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So far, one of my favorite Inspector Wexford novels, by Ruth Rendell I almost gave it five stars, but had one small huge criticism about the book.First off, it s the story of what happened to three missing people, two teenagers and a young adult woman They ve gone missing and it s up to Wexford, Burden, and associates to find them This is all set against a backdrop of a flooded English countryside, with the nearby river literally moving right up the hill to Wexford s house The feeling thr So far, one of my favorite Inspector Wexford novels, by Ruth Rendell I almost gave it five stars, but had one small huge criticism about the book.First off, it s the story of what happened to three missing people, two teenagers and a young adult woman They ve gone missing and it s up to Wexford, Burden, and associates to find them This is all set against a backdrop of a flooded English countryside, with the nearby river literally moving right up the hill to Wexford s house The feeling throughout the book is one of near continual rain, dampness, and all the rot that comes with it Think swamps, bogs, marshes Easy for me to do where I live I ve got a woody swamp in my back yard The whole book just feels wet, wet, wet Even the daily newspaper being delivered to Wexford s house is water logged and needs drying out before he can read it.There s also a subplot, as there often is in this series, involving one of Wexford s daughters and her continuing issues with men As this particular daughter is newly divorced, and attractive, she s had a small succession of boyfriends in recent books Her newest love interest is a problem and that s where I cut off one star The development involving this fellow doesn t read true to me, although had the book been written in the 1990 s or earlier, I d have believed it But what happens with this man and Wexford s handling of it, nope, I didn t believe it I was very disappointed in the way Rendell handled the situation I don t like to rewrite the book I m reading, going on with why didn t she do this And oh, no, not the way it should have gone Still, I had a problem with Sylvia, the daughter, and the boyfriend, so be itThe main story, though, was beautifully written, littered with the usual mystery clues, which this time I just didn t get I had no idea who did what to whom and why until the very last pages I ve read a lot of mysteries and I ve written a few, but this one totally surprised me I was saying, why didn t I see that That s so obvious Yeah, after the fact.There s a religious cult, the usual uncooperative witnesses, the general dislike of the police that so many English in Rendell s books seem to have My general opinion of this is that those in the middle classor less appreciate what the police do and try to help them when and if they can, but not in England Arrogant, snobbish, superior attitudes prevail I m surprised some of Rendell s characters, on meeting the police at the front door don t tell them to go around to the back and enter that way This is a reoccurring theme in her books a general lack of respect for authority, and maybe it has something to do with Rendell s background, not sure about that However, this was a good book, solid mystery I will be sad when I run out of Inspector Wexford books to read Read by Nigel AnthonyTotal Runtime 12 Hours 10 MinsDescription With floods threatening both the town of Kingsmarkham and his own home and no end to the rain in sight, Chief Inspector Wexford already has his hands full when he learns that two local teenagers have gone missing along with their sitter, Joanna Troy Their hysterical mother is convinced that all three have drowned, and as the hours stretch into days Wexford suspects a case of kidnapping, perhaps connectedRead by Nigel AnthonyTotal Runtime 12 Hours 10 MinsDescription With floods threatening both the town of Kingsmarkham and his own home and no end to the rain in sight, Chief Inspector Wexford already has his hands full when he learns that two local teenagers have gone missing along with their sitter, Joanna Troy Their hysterical mother is convinced that all three have drowned, and as the hours stretch into days Wexford suspects a case of kidnapping, perhaps connected with an unusual sect called the Church of the Good Gospel But when the sitter s smashed up car is found at the bottom of a local quarry occupied by a battered corpse the investigation takes on a very different hue.