etc that I did not encounter from her previous works. To be fair, I understand what she was trying to convey here. I felt as if Rendell was hell bent on having a connective theme when it comes with the personal lives of the protagonist and what they were investigating. It really felt inorganic/forced. Nonetheless Rendell is still Rendell and any work that's considered substandard is still miles away from outputs produced by other authors. =) Her earlier works remain to be the strongest. Some wins, although scattered, at the latter part of her writing career.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adele

    Beat the backlist reading challenge: Book that shares your zodiac sign Published 20-Oct-2005, although 20th in the series, this is the first of the Chief Inspector Wexford novels and the first Ruth Rendell I’ve read. One book isn’t enough for me to fairly judge Wexford against my other favoured fictional detectives (Rebus, Bosch, Thorne, Brodie, Lorimer, Morse and Grace) so I’ll wait until I’ve read a few more to get a balanced view. Luckily I have a couple more on my TBR pile. As a police proced Beat the backlist reading challenge: Book that shares your zodiac sign Published 20-Oct-2005, although 20th in the series, this is the first of the Chief Inspector Wexford novels and the first Ruth Rendell I’ve read. One book isn’t enough for me to fairly judge Wexford against my other favoured fictional detectives (Rebus, Bosch, Thorne, Brodie, Lorimer, Morse and Grace) so I’ll wait until I’ve read a few more to get a balanced view. Luckily I have a couple more on my TBR pile. As a police procedural is was OK, and, because it features in almost every chapter; from searing summer heat, to torrential rain to snow and everything else in between it’s also a surreptitious masterclass, if you ever needed one, in descriptive weather writing!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    It's been ages since I read a Ruth Rendell/Inspector Wexford book. But all the elements that make them so popular are there--good old Dora, the Inspector's long-suffering wife, daughter Sheila, the gang at the station house. Plus a complex mystery to solve, in the Inspector's careful, patient way. The mystery--and the solution--are less than enthralling here. Rendell always makes things interesting, especially with her peripheral characters, and her writing is impeccable. But I just didn't care a It's been ages since I read a Ruth Rendell/Inspector Wexford book. But all the elements that make them so popular are there--good old Dora, the Inspector's long-suffering wife, daughter Sheila, the gang at the station house. Plus a complex mystery to solve, in the Inspector's careful, patient way. The mystery--and the solution--are less than enthralling here. Rendell always makes things interesting, especially with her peripheral characters, and her writing is impeccable. But I just didn't care all that much about the layers as Wexford uncovers them. And the ending was, while not exactly implausible, just too much explanation to support any kind of aha! moment. Three stars.

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