The seventeenth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. A by-pass is planned in the sleepy village of Kingsmarkham, a move that would destroy its peace and natural habitat forever. Wexford's wife Dora joins the protest movement, but Wexford must be more circumspect. Trouble is expected. Before the protesters even have a chance to make their presence felt, the badly decomposed body of a young woman is discovered. Burden believes he knows the identity of the murderer, but Wexford is not convinced. Just as Wexford is about to investigate the murder, a number of people disappear - including Dora Wexford. The Chief Inspector must battle with his powerful emotions and solve the case immediately, before his wife is placed in any mortal danger...
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(177mm x 110mm x 24mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
Rendell's evolution from the unnervingly focused analyst of plausible psychoses to the more outward chronicler who uses crime to diagnose the ills of contemporary Britain - one of the glories of today's mystery fiction - continues in a masterful tale of eco-terrorism that chills Chief Inspector Wexford as none of his earlier cases have. In order to protest the building of an unsightly and disruptive new bypass around Kingsmarkham, a band of eco-terrorists calling themselves the Sacred Globe take five hostages and threaten to kill them one by one unless Her Majesty's Government agrees to abandon plans for the bypass. The hostages, kidnapped in an unusually inventive way, include an inoffensive older couple, an aspiring model, a teenaged boy, and Wexford's wife Dora, snatched on her way to visit her newest grandchild. Rendell places her hero's nerve-racking attempts to track Sacred Globe to their lair within a vast canvas that makes room for each of the victims' agonized relatives, half a dozen environmental organizations of subtly different stripes, a marvelously shaded group portrait of Wexford's troops - and a subplot involving a slain German hitchhiker, the discovery of whose body comes as an especially nasty surprise to readers so thorougly caught up in the other characters' issues and lives. Rendell's most probing and ambitious book since - well, since Wexford's Edgar-winning last appearance in Simisola (1995). (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.