Sarah Hussain was not popular in the community of Kingsmarkham. She was born of mixed parents - a white Irishwoman and an immigrant Indian Hindu. She was also the Reverend of St Peter's church. But it came as a profound shock to everyone when she was found strangled in the vicarage.
A garrulous cleaner, Maxine, also shared by the Wexfords, discovers the body. In his retirement, the former Detective Chief Inspector is devoting much time to reading, and has little patience with Maxine's prattle. But when his old friend Mike Burden asks him to assist on the case as Crime Solutions Adviser (unpaid), Wexford is obliged to pay more precise attention.
Wexford retains a relish for work and a curiosity about people, which is invaluable in detective work; while Burden tends to jump to conclusions. But he is wise enough to listen to the man whose office he inherited, and whose experience makes him a formidable ally.
©2013 Ruth Rendell (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
"Back on form!"
I nearly didn't buy this book, as the previous three have been very disappointing. But this is Ruth Rendell back on form with Wexford and Burden in their new relationship now Wexford's retired - interesting new interplay between them -; the Wexford family background, a good plot and some nice literary allusions. As ever, Rendell is very topical and clearly notices all the trends, particularly in the young. All very well read by Nigel Anthony. I raced through it at speed and shall listen again to savour it.
Good performance. Always think men doing female voices works better than other way around, and Nigel Anthony is very good at maintaining the voice of all his characters, the annoying cleaning lady was simply brilliant. One couldn't help admiring Wexford's patience with her, I would have thrown Gibbon at her.
Mr Anthony's Wexford so resembles the voice of the late George Baker, who used to play him in the TV series, that one 'sees' the TV Wexford as he is reading.
Story has a nice steady pace to it, the deaths seem to just slot in. Oddly there is no big drama even though the deaths are of a violent nature, they are presented as facts as they would be to hardened old copper like Wexford. The story just ambles along until the killer has been found, just as you would expect Wexford would.
Enjoyed it very much.
"A slight return to form"
Well, this is definitely better than the last Wexford- it is a slight return to form for the once great Ruth Rendell and it did hold my attention until about two thirds through. Ruth Rendell still writes so well and I love her characterisation and the familiar characters. However, the Wexford novels really do not work now that Wexford is retired. I also felt that the plot was very weak - very little suspense or motivation to carry on listening. On a more positive note Nigel Anthony is a fantastic narrator, very easy to listen to and portrays Wexford superbly.
"A joy - not to be missed."
As Inspector Wexford gets older (along with his creator) he becomes a commentator on the modern world. The mystery is not all that important to the story but I laughed out loud often because of the brilliance of the narration and the exactness of the comments on contemporary life and as a kind of side issue on fiction. There are some interesting comments on modern dining as well
Inspector Wexford - of course! But Maxime is fun too and poor old Burden - never up to the mark even when he's the boss.
Anthony relates with great sympathy for the hero but also with great humour. One feels about the books that they have moved beyond the traditional murder story to the more refined realm of the modern comedy and Anthony's wry reading is quite brilliant.
Not to be missed as brilliant entertainment.
"Even a retired Wexford is great!"
As always anything by Ruth Rendell ranks high on my list of listens
I think Reg Wexford is a great in detective fiction, not always nice to everyone, but persistent and thorough. I liked the character of Maxine, who I could picture and feel I know some people just like her!
Nigel is always the best reader of Wexford stories
As always you start on one story and diverge into many others, never sure where it's leading! But never disappointed at the end...
"Entertaining and a good listen"
I loved the way the reader managed to carry Wexford off as the character George Baker brought to us, it added to a nostalgic feel of the Ruth Rendell books of old!
The story line was pretty good, better than the last couple and the reader was excellent
Haven't heard his others but look forward to doing so. He is certainly able to make you distinguish one character from another.
No not really, just reminded me of 20 years ago when Wexford appeared on our screens - can't understand why it's so hard to get hold of the series now
"Twists and turns"
This novels twists and turns and doesn't release its secret until right near to the end of the book. A really enjoyable listen with a great narrator.
"An ok listen"
My first thoughts were there sre alot of characters. ..I didn't really warm to any of them...the reader did well distinguishing them apart and to give them a personality but I found the story a little hard going.
"Read like a nightingale"
Read beautifully with such care and diligence
The story keeps you guessing until the last .
"No Man's Nightingale "
It was difficult to determine exactly *when* this final Wexford novel was set? The 1950s? Nope, apparently it was the Sussex of only a few years ago. The local Vicar is found strangled at home. As she's a slightly controversial figure and (gasp!) female and ... wait for it ... mixed race, she doesn't fit into the local community. It's up to Wexford to come out of retirement (yet again) to assist Supt Burden and the team.
Why oh why was a retired officer given so much access to an ongoing case? Nothing made sense and the plot meandered all over the place. I think, therefore, one can tell that it was indeed Rendell's final Wexford novel.
The only spark was Nigel Anthony's assured performance. He's a prefect narrator for Rendell novels in my opinion.
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