Some Lie and Some Die by Ruth Rendell

‘Some Lie and Some Die’ is the 8th novel in Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series. The book was published in 1973 and unfortunately it’s focus on an open air rock concert and the fashions of the day date the book a bit, but the story was still excellent.

Detective Inspector Mike Burden is horrified by the influx of young, strangely dressed people into Kingsmarkham for the rock concert being held in the grounds of Sundays House. Chief Inspector Reg Wexford, on the other hand, is absolutely delighted to see so many young, carefree people.

The concert goes well and there is no trouble from any of the attendees. But, then the body of a young woman is found in a quarry in the Sundays grounds. The girl turns out to be a local girl – Dawn Stonar, who was working in London as a cocktail waitress. One of the main performers at the concert also grew up in the area. Zeno Verdast used to be Harold Goodbody and went to school with Dawn.

So, Wexford must determine how Dawn’s death several days before the concert could possibly be linked to the concert and to her old school friend. And, how could Zeno have murdered Dawn when he wasn’t even in the area at the time.


The mystery and it’s solution are excellent with plenty of red herrings and suspicion placed on several characters before they are then cleared of the murder. When the murder is finally solved, it shows up the very worst of human nature – selfishness, greed and a complete lack of respect and care for others.

Once again the character of Mike Burden was further developed with his son John, a Zeno fan, in the spotlight. It was good to see that life has worked out well for Mike’s sister-in-law Grace (after ‘No More Dying Then’).

I’m looking forward to continuing the series with – ‘Shake Hands Forever’.


Book Published 1973


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