Harm Done: An Inspector Wexford Mystery (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell is the award-winning author of the Chief Inspector Wexford mysteries.

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Harm Done: An Inspector Wexford Mystery (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Ruth Rendell


  • Paperback: 368 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.83 x 8.02 x 5.23
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; (October 10, 2000)
  • ISBN: 0375724842

    In Harm Done, Rendell has added a remarkable strand of acute social commentary to a book that still functions as an utterly compelling piece of detective fiction. In exploring the controversial subject of pedophilia, she takes the mainstay of her work--the problems of modern life--to a level of passion and commitment that gives the book a truly powerful underpinning.

    Back in the familiar Sussex town of Kingsmarkham, Rendell's dogged sleuth Wexford is investigating the strange abductions of two young girls: Rachel, a bright middle-class student, and Lizzie, a mentally disabled 16-year-old living with her unsympathetic parents on a grim council estate. When both girls return home, apparently unharmed, Wexford is faced with a curious mystery: what really happened to them? As Wexford begins to uncover the disturbing truth, the dark psychological world that Rendell is so adroit at exploring suddenly comes into focus. And her gift for sharp but concise characterization remains untouchable, as in the case of a reluctant witness: '''We don't talk about that sort of thing.' She very nearly but not quite tossed her head." --Barry Forshaw, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Reader Reviews
    Good, but not brilliant, August 10, 2002 Reviewer: alexliamw from London United Kingdom 'Harm Done' is the latest in the Inspector Wexford series from Ruth Rendell, and isn't a bad addition to the pile. Firstly, it's good points. It is complex, joining together several different mysteries (which are in fact not at all related, at least not directly) and is well written. It also picks up pace at the end of the book and keeps the reader guessing. Even better, it is socially applicable as Rendell strides into a commentary relevant to modern day society over paedophilia and domestic abuse. On the downside, the book loses paces towards the middle, when it is less exciting. It also always feels like each conclusion is rather rushed and does not really have any evidence to back it up - Wexford seems to simply somehow get it right and - magic - he gets a confession. There is good characterisation and I will certainly give Rendell the fact that the book is complex and intriguing in this respect, but she has done better.

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