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 53 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 Not in the Flesh Inspector Wexford, 21 2 The Vault Inspector Wexford, 23 This is a slightly less than average effort by Rendell It s pretty obvious whodunnit and the investigation is waymeandering than necessary Other than providing the hysterical mother of the missing kids something be hysterical about Oh, no The floods The kids have drowned.I just know it there s no point to the whole flood story in the book The hysterical mother could have been just as hysterical without the rising riverand maybe the plot would have been a biton point This is a slightly less than average effort by Rendell It s pretty obvious whodunnit and the investigation is waymeandering than necessary Other than providing the hysterical mother of the missing kids something be hysterical about Oh, no The floods The kids have drowned.I just know it there s no point to the whole flood story in the book The hysterical mother could have been just as hysterical without the rising riverand maybe the plot would have been a biton point And, honestly, I get a little tired of the repressive religious people who so often get thrown in as suspects whether they actually did it or not Did they I m not telling The rendering of Joanna s character is interesting not a standard female type And Rendell s writing itself is still very good at this stage I just wish the story had been a littlestraight forwardtrue red herring sidelines and less flooding and family drama for the Wexfords will Wexford s daughters ever have a happy life would go a long way and 3 4 rounded to three here First posted on my blog My Reader s Block Please request permission before reposting Thanks SPOILERS An unfortunate misstep for the usually reliable Ruth Rendell The book is filled with uninteresting subplots especially one about a wealthy alcoholic and his narcissistic model wife that constantly undermine the flow of the story Like so many European crime novels, the story includes the usual religious boogiemen without even a hint of nuance The solution largely comes via a plot device not the investigation we have been following though to be fair to Rendell, pieces of the invest SPOILERS An unfortunate misstep for the usually reliable Ruth Rendell The book is filled with uninteresting subplots especially one about a wealthy alcoholic and his narcissistic model wife that constantly undermine the flow of the story Like so many European crime novels, the story includes the usual religious boogiemen without even a hint of nuance The solution largely comes via a plot device not the investigation we have been following though to be fair to Rendell, pieces of the investigation help illuminate to the solution but they were not really the vehicle to its discovery And after that event, when the plot finally starts to move with a little passion, we are treated to a trip to Sweden complete with travel suggestions that kills all of the momentum Finally, the explanation of the crime comes not through plot but by an unnecessarily long winded and sometimes silly explanation from Wexford to his partner When his partner kept asking Wexford to get to the point I shared his frustration Rendell is a great writer and I will happily continue to read her books but my advice is to take a miss on this one Rendell has an extremely long list of novels to her name, some famously Inspector Wexford ones but why bother reading them For the entire 300 pages I ve just waded through, I honestly had the sense that the writer was sitting at her typewriter laughing at her readers She clearly knew from the very beginning who killed Joanna Troy and why the Dade children went missing, as well as where they were All the questions Wexford asks and all the investigations as to what, where and how are mer Rendell has an extremely long list of novels to her name, some famously Inspector Wexford ones but why bother reading them For the entire 300 pages I ve just waded through, I honestly had the sense that the writer was sitting at her typewriter laughing at her readers She clearly knew from the very beginning who killed Joanna Troy and why the Dade children went missing, as well as where they were All the questions Wexford asks and all the investigations as to what, where and how are mere red herrings meant to entertain the reader not to mention Wexford s personal life The way the excerpts about his daughters Sylvia and Sheila I mean HOW is a reader supposed to tell the difference between the daughters if their names are so similar They certainly don t have enough characteristics to distinguish them are placed in the text, it almost interrupts this slow moving narrative Besides, what was the point of the floods Why tell the reader about Wexford s garden slowly absorbing some or other river that s not meant to reach his garden wall It certainly had nothing to do with the main plot.Who s telling the story It isn t Wexford, in spite of the occasional I thrown into his thought processes I still and this book has 323 pages, so I should know don t have a clear picture in my mind of what Wexford looks like In fact, in spite of Rendell s attempts to create a homely life for him and his wife Dora, I don t know anything about her, except that she likes gardening Does this make for a good story Where s the suspense, the puzzles the reader can start solving for himself I d prefer to actually have the detectives discover something or work at it at least , rather than have the clues walk into his office because they couldn t keep their secrets any, or have it revealed as an aside by one of his colleagues What exactly does Wexford do besides sit at his desk and think or walk out