‘Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter’ is Ruth Rendell’s 15th book featuring Inspector Wexford and set in and around the fictional town of Kingsmarkham.
Tancred House is a mansion set in a large wooded estate. It is currently owned by the famous and elderly author Davina Florey. She lives there with her younger ex-MP husband, her daughter Naomi and her granddaughter Daisy. Until the massacre. A pair of robbers enter the house one evening and when discovered, shoot all the occupants. Daisy is the only one to survive.
Wexford and his team interview an incredible range of suspects in their search for the gunmen and Wexford’s heart goes out to the 17 year old injured Daisy. Daisy reminds Wexford very much of his younger daughter Sheila to whom he is not currently talking because he can’t get on with her latest love.
Daisy slowly starts to put her life back together but she can never be sure if people are interested in her or her money.
Wexford focuses on some of the inconsistencies surrounding the massacre. How did the gunmen escape when both roads to the house were observed at the critical time. What has happened to Naomi’s best friend who was due to visit on the night of the massacre and has now disappeared. Why has one of the chief suspects now been murdered.
Wexford needs to radically change the way that he thinks to solve this one, but eventually he gets there.
This book was another terrific addition to the series and was part detective story and part psychological thriller. The series just keeps getting better with each book and I can hardly wait to read the nest one – ‘Simisola’.
Book Published 1991