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All the Inspector Wexford novels are a joy to read, and Michael Bryant is the perfect reader. All the characters are clearly and realistically differentiated, and every twist and turn in the plot held me enthralled.
This is one of my favorite Inspector Wexford books. While the book was written in the mid-80s, the story holds up very well today.
One of the beauties of Rendell's work is that while her characters grow and develop, you don't have to read the books in order. There are no spoilers between books.
The narrator is well suited to the story and to the character of Wexford. (I don't like all the narrators for the series; I wish Michael Bryant was available for more.)
Note: the narration on the actual file sounds better than the preview.
The murder just does not make sense. There is no meat in it, nothing to serve as catharsis, or even reward, for trudging through the mid-1970s hippie trappings (as imagined, clearly, by someone not of the tribe. And the talked singing passages--cringe. More importantly, the victim, introduced immediately, is summarily abandoned, remaining a nonentity for the balance of this loose tale. By the time (finally) the murderer is revealed and the scene described, I had ceased really to care. And the misinformed use of marijuana as psychotic motivator just seems so silly. Bad trip all the way.
Michael Bryant: Thank you for NOT singing; you did your best with the talk-sing. Still; ugh.
Always detailed characters how intertwined they are. You can relate to them they mirror some of the people in your own life and she gives you a way to relate.
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