Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell

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After weeks of rain, Chief Inspector Wexford has just finished moving his books and furniture upstairs to protect them from the rising waters when the telephone rings. Two local teenagers and their babysitter have gone missing. Wexford isn’t particularly worried, since these things usually sort themselves out. But as hours stretch into days, he begins to suspect he has a kidnapping on his hands. The stakes get even higher when a member of the missing trio turns up dead in the woods nearby.

In the course of his investigation, Wexford must deal with a neighbor whose alibi is questionable, a religious cult and its sylvan rituals, someone close to the children’s family who nurses a terrible secret, and the babysitter’s ex-husband, who reveals the woman’s hidden penchant for violence.

In The Babes in the Wood, Ruth Rendell draws the reader into a riveting story that alternates between Chief Inspector Wexford’s domestic life—his worries about the security of his home and his daughter’s odd new boyfriend—and his determination to see through a kaleidoscope of lies and bring a murderer to justice....

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The Monster In The Box is the latest addition to Ruth Rendell's classic and beguiling Inspector Wexford series. In this enthralling new book, Rendell, "the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world" (Time), takes Inspector Wexford back to his days as a young policeman, and to the man he has long suspected of murder -- serial murder.

Outside the house where Wexford investigated his first murder case -- a woman found strangled in her bedroom -- he noticed a short, muscular man wearing a scarf and walking a dog. He gave Wexford an unnerving stare. Without any solid evidence, Wexford began to suspect that this man -- Eric Targo, he learned -- was the killer.

Over the years there are more unsolved, apparently motiveless murders in the town of Kingsmarkham, and Wexford continues to quietly suspect that the increasingly prosperous Targo -- van driver, property developer, kennel owner, and animal lover -- is behind them.

Now, half a lifetime later, Wexford spots Targo back in Kingsmarkham after a long absence. Wexford tells his longtime partner, Mike Burden, about his suspicions, but Burden dismisses them as fantasy. Meanwhile, Burden's wife, Jenny, has suspicions of her own. She believes that the Rahmans, a highly respectable immigrant family from Pakistan, may be forcing their daughter, Tamima, into an arranged marriage -- or worse.

In The Monster in the Box, the twenty-second book in the Inspector Wexford series, fans will be thrilled to meet the now-aging inspector in the robust early days of his career. For new readers, no introduction to this spectacular writer and her compelling protagonist could be finer....


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A young girl is murdered in a cemetery. And Wexford's doctor has prescribed no alcohol, no rich food and, above all, no police work. When a young girl's body is found in a London cemetery and the local police, under the command of Wexford's nephew, are baffled, Wexford decides to brave his doctor's wrath and the condescension of the London police by doing a little investigating of his own. A compelling story of mysterious identity and untimely death, Murder Being Once Done is Rendell at her most sublime.

With her Inspector Wexford novels, Ruth Rendell, winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, has added layers of depth, realism and unease to the classic English mystery. For the canny, tireless, and unflappable policeman is an unblinking observer of human nature, whose study has taught him that under certain circumstances the most unlikely people are capable of the most appalling crimes. ...


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When Ismay and Heather's stepfather was discovered dead in the bathtub nine years ago, the police concluded the drowning was an accident. But Ismay has always silently suspected that Heather might have had something to do with it. Now they're older and their lives seem to be moving happily forward. But when Heather becomes seriously involved with a man for the first time, Ismay's long-repressed memories can no longer be ignored. With painful inevitability, Ismay learns that she may not able to keep the dark truth hidden forever....

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It was a brutal, vicious crime -- sixteen years old. A helpless old woman battered to death with an axe. Harry Painter hung for it, and Chief Inspector Wexford is certain they executed the right man. But Reverend Archery has doubts . . . because his son wants to marry the murderer's beautiful, brilliant daughter. He begins unravelling the past, only to discover that murder breeds murder -- and often conceals even deeper secrets . . .
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The Monster In The Box is the latest addition to Ruth Rendells's classic and beguiling Inspector Wexford series. In this enthralling new book, Rendell, "the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world," (Time), takes Inspector Wexford back to his days as a young policeman, and to the man he has long suspected of murder - serial murder.

Outside the house where Wexford investigated his first case - a woman found strangled in her bedroom - he noticed a short, muscular man wearing a scarf and walking a dog. He gave Wexford an unnerving stare. Without any solid evidence, Wexford began to suspect that this man - Eric Targo - was the killer. Over the years there are more unsolved, apparently motiveless murders in the town of Kingsmarkham and Wexford continues to quietly suspect that the increasingly prosperous Targo - van driver, property developer, kennel owner and animal lover - is behind them.

Now, half a lifetime later, Wexford spots Targo back in Kingsmarkham after a long absence. Wexford tells his long time partner, Mike Burden, about his suspicions, but Burden dismisses them as fantasy. Meanwhile, Burden's wife, Jenny, has suspicions of her own. She believes that the Rahmans, a highly respectable immigrant family from Pakistan, may be forcing their daughter, Tamima, into an arranged marriage - or worse. 

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Who could have suspected that the exciting stag party for the groom would be the prelude to the murder of his close friend Charlie Hatton? And Charlie's death was only the first in a string of puzzling murders involving small-time gangsters, cheating husbands, and loose women. Now Chief Inspector Wexford and his assistant join forces with the groom to track down a killer . . .
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