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Description - Harm Done by Ruth Rendell

The eighteenth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. A young girl disappears, then another. A notorious paedophile is released back into the community. The residents of the Muriel Campden Estate are up in arms, and even prepared to take the law into their own hands...Chief Inspector Wexford is faced with the effects of violence and prejudice every day as a policeman, and he is also involved with a new programme to help victims of domestic violence. His daughter, Sylvia, has come to work nearby in a refuge for battered women. Her marriage is not a happy one, although her husband has never raised a hand to her. They are merely incompatible. Other women in Kingsmarkham are not so lucky...Wexford is soon called upon to investigate two extremely serious crimes which will affect the lives and attitudes of police and innocent villagers alike...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099281344
ISBN-10: 0099281341
Format: Paperback
(178mm x 111mm x 31mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 22-Apr-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Harm Done by Ruth Rendell

UK Kirkus Review » Never one to shy away from difficult and topical subject matter, in this, her 18th Inspector Wexford novel, Rendell serves up another gripping slice of Kingsmarkham life in which she deftly weaves together the thorny issues of paedophilia, kidnapping, domestic violence and cop killing. Chief Inspector Wexford, is once more surprised by the complexity of human emotional life both at work as well as at home, where he struggles to come to terms with his feelings for his difficult daughter. Not a bum note sounded, of course, and an atmosphere of quiet but persistent menace. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Kingsmarkham, where Chief Inspector Wexford labors in the interests of law and order, is one of those small English towns that's picture-postcard placid on the surface, a cauldron underneath. On any given Saturday, for instance, there's enough sheer wickedness roiling and moiling to keep Satan smiling and honest cops hopping over the course of a long and distinguished series (Road Rage, 1997, etc.). On this particular Saturday, a young woman goes missing, but just before thinking the worst becomes inevitable, she turns up unharmed. Wexford breathes a sigh of relief. Exactly a week later, however, another young woman disappears. She, too, reappears no worse for wear, but neither returnee seems able to describe what happened to her very convincingly. Can't or won's? Wexford wonders. In the meantime, a notorious pedophile is released from prison. He's paid his debt to society, authorities insist, but the enraged citizens of Kingsmarkham refuse to see it that way. Angry residents threaten, harass, and, having converted themselves into a bloodcurdling mob, end by burning down "the pedo's" house. In the furor, a policeman is killed when someone in the crowd scores a direct, albeit accidental, hit with a homemade Molotov cocktail. Finally, a child from a well-to-do Kingsmarkham family is kidnapped, and the community finds itself facing three incendiary but seemingly unconnected situations. Except that they are connected, of course - by one of crime fiction's most prodigious talents. A little slow, a little labored, but crammed with solid Rendellian virtues; the Regulars will rally round. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell has won many awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View; a second Edgar in 1984 from the Mystery Writers of America for the best short story, 'The New Girl Friend'; and a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986. She was also the winner of the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, as well as the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

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