‘The Monster in the Box’ is Ruth Rendell’s 22nd Inspector Wexford novel. This one involves Reg Wexford reminiscing about his past while solving his latest crime.
In his early days as a policeman in the 1950s, Wexford met Eric Targo. Targo lived in the same street as a murdered woman and the young PC Wexford was sure that Targo was the murderer but had no proof, not even a good reason for his suspicions.
Over the years, Targo has left Kingsmarkham for years at a time, but always returned again. On each return, Wexford has felt himself being watched. And on a number of occasions there have also been murders. Continue reading
‘Prussian Blue’ is the 12th Bernie Gunther novel by Philip Kerr. Prussian Blue is also a paint pigment and the only known cure for Thallium poisoning.
It is 1956 and Bernie is still on the French Riviera when he is approached by the deputy head of the Stasi Erich Mielke. He wants Bernie to travel to London to poison an ex-Stasi agent with Thallium and won’t accept no for an answer. Bernie agrees but to ensure compliance, Mielke assigns an old colleague of Bernie’s Freidrich Korsch as Bernie’s handler.
Bernie manages to get away from Korsch but is chased through France by the Stasi as he slowly makes his way to Germany. Once again Bernie is forced into taking action that he would rather not take. Continue reading
‘A Murder Too Soon’ is the 2nd novel in the Jack Blackjack/ Blood Mary series by Michael Jecks, set during the reign of Mary Tudor.
After the previous novel ‘Rebellion’s Message’, Jack has been given employment as an assassin by Thomas Parry. He is enjoying his new home and money but dreads being asked to kill someone.
His first assignment arrives. The Queen’s sister Elizabeth is being held under guard at Woodstock. One of her maids is suspected of being a spy and Jack has been ordered to kill her. How can he possibly bring himself to kill a woman. Continue reading
‘Not in the Flesh’ is Ruth Rendell’s 21st Wexford novel and follows Wexford as he solves the murders of two long dead men.
While truffle hunting with his dog in Grimble’s field, a man unearths a skeleton. Grimble’s field is private property left by old Mr Grimble to his son. When the younger Mr Grimble had a multiple residence development application turned down, he left the large property to decay, after filling in an excavation he had already started. The skeleton seems to date back 11 years to the time of the excavation.
As Inspector Reg Wexford and his team battle to identify the body and its cause of death, another body is discovered in the abandoned cottage on the property – this one dead for about 8 years. Continue reading
‘Dead Woman Walking’ is Sharon Bolton’s latest thriller.
Jessica and Isabel experienced a lot of family tragedy while growing up. At 18 Isabel became a nun. Jessica is still devoted to her and often visits Wynding Priory. Now, on Isabel’s 40th birthday, Jessica has surprised her with a hot air balloon trip.
From the balloon, the sisters witness a murder. Unfortunately the killer sees that the sisters have seen him. When the balloon crashes, 13 people are killed with Jessica the only survivor.
Now the murderer is tracking down the last remaining witness. Continue reading
‘Talking to the Dead’ is the first novel I’ve read by Harry Bingham and the first in his Fiona Griffiths series.
Fiona is a lowly DC, so ends up with a lot of the legwork on cases. She appears a bit strange to her colleagues because she has a lot of trouble exhibiting emotions and socialising normally. Her managers see her as hard work. When she’s good, she’s brilliant, but she has a tendency to follow her own ideas.
She has been working on a tedious case, putting together paperwork for an embezzlement case. So, when a new case starts up in the office, she is eager to insert herself in it. A woman and her six year old daughter have been horribly murdered. The woman was an ex drug user and occasional prostitute who was doing well until 6 weeks earlier. So why is she now dead in a dingy filthy squat and what is she doing with the credit card of a millionaire who died months earlier. Fiona is sure that the dead six year old is trying to tell her something but she can’t work out what. Continue reading
‘Babes In The Wood’ is Ruth Rendell’s 19th Inspector Wexford novel and probably one of the best in the series so far.
Katrina and Roger Dade have taken their first weekend away since before their children were born. A friend of Katrina’s, Joanna Troy, stays with the children, Giles 15 and Sophie 13. But when Katrina and Roger return from Paris, the house is empty and Joanna’s car is gone. With the Kingsbrook in flood and parts of Kingsmarkham under water, some fear that they have drowned. DI Reg Wexford is more inclined to believe that Joanna has kidnapped the children.
The search goes on with no success. The waters subside with no sign of the missing trio. All that Wexford and Burden have found is that Joanna was almost universally disliked and that Giles belonged to a religious sect called the Church of the Good Gospel. The parents are not much help. Roger is an overly strict father and Katrina is mostly hysterical. Continue reading