INCLUDES AN EXCERPT OF RENDELL’S FINAL NOVEL, DARK CORNERS
From crime legend Ruth Rendell, the gripping new novel in her “beloved” (USA Today) Inspector Wexford series, which will soon mark its fiftieth anniversary.
A female vicar named Sarah Hussain is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who finds the body, happens to also be in the employ of former Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, Wexford, who has taken to reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as a retirement project, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators. Wexford is intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, but he’s also desperate to escape the chatty Maxine.
A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussain was a woman working in a male-dominated profession. Of mixed race and an outspoken church reformer, she had turned some in her congregation against her, including the conservative vicar’s warden. Could one of her enemies in the church have gone so far as to kill her? Or could it have been the elderly next-door gardener with a muddled alibi?
As Wexford searches the vicar’s house alongside the police, he sees a book, Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua, lying on Hussain’s bedside table. Inside it is a letter serving as a bookmark. Without thinking much, Wexford puts it into his pocket. Wexford soon realizes he has made a grave error—he’s removed a piece of evidence from the crime scene. Yet what he finds inside begins to illuminate the murky past of Sarah Hussain. Is there more to her than meets the eye?
No Man’s Nightingale is Ruth Rendell’s masterful twenty-fourth installment in one of the great crime series of all time.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I've loved Ruth Rendell for years and read all of her books with pleasure, but I really has to struggle to finish this one. I read it in just two days but could not remember who the characters were. I kept going back to check names and even then I was confused. The description of London neighborhoods was interesting, but I can read a travel book for that. Many twists in the plot did not make sense as unresolved hints continued to mount. I still don't understand the red and blue striped tie mentioned in four different places. That never went anywhere and seemed like a mistake. Editing needed! By the last twenty pages I simply didn't care. The book gave me a headache. Even the closing sentence was irrelevant. Skip it.
Good story but too many characters. There is no connection with some of the main characters and I wondered what and why they were there. I enjoyed this author in the past but this time, it was confusing. Trying to keep all the characters connected was a challenge. About 100 pages less might have made a big difference.
In journalism a piece like this was known as “calling it in.” In other words, doing the bare minimum required to make a story.
The good news is that spent only $1.99 for the on-special Kindle version, because reading it was a total waste of time. Why did I buy it—and continue reading it you ask? (At least that is what I ask myself. ) I was lured in after learning how Ruth Rendell was a top English mystery writer and was unfamiliar with her works.
How she acquired this stellar reputation surely wasn’t based on No Man’s Nightingale, a title and the book’s cover art which , while catchy--makes no sense either, since the so-called mystery was based on the murder of female vicar and Rendell’s apparently famous detective, Inspector Reg Wexford, now retired who is called in to assist.
How is it a “bad” book? Let me count the ways: Cardboard characters, stock characters, and so many minor figures...
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