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A New Lease Of Death (2009)

A New Lease of Death (2009)
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3.65 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0099534797 (ISBN13: 9780099534792)
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English
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A New Lease Of Death (2009)
A New Lease Of Death (2009)

About book: With school starting back this week, and with me preparing for one new class and an overall overload, it took me a bit to get through this one. That isn't to say it's bad, just that I was dozing off mid-chapter and not remembering things I'd read. Going back a few pages and asking "did you read this?" isn't the most pleasant experience.And yet, I didn't really dig this one. OK, let me say that I didn't dig the first three-quarters. Like the first Wexford, A New Lease of Death puzzles me. Here, with even more clear references to the mid-sixties, we have a middle-aged man who's daughter is expecting his first grandchild. Then we're to believe he retires nearly fifty years later? At 102? Just in time to appear in the beginning of his retirement in The Vault? OK. Last time.What really bothered me is also what I thought was the most promising sign. Rendell begins to find her voice in this book, and I think she realizes that she can do more than the typical serial detective novel. I think. I'm not sure, because it almost seems to happen by accident. Really, it seems to happen in the middle of a stroke that the author must have been having, because the change was so jarring I wondered if my edition didn't have a major typo.Very early on it was clear that this wasn't typical of the series detectives. The Wexford of the series was barely in it at all, making the occasional cameo even though the whole novel takes place in his fictional Kingsmarket, and centers around his first murder case of 16 year ago (or so). And, unlike Doon, even Burden, Wexford's trusty second in command, isn't around much. So much for endearing characters who bring you back again and again.But that's fine. Half-way through this one and I was beginning to think Rendell's stand alone novels would be the stand outs, but then something weird happened. Jenny kissed Archery (the central character). This is when I realized that Rendell's writing was shifting. Suddenly, it was no longer about the crime that was committed all those years ago. No, it had never really been about that, and so it made sense that Wexford would have little to do with the novel (though, why make it a series entry?). Rather, this book is about the character of Archery, about the draw to others even inside a marriage, perhaps a marriage that only works out of obligation. It's about the relationship of father's to sons, of daughters to fathers, and escaping the sins of those fathers. As the character of Charles revealed himself more and more, the novel became about why some folks would bother to escape at all. So, in that way it was an interesting read. But it took too long for the road to wind 'round that way, and I don't think it was me being thick. I'm going to read one more, to test my theory. Then, I'm going to have to move on. I have too many things on my reading list as it is, and am adding more now that I'm around my colleagues and students again. One more, Rendell, while I can use my tiredness as an excuse to forego my tackling of more challenging literature. Or perhaps, as I suspect, you will challenge me tonight?The VaultThe Vault

1967, #2 Inspector Wexford, Kingsmarkham[cosy police procedural - A-toA/4.25]Interesting tale of old murder and new love, as the daughter of a murderer tries to rise above her beginnings. The atmosphere of “bad blood will tell” seems terribly old fashioned now, but this is a nicely dark suspenser woven around the emotional melodramatics. The ending is a tad sweet, and although an important bit or two seem rather fudged to me, the overall effect is very good. Satisfying characterizations, good setting, nicely grisly plot, and an intriguing glimpse at dark doings in a mid-1960s village. Seems rather similar to #1 (FROM DOON WITH DEATH) albeit a bit crisper and definitely darker. I hope the future entries in this long series show more variation, although it might just be that I read the two much too closely together. Also published as A NEW LEASE OF DEATH.
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Reviews
Robert Corbett
The mystery is not one, which is almost a dare on the part of Rendell, particularly in only the second outing of her Holmes, Reg Wexford. Could Wexford have basically put a innocent man up for the drop in the beginning of his career. Rev. Henry Archery hopes so for the sake of his son's engagement? Wexford is brusque and seemingly imperious upholder of the law, but this, tho not a bluff, hides a broad sense of compassion and intolerance of British guff? The Rev is more hidebound in his princess
Bettie☯
Read by............... Nigel AnthonyTotal Runtime......... 6 Hours 53 MinsDescription: It was a brutal, vicious crime -- sixteen years ago. A helpless old woman battered to death with an axe. Harry Painter hung for it, and Chief Inspector Wexford is certain they executed the right man. But Reverend Archery has doubts . . . because his son wants to marry the murderer's beautiful, brilliant daughter. He begins unravelling the past, only to discover that murder breeds murder -- and often conceals even deeper secrets . . . AKA 'Sins of the Fathers'.3* From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1)CR A New Lease of Death (Inspector Wexford, #2)
Damaskcat
Wexford is asked to meet Henry Archery who wants him to look again at the murder of Mrs Primero which happened fifteen years ago. Wexford believes the correct verdict was reached and as it was his first murder case in which he was the officer in charge he is naturally a bit prickly about it. Archery believes that the killer was wrongly convicted and sets out to prove it. In the process he opens rather too many cans of worms.This is the second in the Wexford series and very good it is too. There is little overt violence and a great deal of interesting insights into all the characters. The psychological aspects of the murder and its effects on the people concerned are very well done and convincing. I like the police characters and the way Wexford and Burden interact.I first read this series more than twenty years ago and it has stood the test of time very well indeed and the books bear re-reading.
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