An Inspector Wexford Novel
By Ruth Rendell
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9781451624083, 288pp.)
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
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From “the reigning queen of crime fiction” (Time Out), a sequel to A Sight for Sore Eyes, one of Rendell’s most beloved novels—featuring the retired Inspector Wexford.
In the stunning climax to Rendell’s classic A Sight for Sore Eyes, three bodies—two dead, one living—are entombed in an underground chamber beneath a picturesque London house. Twelve years later, when a manhole cover is pulled back, the house’s new owner makes a grisly discovery. Only now, the number of bodies is four. How did somebody else end up in the chamber? And who knew of its existence?
With their own detectives at an impasse, police call on former Chief Inspector Wexford, now retired and living with his wife in London, to advise them on the unsolved murders. Wexford, missing the thrill of a good case, jumps at the chance to sleuth again. His dogged detective skills and knack for figuring out the criminal mind take him to London neighborhoods, posh and poor, as he follows a complex criminal trail back to the original murders.
But just as Wexford’s case gets hot, a devastating family tragedy pulls Wexford back to Kingsmarkham, and for the first time in his life, Wexford finds himself transforming from investigator into victim. Masterfully plotted, The Vault will satisfy both longtime Wexford fans and new Rendell readers.
Ruth Rendell has won three Edgar Awards, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as four Gold Daggers and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writers’ Association. Her remarkable career has spanned more than forty years, with more than sixty books published. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.
"Ruth Rendell is bidding to join Defoe and Dickens in creating one of the great criminal cities of literature."--The Independent (UK)
“Ruth Rendell has written an astounding 59 novels. All are reason to rejoice, but this 60th, starring the beloved Reginald Wexford, is worth shouting about from the rooftops… [A] classic Rendell tale.”— Carol Memmott, USA Today
“[A] fiendish plot… Wexford hasn’t lost his touch.”--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“This is Ruth Rendell at her authoritative best.”—Muriel Dobbin, Washington Times