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Not in the Flesh - Ruth Rendell

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Author: Ruth Rendell / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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      14.07.2009 13:18

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      light reading

      Hardback version cost £7.99 from the book club.
      Inspector Wexford is the protagonist in Ruth Rendells series of crime novels. This one sees him investigating a double murder near a small English village. The fly leaf does not give much of the plot away, a body is found in a field and then another turns up in a house not far away.
      If you are looking for a detective who has ambitions that include the next lady he can hop in to bed with or a hero who spends every spare minute fighting or shooting it out with the bad guys you will not find it in Rendells Wexford novels. Wexford is a plain English detective who plods his way through the scene of the crime in a traditional and methodical manner.
      He has 2 bodies on his hands in this crime, first he must identify them, then find the murder weapon and thus expose the killer.
      He does this through his skill of interviewing suspects and potential witnesses. He has a few associates to help him and he sends them on various errrands around the country while he then sets out on his own to re-interview various suspects (often based on his own inspiration).
      The novel is structured in paragraphs. There is normally one paragraph per scene which makes it very easy to follow and easy to read as you can finish one paragraph and put the book down for a while. The character of Wexford is shown against the backdrop of his colleagues, his family and a subplot involving a subject that was topical in the news a few years ago.
      I read the first 80 pages and not much more had happened then had been explained on the flyleaf of the book but after that the plot began to unravel and it was hard to put it down for the last 100 pages. You could have guessed the outcome ( or some of it) early on but this is mainly due to Rendells implicit characterisation of the various suspects.
      The style of writing used is very calm and although it does not read like a thriller there is still an air of suspense throughout.
      I look forward to my next read of a Wexford novel.

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