Not in the Flesh

Inspector Wexford

Book 21
Sold by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
17
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A new Chief Inspector Wexford mystery from the author who Time magazine has called “the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world.”

When the truffle-hunting dog starts to dig furiously, his master’s first reaction is delight at the size of the clump the dog has unearthed: at the going rate, this one truffle might be worth several hundred pounds. Then the dirt falls away to reveal not a precious mushroom but the bones and tendons of what is clearly a human hand.

In Not in the Flesh, Chief Inspector Wexford tries to piece together events that took place eleven years earlier, a time when someone was secretly interred in a secluded patch of English countryside. Now Wexford and his team will need to interrogate everyone who lives nearby to see if they can turn up a match for the dead man among the eighty-five people in this part of England who have disappeared over the past decade. Then, when a second body is discovered nearby, Wexford experiences a feeling that’s become a rarity for the veteran policeman: surprise.

As Wexford painstakingly moves to resolve these multiple mysteries, long-buried secrets are brought to daylight, and Ruth Rendell once again proves why she has been hailed as our greatest living mystery writer.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
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Published on
Jun 10, 2008
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780307410320
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Crime
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dazzling psychological suspense. Razor-sharp dialogue. Plots that catch and hold like a noose. These are the hallmarks of crime legend Ruth Rendell, “the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world” (Time magazine). From Doon with Death, now in a striking new paperback edition, is her classic debut novel—and the book that introduced one of the most popular sleuths of the twentieth century.

There is nothing extraordinary about Margaret Parsons, a timid housewife in the quiet town of Kingsmarkham, a woman devoted to her garden, her kitchen, her husband. Except that Margaret Parsons is dead, brutally strangled, her body abandoned in the nearby woods.

Who would kill someone with nothing to hide? Inspector Wexford, the formidable chief of police, feels baffled -- until he discovers Margaret's dark secret: a trove of rare books, each volume breathlessly inscribed by a passionate lover identified only as Doon. As Wexford delves deeper into both Mrs. Parsons’ past and the wary community circling round her memory like wolves, the case builds with relentless momentum to a surprise finale as clever as it is blindsiding.

In From Doon with Death, Ruth Rendell instantly mastered the form that would become synonymous with her name. Chilling, richly characterized, and ingeniously constructed, this is psychological suspense at its very finest.

Praise for From Doon with Death

“One of the most remarkable novelists of her generation.”—People

“She has transcended her genre by her remarkable imaginative power to explore and illuminate the dark corners of the human psyche.”—P.D. James
Out here, in the quaint ceaseless calm of an English village, it is hard to imagine a life beyond. From the outside, everything seems to make sense. Everything has its place.
My friends are open and unsuspecting. There is none of the natural suspicion of the Argentinian. . . For me, it's unbelievable in a way.

For two decades after being forced to leave his native Argentina, Detective Chief Inspector Guillermo Downes has sought tranquility in the orderly life of the English Cotswolds. But violence can strike just as suddenly in the countryside as it can in Buenos Aires.

When the body of wealthy landowner Frank Hurst is found with a pitchfork through his neck, it brings back disturbing memories of former mysteries. Hurst's wife drowned in their swimming pool-an official accident, though many villagers have their doubts. And what about the two young girls who were abducted years before, with some possible links to Hurst that were never proven?

''It's something truly terrible to make someone disappear,'' Downes tells his partner. Because the family never know, you see." Years ago he had promised the vanished girls' mothers to find their daughters, and as the ripples from Hurst's death spread through the village, there is fresh hope that he might finally make good on that promise, no matter what it costs the community or himself.

With the kind of insights into life in a seemingly peaceful village that made Broadchurch so powerful, James Marrison's The Drowning Ground introduces a terrific new voice in crime fiction.

Dazzling psychological suspense. Razor-sharp dialogue. Plots that catch and hold like a noose. These are the hallmarks of crime legend Ruth Rendell, “the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world” (Time magazine). From Doon with Death, now in a striking new paperback edition, is her classic debut novel—and the book that introduced one of the most popular sleuths of the twentieth century.

There is nothing extraordinary about Margaret Parsons, a timid housewife in the quiet town of Kingsmarkham, a woman devoted to her garden, her kitchen, her husband. Except that Margaret Parsons is dead, brutally strangled, her body abandoned in the nearby woods.

Who would kill someone with nothing to hide? Inspector Wexford, the formidable chief of police, feels baffled -- until he discovers Margaret's dark secret: a trove of rare books, each volume breathlessly inscribed by a passionate lover identified only as Doon. As Wexford delves deeper into both Mrs. Parsons’ past and the wary community circling round her memory like wolves, the case builds with relentless momentum to a surprise finale as clever as it is blindsiding.

In From Doon with Death, Ruth Rendell instantly mastered the form that would become synonymous with her name. Chilling, richly characterized, and ingeniously constructed, this is psychological suspense at its very finest.

Praise for From Doon with Death

“One of the most remarkable novelists of her generation.”—People

“She has transcended her genre by her remarkable imaginative power to explore and illuminate the dark corners of the human psyche.”—P.D. James
INCLUDES AN EXCERPT OF RENDELL’S FINAL NOVEL, DARK CORNERS

From “one of the most remarkable novelists of her generation” (People) a “refined, probing, and intelligent” (USA TODAY) mystery in the masterful Inspector Wexford series…more enthralling than ever after fifty years.

A female vicar named Sarah Hussein is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussein was working in a male-dominated profession. Moreover, she was of mixed race and wanted to modernize the church. Could racism or sexism have played a factor in her murder?

Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who discovered the body, happens to also be in the employ of retired Chief Inspector Wexford and his wife. Wexford is intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, and when he is invited by his old deputy to tag along with the investigators, he leaps at the chance.

As Wexford searches the Vicar’s house, he sees a book on her bedside table. Inside the book 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 in removing a piece of valuable evidence from the scene without telling anybody. Yet what he finds inside begins to illuminate the murky past of Sarah Hussein. 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, an “absorbing and rewarding” (Seattle Times) mystery that explores issues of sexism, class, and racism. As Stephen King said: “No one surpasses Ruth Rendell.”
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