Ruth Rendell was one of my first introduction into crime writing, as there was an abundance of her books in the local library when I was young. However I haven’t read any of her Wexford books (that I can remember) so I was looking forward to trying this latest one.
Inspector Wexford is now retired and living with his wife in his daughter’s house. However he is soon tempted back to London when asked to help out on a new case. Three bodies have been found in a celler. Two of the bodies are from the same time, however the third one is much newer.
This was quite a good story that made a nice change from some of the more graphic crime reads of late. As well as the investigation into the three bodies, there is a separate back story involving Wexford’s family. I did feel that this was a little bit unnecessary. I would be interested to see if the family featured so much in the previous novels or if it was needed to pad out the time now there was less police work to do. Personally I thought the whole family story was a bit off kilter, and really didn’t warm to the characters but that may just be because I don’t know their history.
I found this a nice easy read, and as a stand alone novel it was certainly worth the time. I was a bit surprised by some elements though. Wexford came across as a very old fashioned detective who had never used the internet. This struck me as a bit strange as he had previously been a high ranking police officer so you’d think they would have been taught how to. Equally I thought that bits of it were a little unlikely. One of the big breakthroughs in the case came from him walking round the city and getting lost which was a little bit coincidental.
However even with those minor criticisms its a quick and easy read, although it would perhaps have been better to remind myself of some of the other Wexford novels first.