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Wolf To The Slaughter (1987)

Wolf to the Slaughter (1987)
3.59 of 5 Votes: 5
0345345207 (ISBN13: 9780345345202)
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Wolf To The Slaughter (1987)
Wolf To The Slaughter (1987)

About book: I can only give this three stars...The mystery is okay, the interplay of characters, the scattering of clues that an astute reader of mystery should be able to discern, but...It's the writing. I love Ruth Rendell: the stories, characters, settings, but the way she writes often totally confuses me. An example is when Wexford, the chief inspector, is questioning someone. He will talk; she will talk; it goes back and forth rather nicely, then...She talks, but in the same paragraph you read, 'Wexford paced,' or 'Wexford set down his mug.' It seems to me that Wexford is talking? But he isn't. Descriptions of him are interspersed in the same paragraph where SHE - the suspect - is talking, and talking, and goes on talking. I don't get why it's written this way. This happens throughout the book and I have to re-read, go back, and once or twice I actually went through the dialogue thinking, okay this is Her, Him, Her, Him - and him again? No, it's her...It's a stylistic thing, perhaps, and yet being an American reader of mostly American-written books, it tends to flummox me a bit. There's also a tremendous amount of slang, or narration which an English-speaking person might get, but an American has to stop and think about. That's not really such a problem, and I've also learned to keep a dictionary at hand when I read Rendell. I usually learn a few new words every time I read one of her novels. She's not so bad as PD James, but she does throw in a term now and then which makes me go WHAT?As for the story itself, it revolves around a missing girl who is probably dead somewhere. She left under mysterious circumstances and the police receive a note saying someone killed her. There's the usual in which ordinary people don't like/don't trust the police or only tell the police pieces of information and never the 'whole story.' This book was written in the 1960's, so cultural references are mini-skirts, bell bottoms, 60's pop music and the like. That part is okay. I just read it as a period piece.But the way the dialogue is presented...blimey.

When I am absolutely in the mood to be gripped and entertained, I usually can rely on a mystery by Ruth Rendell or her pseudonym Barbara Vine to do the job. So I was disappointed by this novel in the Inspector Wexford series. The narrative simply never takes flight. Perhaps one of its flaws is the lack of a dead body in the beginning. This is one of the oldest "contracts" in the mystery genre, and for good reason: a corpse sets the stakes high and charges up your curiosity. Your mind starts to tick over as you examine for evidence everything and everyone that comes into play. Lacking a body, readers don't even know if it's worth our time to follow the clues because--for all we know--the missing young woman may simply be off on a lark. I found the most compelling bits to be the lustiness of the new cop, who tries but cannot resist the charms of the local shop girl. To his peril.The problem here is that Inspector Wexford takes a backseat to the other cops in the story for so much of the time that no one is truly in the driver's seat. I usually enjoy the Inspector and would prefer him to orchestrate the action a bit more visibly.This being Ruth Rendell, the writing is still at a very high level, so fans of this series will probably still enjoy this one.
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Allan Nail
Now I've got it. This is the book when the narrative heft kicks in. Still, I think I need a break. If these had been in any way compelling, I'd keep reading, but it's like too much candy. I'm ready for some meat.Wexford, as a Detective Chief Inspector, is a supervisor, and he is thus that much more uninteresting. That's OK, because the other characters seem to make up for the slack. That said, I read series novels for the recurring characters (at least in part), and the only consistently involve
Jill Hutchinson
Another of the Wexford series by one of my favorite British mystery writers. In this short tale, a local wealthy party girl disappears, her sports car and fur coat are found by the road and it looks like foul play. Wexford and his team start digging for clues which include some pretty shady local characters' activities. One of his new team members, Detective Drayton, who is assigned to keep an eye on the daughter of a local fence who could be involved, suddenly finds himself falling in love with this girl who is totally wrong for him. This really skews the investigation and Wexford warns him to stay away from her.......advice he ignores. There are lots of clues but no body until.........well, the ending is a bit of a surprise to the reader and rather clever. Rendell solidifies her reputation with this entry in the Wexford series.
Read by............... Robin BaileyTotal Runtime......... 5 Hours 56 MinsDescription: Anita Margolis, young, beautiful, carefree, has vanished into thin air. She left her home to attend a party one wet evening, but has not been seen since. She is reported missing soon after by her brother, whom she shared a flat with, the acclaimed but eccentric artist Rupert Margolis. Inspector Burden quickly forms an impression of a wanton young girl simply gone off somewhere with a boyfriend having neglected to let anyone know. After all, she was that sort of woman, in Burden's opinion. However, Wexford has his doubts, and those doubts will soon be confirmed, and they will soon find themselves enmeshed in a case that will throw every assumption they make into doubt.3* From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1)3* A New Lease of Death (Inspector Wexford, #2) 3* Wolf to the Slaughter (Inspector Wexford, #3)
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