8 February 2011

Crime Fiction Alphabet: END IN TEARS, Ruth Rendell

My contribution to Crime Fiction Alphabet for the letter E.

I read this back in 2006, so this is just a mini-review. I need to say though that Ruth Rendell is one of my favourite authors.

In the early hours of the morning George Marshalson is waiting anxiously for his young daughter to come home. His discovery of her body at dawn not far from the house is the beginning of a new case for Reg Wexford and the Kingsmarkham CID team. Neither Reg nor his assistant Mike Burden are getting any younger and both are a bit old-fashioned in their attitudes and their policing methods. In this, the 20th book in the Wexford series that began in 1964, award winning author Ruth Rendell introduces the new face of policing in Britain in the persons of the latest additions to the team, Bal and Hannah. And again Rendell gives this book a contemporary setting by weaving into it a theme that has been of world-wide community concern. The Wexford family interest continues too when daughter Sylvia becomes pregnant by her ex-husband.

My rating: 4.8

Publisher's Blurb

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?

Long beloved by readers for her deft weaving of wonderfully meticulous characterization, dark humor, and trenchant social commentary into gripping and fast-paced plots, Ruth Rendell is in top form with End in Tears. Taking off from the first page with back-to-back murders and ending with one of Wexford's own officers in mortal danger, End in Tears touches on issues of class, race, parenthood, aging, and gender roles as it brings the traditional British whodunit into the twenty-first century.

4 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - What a great choice for the letter "E." Of course, I'm biased because I like Rendell's work very much, too. Thanks for reminding me :-).

Bev Hankins said...

Thanks for highlighting this one, Kerrie. It's been way too long since I read a Ruth Rendell book. No real reason why--other than there are just too many books out there that need reading. But you've reminded me that I've been missing Wexfor and Burden. May have to try and fit them in here soon.

gautami tripathy said...

I like the premise! Gotta check it out!

Here is my Crime Fiction Alphabet: E post!

Dorte H said...

As Margot says, great choice! This story has some memorable twists.

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