Friday, January 29, 2010

Review of The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell

From Montreal Gazette --

Book Review: Books at center of murder tale --

By Anne Sutherland --
January 18th, 2010 --

The Monster in the Box, by Ruth Rendell (Doubleday; 279 pp.; $32.95). This is the 22nd novel following Detective Inspector Reg Wexler. In this instalment, Wexler is taken back to the first murder case he was ever involved in. Years ago, he was at a crime scene where a woman had been strangled with the belt from her bathrobe. The back door and the garden entrance of her row-house were unlocked. Wexler sees a stocky man with a dog on the street at the scene, a man who gives him a penetrating stare, and his Spidey senses tell him this is the perpetrator of the crime. Over decades, he sees the same man around, while other unsolved murders remain on the books. Wexler fixates on the man, whom he discovers is the much-married and successful property developer Eric Targo. He unloads his theories on his best chum, Mike Burden, who is skeptical. There's a side story about a young Muslim woman taught by Burden's schoolteacher wife, whom she suspects is being forced into an arranged marriage. Wexler is asked as a favour to look into it. To say more would ruin things. Rendell weaves an intriguing tale. Fans will be happy.

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