From Doon With Death

From Doon With Death

The First Inspector Wexford Novel

Book - 2007
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Dazzling psychological suspense. Razor-sharp dialogue. Plots that catch and hold like a noose. These are the hallmarks of crime legend Ruth Rendell, "the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world" ( Time magazine). From Doon with Death , now in a striking new paperback edition, is her classic debut novel--and the book that introduced one of the most popular sleuths of the twentieth century.

There is nothing extraordinary about Margaret Parsons, a timid housewife in the quiet town of Kingsmarkham, a woman devoted to her garden, her kitchen, her husband. Except that Margaret Parsons is dead, brutally strangled, her body abandoned in the nearby woods.

Who would kill someone with nothing to hide? Inspector Wexford, the formidable chief of police, feels baffled -- until he discovers Margaret's dark secret: a trove of rare books, each volume breathlessly inscribed by a passionate lover identified only as Doon. As Wexford delves deeper into both Mrs. Parsons' past and the wary community circling round her memory like wolves, the case builds with relentless momentum to a surprise finale as clever as it is blindsiding.

In From Doon with Death , Ruth Rendell instantly mastered the form that would become synonymous with her name. Chilling, richly characterized, and ingeniously constructed, this is psychological suspense at its very finest.

Praise for From Doon with Death

"One of the most remarkable novelists of her generation." -- People

"She has transcended her genre by her remarkable imaginative power to explore and illuminate the dark corners of the human psyche." --P.D. James
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2007
Edition: Ballantine Books trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780345498458
Characteristics: 226 p. ; 21 cm


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Jun 22, 2020

As a newcomer to Rendell’s work, I went on line and compared a number of “best of” lists. This book was on each of them and deservedly so. The spare clear prose paints vivid characters, if at times bordering on caricature. Personally, this is something I like as in caricature the excesses and contradictions bring the character to life. It also looks at relationships between a number of people to both comic and tragic ends.This is a love story but one that has taken on monstrous proportions. The author paints an England fractured by deep class divisions and suppressed sexual desires associated with violence. While this book has a male detective lead, Rendell tells her stories from the female perspective (her most important characters are the women). She is interested in chance: “... coincidence is more common than conspiracy in real life”.

Mar 19, 2019

The first Inspector Wexford story, originally written in 1964--and certainly ahead of its time in subject matter. Only 215 pages, but with looking up some obscure words, it was about a 6-hour read for me. The syntax seemed a little off, or maybe British English of current films and books has just gotten more American English in the last 50 years. Interesting characters, long before cell phones, DNA, Internet data bases, and CSI teams, puzzling out the clues is the only way forward.

May 22, 2012

G&M recommended latest - The Vault - too many holds so started with an earlier one, Monster in the Box - enjoyed it very much.
Checked out reviews for The Vault - not that great, so looked for another earlier one with Wexford in it. This is the first.
Update - got part way thru this then stalled. OK book, just not enough to stay high on my list.

deBerry116 Jul 06, 2011

Quick, easy, enjoyable book


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