‘Road Rage’ is the 17th novel in the Inspector Wexford series by Ruth Rendell.
A new bypass is planned around Kingsmarkham. It will destroy some of the woods which Reg Wexford and others love to walk in and destroy the country peace and tranquillity of many of Kingsmarkham’s outlying residents. As work is about to commence, the protestors descend on Kingsmarkham, spiking trees and living in treetops in an effort to disrupt their destruction. Wexford is opposed to the bypass but sees it as inevitable and it would not be appropriate for him to join the protest.
Then a group calling themselves Sacred Globe take 5 hostages, threatening to kill them if their demands for the bypass to be stopped are not met. One of the hostages is Reg Wexford’s wife Dora. As Wexford begins to investigate he knows exactly how the families of the other hostages feel and he struggles to stay focused on the job. All he can think about is Dora.
Wexford and his deputy Burden are joined by extra detectives as they interview some very colourful characters among the protestors and locals. As the days go by, they struggle to make any headway until the tiniest clue leads to a breakthrough for Wexford and his team.
This was quite a different story for the series as we saw Reg struggling with his personal problems (not really the first time) and Dora playing a much more substantial role than usual.
Some of the other characters in the story were excellent and very entertaining especially one pair of protestors and a couple living in a mansion who are obsessed by food. Other characters were totally horrible and the sort of people who I really wouldn’t like to meet.
The story was excellent even though I worked out who was responsible well before the end of the book. It was still enjoyable watching Wexford work it out.
I’m looking forward to the next great mystery in the series with – ‘Harm Done’.
Book Published 1997