Inspector Wexford is a favorite of mine, so I had to read this one as soon as the copy was bought at my workplace library. I was wondering how Ruth Rendell was going to make it work since Wexford is supposed to have retired. Well, are you surprised that he found other ways to keep investigating?
The short of it: it was an enjoyable read but probably not the best Wexford novel ever. It won’t really change my otherwise excellent opinion on the Wexford mysteries and I already know that I’ll read the next one if she happens to write another (she’s 80 or so).
But to Rendell newbies: this is not the place to start, or you might end up disappointed. There were many characters, back and forth inquiries and it was hard to keep count of them all. It’s supposed to be intertwined with a previous novel Rendell wrote (A Sight for Sore Eyes, without Wexford), but having forgotten every single idea about this book (although I know I must have read it, but it was before the Internet age) wasn’t a problem.
Despite those weaknesses, I loved the atmosphere and comfort of finding familiar characters once again, and I enjoyed the side plots with Wexford family members. Architecture and London geography play an important role, and I was sorry not to know London better so that I’d be able to visualize all the nuances between neighborhoods.