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Publisher's Summary

On the day Lizzie came back from the dead, the police and her family had already begun to search for her body. She had been missing for three days. Between her confusion and amnesia she could not describe where she'd been, or why. Soon after, a convicted pedophile is released back into the community. Then the child of a wealthy executive disappears, and not long after, the man himself is found stabbed to death.

Chief Inspector Wexford is charged with solving the mysterious disappearances, protecting a pedophile, and catching a killer. As he searches for connections, he finds himself focusing on domestic violence. His daughter, Sylvia, a social worker, has come to work nearby in a refuge for battered women. Her marriage is also strained, although her husband has never raised a hand to her. Others in Kingsmarkham are not so fortunate. As Wexford moves closer to the truth, he confronts the discomfiting lesson that when it comes to the inner life of families, justice is rarely as straightforward as the letter of the law.

©1999 Ruth Rendell (P)1999 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Ruth Rendell is unequivocally the most brilliant mystery writer of our time" (Patricia Cornwell)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

thrilling

Fans of R.R. and persons interested in issues of societal response to pedaphilia and abuse in the family will be engaged by this expert story-telling!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • Eltham Victoria, N/A, Australia
  • 11-04-04

A Great Listen

A good yarn, well narrated. Some suprising twists. I listen in the car to and from work, but tonight I couldn't turn off the last hour. Just sat in my chair when I got home and had to hear how it turned out. Good book. Worth the $$.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Overly abridged

The abridgement cuts about 70% of the text of the full book and the novel suffers for it. Scenes change jarringly, characterization and motive are cut short to the point of incomprehension. Hold out for the unabridged version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting short novel

There are lots of characters in this Ruth Rendell story, and I enjoyed smugly guessing where the plot was going and getting in wrong more than once. The sound quality isn't ideal, but it was well worth the price.