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The sixteenth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. When a young, black woman goes missing in Kingsmarkham, Wexford must respond to a test not only of his powers of deduction, but of his basic beliefs and prejudices. Only eighteen black people live in Kingsmarkham. One of them is Wexford's new doctor, Raymond Akande. When the doctor's daughter, Melanie, goes missing, the Chief Inspector takes more than just a professional interest in the case. Melanie, just down from university but unable to find a job, disappeared somewhere between the Benefit Office and the bus stop. Or at least no one saw her get on the bus when it came...When the body of a young black woman is discovered, Wexford must overcome his underlying prejudices to allow his investigative skills to succeed.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099437314
ISBN-10: 0099437317
Format: Paperback
(178mm x 110mm x 23mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 5-Oct-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » There are only 18 black people in Kingsmarkham. One is Wexford's new doctor, Raymond Akande. When Dr Akande's daughter Melanie goes missing, the detective has to deal with racism of all sorts, conscious and unconscious, including his own... The new Chief Inspector Wexford mystery is a powerful novel, dealing not only with crime but with prejudice of various sorts. It is also a gripping tale. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Having taken Chief Inspector Reg Wexford (Kissing the Gunner's Daughter, 1992, etc.) from China to California, Rendell now plunges him into the most exotic setting of all: the Thatcherite underside of his own village of Kingsmarkham. When Wexford's Nigerian physician, Dr. Raymond Akande, reports his unemployed daughter Melanie missing, her trail ends just outside the local Benefits Office, where Annette Bystock had given her information and taken down her particulars. Wexford's staunch sidekick Mike Burden, making routine inquiries, is shocked to discover, not Melanie's body, but Annette's. Even a second corpse, unveiled to the Akandes in a harrowing scene, isn't Melanie's. By this time, Rendell has expanded the mystery of Melanie's whereabouts - courtesy of trenchant episodes introducing a hapless burglar, a pushy local politician, an unbelievably obtuse adulterer and the wife he deserves, and an anti-rape rally - to a vast and labyrinthine exploration of racism, wife-heating, unemployment, and the ugliest kinds of domestic abuse. Though the patient, endless windup is a letdown, Wexford's 16th case succeeds, as very few detective stories do, in creating a world that rings true from the opening question to the final deadly blow. (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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