to lunch which is either Chinese or a sandwich or talk to Burden and ask questions that the reader lazily knows will be revealed at the end anyway Not once does the author even try to give a hint as to where this is all going It feels like a cul de sac until the key individuals give themselves up almost right at the end of the book, take note and reveal all now, you tell me, is that supposed to be exciting ZZZZZZZZZZZ am I finished yet This book was OK, the writing was excellent, but it dragged on The story could have been shortened a bit The plot was good, but the outcome was very predictable, at least to me I m going to read The Rottweiler next, also by Ruth Rendell I ve heard it is really good. Book 12 of 15in2015Wow This was sort of terrible Rendell died recently, and the way her obituaries described her work made me want to sample it The sensible thing would have been for me to carefully select a much lauded novel, but instead I grabbed something at random on the shelf The characters were cliches an absent minded professor, a snotty supermodel, misogynistic Christian fundamentalists, the overweight guy who can t resist a sweet cake in the most awkward of social circumstances T Book 12 of 15in2015Wow This was sort of terrible Rendell died recently, and the way her obituaries described her work made me want to sample it The sensible thing would have been for me to carefully select a much lauded novel, but instead I grabbed something at random on the shelf The characters were cliches an absent minded professor, a snotty supermodel, misogynistic Christian fundamentalists, the overweight guy who can t resist a sweet cake in the most awkward of social circumstances The plot dawdled, in part because of characters who find a body but don t report it because of the bother it would cause them missing children So what and in part because there s so little going on Worse, there are continual little author self inserts that make no sense in the context of the rest of the book Stuff like paraphrasing The inspector had forgotten to ask an important question, and it would be weeks before he realized what it was which doesn t match the bulk of the novel, but seems very like a ham fisted attempt to create tension Finally, it s apparent from the latter part of the book that the author had a lovely vacation abroad, and much of the denouement made it tax deductible Maybe her earlier work wasnuanced and interesting Maybe it had momentum This doesn t *READ DOWNLOAD ⇫ The Babes In The Wood ✑ The nineteenth book to feature the classic crime solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford A woman phoned to say she and her husband went to Paris for the weekend, leaving their children with a well, teen sitter, I suppose, got back last night to find the lot gone and naturally she assumes they ve all drowned There hadn t been anything like this kind of rain in living memory The River Brede had burst its banks, and not a single house in the valley had escaped flooding Even where Wexford lives, higher up in Kingsmarkham, the waters had nearly reached the mulberry tree in his once immaculate garden The Subaqua Task Force could find no trace of Giles and Sophie Dade, let alone the woman who was keeping them company, Joanna Troy But Mrs Dade is convinced her children are deadAs he embarks upon this mysterious investigation, Wexford is forced to question many of his core assumptions about society, even about his own family Was going through a reading slump, so thought why not a good old murder mystery to rev things up It partly did the trick for I managed to complete it Otherwise, I found it to be slightly boring and disappointing It is hard to write a review of a murder mystery without dissecting the plot and giving away spoilers I can only say that certain elements subplots worked for me and certain things didn t Also, I thought it was a case of Ruth Rendell winking at the readers and thinking let me twist Was going through a reading slump, so thought why not a good old murder mystery to rev things up It partly did the trick for I managed to complete it Otherwise, I found it to be slightly boring and disappointing It is hard to write a review of a murder mystery without dissecting the plot and giving away spoilers I can only say that certain elements subplots worked for me and certain things didn t Also, I thought it was a case of Ruth Rendell winking at the readers and thinking let me twist a few familiar tropes of a mystery here Think Ruth Rendell has a liking for dysfunctional families to be the core of her plotsI have read only onebook of her and it centered around the same aspect I mean the similarity was striking As much as I like Rendell s smooth writing and intricate phycological aspects of her plot, I think I prefer Patricia Cornwell though I have had a hit and miss history with her too.So, not bad but I wouldn t necessarily recommend it.P.S Does it rain continuously for 3 months in any part of England In this novel, It does and it annoyed the hell out of me 75 pages in, 3 people are missing and all that is discussed is the rain I m done.