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Publisher's Summary

There were some things about Chief Inspector Wexford's trip to China that he could never have dreamt of: That an old woman would haunt him from one city to the next. That a man would be tragically drowned. Or that, back in England, he would be investigating the murder of one of his fellow tourists.

©2009 Ruth Rendell (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Constance
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 05-16-15

Under-appreciated gem of mystery writing

Any additional comments?

This is one of Rendell's very best, in my opinion. Wexford goes on a trip through China. This is the China of the 1980's--tourists have minders and travel conditions are far from luxurious. Wexford experiences the journey almost as a dream. The heat, the long hours on trains, the unfamiliar food, the complete dislocation from his ordinary life, and most of all the repeated glimpses of an old woman with bound feet--combine to create a sense of being in a hallucinatory haze. Back from his journey, he gets involved in a murder connected with one of the people on his tour. Rendell succeeds brilliantly in creating an unforgettable and spellbinding atmosphere.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • William Thomson
  • 08-03-18

Clever plot, though stretching it a bit!

Pretty typical R. Rendell, good plot, great characters, a few romantic meanderings along the way. The narration is good, on the whole, but as someone who is on a mini mission to listen to all Wexford's in order (yes I know, must be on the spectrum somewhere) I was a little puzzled as to why he choose to characterise Burden as a bit of a yokel. In previous audio books (and on the page, I think) Burden is usually the narrow minded/stuffed shirt middle class counterpart to Wexford's worldly and cultured commoner. He is usually the one with the posher voice, but here almost reversed. Feels like the voice actor didn't do his research. Anyway, minor annoyance and didn't spoil the arc of the tale with the usual plethora of red herrings and final revelation that you never quite get right (or at least I don't) She usually has a knack of making the unbelievable somehow believable and just about manages it again, but personally I found this solution a bit too convoluted.

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  • pea
  • 04-10-15

Enjoyed

I enjoyed this book although old I still enjoyed it the narrator is ok but good value for the cost