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Publisher's Summary

The Monster In The Box is the latest addition to Ruth Rendell's classic and beguiling Inspector Wexford series. In this enthralling new audiobook, Rendell, "the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world" (Time), takes Inspector Wexford back to his days as a young policeman, and to the man he has long suspected of murder - serial murder.

Outside the house where Wexford investigated his first murder case - a woman found strangled in her bedroom - he noticed a short, muscular man wearing a scarf and walking a dog. He gave Wexford an unnerving stare. Without any solid evidence, Wexford began to suspect that this man - Eric Targo - was the killer.

Over the years there are more unsolved, apparently motiveless murders in the town of Kingsmarkham, and Wexford continues to quietly suspect that the increasingly prosperous Targo - van driver, property developer, kennel owner, and animal lover - is behind them.

Now, half a lifetime later, Wexford spots Targo back in Kingsmarkham after a long absence. Wexford tells his longtime partner, Mike Burden, about his suspicions, but Burden dismisses them as fantasy. Meanwhile, Burden's wife, Jenny has suspicions of her own. She believes that the Rahmans, a highly respectable family from Pakistan, may be forcing their daughter, Tamima, into an arranged marriage - or worse.

Investigate more cases with Inspector Wexford.
©2009 Ruth Rendell; (P)2009 Phoenix

Critic Reviews

"Rendell easily outdistances most mystery writers with her complex characters and her poetic yet astringent style." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Paul
  • Martinez, GA, United States
  • 05-16-10

Not Good!

It has taken me six months to finish this book, I had to stop listening then go back, the narrator was awful, the story line was interesting but not reverting...

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wrong narrator

I love the Wexford series, but this narrator was awful. Every woman had a simpering voice, Wexford sounded like an overbred public school boy, and the pace was deadly. For this book, I recommend reading the real thing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I am along time fan of Ruth Rendell and all of her "Inspector Wexford" novels and eagerly looked forward to listening to this one. The very poor reader spoiled it for me and I could not finish listening to it. I will borrow it from the library.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gerald
  • Milwaukee, WI, USA
  • 04-30-10

The Monster in the Box

This may or may not be a good read, but it is certainly not a great audio book. Nicolas Coster is almost unintellible at times. After an hour I gave up because the listening was annoying rather than pleasurable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Not up to Rendell's usual excellence. But the main complaint is the reader....never want to listen to him again. Blurred voice and sounded so old - made all the characters sound like they had one foot in the grave.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Penelope
  • Cherry Valley, CA, United States
  • 12-19-09


Narrator's voice irritated me. Unable to finish book due to this.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Deborah
  • Huntington, WV, United States
  • 12-08-09

Hard listen

I've been a Ruth Rendell fan for a long time, but this reader makes it a hard listen for me. Not a good choice for this type of novel.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jerry
  • chesapeake, OH, USA
  • 12-04-09


The narrator is english and monotone. The content is boring

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sloooow reader

Not one of Rendell's best. I found the reader hard to tolerate. Much prefer Simon Vance.