Concealed by a shroud of dirty brown velvet was what looked like a heap of rags. In a desolate subterranean car park of a Shopping Centre, Dorothy Sanders pulled back the velvet curtain revealing the grim discovery of a woman’s body. Inspector Michael Burden, for a while conducting the investigation without the help of Wexford’s intuitive genius, blunders down a number of blind alleys before uncovering the truth. Who would garrote a middle-aged housewife and leave her body in the parking garage of a suburban shopping mall? Chief Inspector Wexford is no sooner on the case than a car bomb's explosion lands him in the hospital. It's now up to Mike Burden to step in and solve the case. He's got a suspect . . . but will he be able to make him talk?
©1988 Ruth Rendell; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I really got frustrated trying to listen to this one. I was constantly adjusting the volume, as some characters seemed to shout, and with others (Burden) the narrator's voice fell away and became unintelligible.
I am a big fan of Rendell's Inspector Wexford series as a rule, but perhaps I need to stick to print.
"Complex psychological detective story"
This is vintage Ruth Rendell in that the story pivots around a psychologically damaged young man and his very peculiar controlling mother: a style of fiction of which she is unsurpassed. The narrator of this audio version doesn't try to do different voices but the characters are clearly delineated and the multiple facets of the story unfold in a comprehensible way. There is a peripheral story involving Chief Inspector Wexford's actress daughter. If you enjoy the Wexford TV series it's interesting to compare the interplay between Wexford and Inspector Burden in the books with how it is depicted on screen in that Wexford is less tetchy and Burden more pernickety in the books.
The narrator sounds unbelievably bored throughout the story making it very difficult to enjoy. I really enjoy Ruth Rendell's books but this one was a major fail due to the performance of Mr. Bailey. I had to rewind constantly as I kept zoning out due to the monotonous tone. PLEASE Audible ...PLEASE return to Nigel Anthony for Rendell's inspector Wexford books.
"Not the best Rendell."
I read this years ago and couldn't remember "who done it". Lots of characters and red herrings. It took me a while to get Robin Bailey's style but I quite liked it - didn't grate like some voices. Had to laugh at some parts in the story. All in all a good listen.
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