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Publisher's Summary

Wessex is retired - or would be, if murder and danger would only leave him alone.

The impossible has happened. Chief Inspector Reg Wexford has retired. He and his wife now divide their time between Kingsmarkham and a coachhouse in Hampstead belonging to their actress daughter, Sheila. For all the benefits of a more relaxed way of life, Wexford misses being the law. But a chance meeting in a London street, with someone he had known briefly as a very young police constable, changes everything. Tom Ede is now a detective superintendent, and is very keen to recruit Wexford as an adviser on a difficult case.

The bodies of two women and a man have been discovered in the old coal hole of an attractive house in St John's Wood. None carries identification. But the man's jacket pockets contain a string of pearls, a diamond and a sapphire necklace as well as other jewellery valued in the region of 40,000. Wexford is intrigued and excited by the challenge - until this new investigative role brings him into serious physical danger.

Investigate more cases with Inspector Wexford.
©2011 Ruth Rendell (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about The Vault

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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slow and uninteresting

very slow story and presentation. Extraneous sub plots add nothing to book. This is my first book by this author and may be the reason I felt characters not well developed.

2 people found this helpful

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This said it is unabriged, but is it

As usual, a good story by Ruth Rendell...but I recognize it from a much longer story in which we see the murders, the sealing up of the door, the artists and his girlg\friend 30 years before, and much more which I shall not give away. So, I am not sure what is going on.
If you are a Ruth Rendell reader, I assure you - you have read this.

5 people found this helpful

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Not her most compelling

Where does The Vault rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As a fan of Ruth Rendell I was quite excited to get and listen to The Vault. It didn't quite live up to the writing quality of her other books, but was engaging all the same. For fans of her detective series this is a must. It moves him into his next stage of life and how he deals with it. The mystery is intriguing, but unwinds a little slowly. The reader is very good with English accents and suggests class, age and gender well.

1 person found this helpful

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Will not finish this one..

Would you try another book from Ruth Rendell and/or Steven Crossley?

It is difficult to stay involved in this story line- so unusual with a Rendell offering- because it seems that fully 2/3 of the characters are long deceased. Never having met either possible victims or presumed killer/killers; I can hardly be spellbound by the working out of this puzzle (cannot call it thriller)

Which character – as performed by Steven Crossley – was your favorite?

Wexford, of course.

2 people found this helpful

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Very good performance of an excellent book.

I still miss the brilliant Davina Porter, who will always be the perfect Wexford for me, but Steven Crossley's reading is the very very good and the first "new Wexford" I've been able to enjoy. His characterizations, accents, etc are all very very good. To the plot: it's hard for me to gauge how this book would play for readers who haven't read the earlier (non-Wexford) Rendell book _A Sight For Sore Eyes_ that this plot is building off of/riffing on, and I have a feeling it might be much less fun without the added level of mystery/familiarity that knowing the earlier book adds. But for those of us who do know Sore Eyes, this is a delightfully twisty ride. No spoilers here, but the way Rendell incorporates and then expands on her earlier "bodies in the cellar" plotline is unexpected and extremely enjoyable. Recommended.

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I always love inspector Wexford!

Even struggling with retirement, and that feeling of being sidelined hardly impedes Wexford getting to the bottom of the matter in this cold case story.

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Always enjoy Inspector Wexford

Would you consider the audio edition of The Vault to be better than the print version?

NA

Who was your favorite character and why?

Inspector Wexford, because he is so bright, but so human. Has doubts and foibles like anyone. Enjoy his habit of introspection on all things he thinks and sees.

What does Steven Crossley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

No refelection on Mr. Crosley but I listen to books being read because I am doing other things and it is convenient. I read books in both forms. One over the other is chosen because of location, primarily in my car or the kitchen.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not that I can think of.

Any additional comments?

Wexford is very analytical and has a great relationship with his wife of many years. He works with people, not in cross purposes. He is way too patient with his children, but that is part of him. Patience.

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Ruth Rendell is always a good read.

I enjoy the Insp. Wexford series but was a little miffed that he had retired. I think that I'm going to go back and reread from the beginning of this series. I don't like that Wexford is thwarted in his investigations by no longer having a badge. He gets the job done, but it's just not as satisfying to me without the power of the office behind him.

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Reg still on the case

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I like the way it brings an old Rendell story (A Sight for Sore Eyes) and the Wexford series together.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, for the same reason given above and also revealing how Wexford is adjusting, or trying to adjust to retirement. Rendell is very good at weaving various strings of a plot together, revealing just enough here and there.

What does Steven Crossley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I am a long time listener to the Wexford series and always enjoyed the way Crossley portrays his characters by just a subtle change of voice, more like an attitude than an alteration of register.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The obvious point was where Wexford and Sheila have their emotional exchange after she and her sons have taken over his house. But I find the times Rendell writes with Wexford and his grandchildren always very moving.

Any additional comments?

It does make me a bit nervous to now that Chief Inspector Wexford is retired, I can't imagine a time where I won't be able to look over his shoulder as he investigates. It's rather selfish of me, I know, to keep him from his well-deserved rest.

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I enjoyed listening

Although, this Ruth Rendell mystery does not rank as one of my favorites - I thought the storyline was engaging and felt the narrator did an excellent job.