From Doon with Death
The First Inspector Wexford Mystery
By Ruth Rendell
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345498458, 240pp.)
Publication Date: June 26, 2007
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Dazzling psychological suspense. Razor-sharp dialogue. Plots that catch and hold like a noose. These are the hallmarks of crime legend Ruth Rendell, “the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world” (Time magazine). From Doon with Death, now in a striking new paperback edition, is her classic debut novel -- and the book that introduced one of the most popular sleuths of the twentieth century.
There is nothing extraordinary about Margaret Parsons, a timid housewife in the quiet town of Kingsmarkham, a woman devoted to her garden, her kitchen, her husband. Except that Margaret Parsons is dead, brutally strangled, her body abandoned in the nearby woods.
Who would kill someone with nothing to hide? Inspector Wexford, the formidable chief of police, feels baffled -- until he discovers Margaret's dark secret: a trove of rare books, each volume breathlessly inscribed by a passionate lover identified only as Doon. As Wexford delves deeper into both Mrs. Parsons’ past and the wary community circling round her memory like wolves, the case builds with relentless momentum to a surprise finale as clever as it is blindsiding.
In From Doon with Death, Ruth Rendell instantly mastered the form that would become synonymous with her name. Chilling, richly characterized, and ingeniously constructed, this is psychological suspense at its very finest.
“One of the most remarkable novelists of her generation.” —People
“She has transcended her genre by her remarkable imaginative power to explore and illuminate the dark corners of the human psyche.” —P.D. James