Elizabeth Nightingale found peace and tranquility on her nightly walks through the rich, dense forests surrounding Myfleet Manor. But the peace she treasured was shattered one night when she found death waiting in the woods. Chief Inspector Wexford and his colleague Inspector Burden find a most unsavory case on their hands -- and must use all their wit and wisdom to solve it . . .
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful: Enjoyable, but not Rendell's usual great work., October 8, 2002 Reviewer: lynkfri13 from Boston, MA United States . . . . . . . .. .. . .~ - * * * - ~ ~ - ~ This was not one of Ruth Rendell's best. Her strength is usually in creating believable characters in almost un-imaginable situations. ~ - ~ In this story, the Lady of the Manor, Elizabeth Nightingale, is murdered in the forest right near her home. Most of the characters seem like stereotypes. There is the wealthy husband who doesn't really understand his wife. Upstairs lives the Au Pair - a young Dutch woman apparently only interested in her sex life. The housekeeper and gardener speak nothing but praise of their employer. The young under-gardener worships the "Lady of the House", and believes she's promised him help in his wish for a career as a DJ and a singer. Her brother is a neurotic scholarly writer who dislikes his sister. Her sister-in-law may benefit from the will. ~ - ~The book is entertaining, but not nearly as absorbing as Rendell's usual. You may be able to guess the killer and motive. The ending was a surprise to me, but not nearly as powerfully surprising as Ruth Rendell's usual twists and turns. Inspector Wexford hardly did any inspecting, mostly listening to a narrative from a friend of the family. Even just listening to the tale of the family's history seemed to take an inordinately long time- 3 or 4 days of conversations. ~ - ~ This book is entertaining, and easy to get interested in. However, for a sample of the best of Inspectors Wexford and Burden- I suggest two much more absorbing books: "Road Rage" and "No More Dying Then"