The bed was neatly made, and the woman on top neatly strangled.
According to all accounts, Angela Hathall was deeply in love with her husband and far too paranoid to invite an unknown person into their home. So who managed to gain entry and strangle her without a struggle? That is the problem facing Inspector Wexford in Shake Hands Forever. Perhaps it was the mystery woman who left her fingerprints on the Hathall's bathtub? Perhaps it was Angela's husband who lied about a stolen library book? And... read more
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful: The wise Inspector Wexford has his suspicions..., November 30, 2002 Reviewer: Linda Linguvic from New York City Through the years Ruth Rendell has proved her mastery of the "who done it" genre and this Inspector Wexford mystery, first published in 1975, is certainly true to form. It's set in England, of course, amidst places whose names roll of the tongue with a British accent. There's an unsolved murder in the first chapter, with a richly developed cast of characters surrounding the mystery. There's a dead woman and her seemingly grief-stricken husband. There's her mother-in-law who hates her and her husband's ex-wife who's known for making ugly scenes. There are few clues also, as the house has been immaculately cleaned. There's only one handprint, little to go on. But then there is the wise Inspector Wexford. He understands people well and has his suspicions. The story unfolds quickly, as one clue after another comes to light and some new characters are introduced. I was intrigued as I easily followed the plot. The author is very clear in her intentions and I found myself identifying with the detective as he investigated the case, which wound up taking more than a year to solve. It only took me a few hours to read the book, waking up in the middle of the night to finish what I had started that afternoon. It was all one big puzzle, but the end put all the puzzle pieces together. As I drifted off to sleep however, I was troubled. The puzzle pieces fit, but the motivation just didn't seem strong enough for murder. And so I woke early and re-read the last few pages, which included a surprise ending. It was explained completely. Problem is, I didn't believe it. This is a good read and mystery fans will love it. I did enjoy it as a few hours of entertainment. I recommend it. I'm just not a mystery fan though.