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on December 30, 1999
When selecting a book I look for author first and then read the opening section of the first chapter. I have always found that Ruth Rendell's opening lines make me want to read more. Her characters are well crafted and you can get a sense of realism that many authors fail to achieve. This time though the book concentrates more on the feelings of Inspector Wexford and less on character & plot development. The side plots did not blend together into a seamless whole and it was hard to link the different plots together. There are times when the book is very tense but mostly it lacked the energy to keep you enthralled. I felt I wanted to get to the end of the book to see how it all fitted together but was left with a disappointing "Oh is that it?"
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on September 1, 1998
Very bad effort from a MASTER. For someone else, this would be good, but from the Queen of SUSpense, Psychology, and Mystery? Pedestrian story of greenpeace like group of malcontents, making protest, environmental issues, etc. but Rendell never does get beneath the surface headlines. Please try her other books, she is the best mystery/suspence/psychology novelist.
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on August 22, 2007
Rendell has done it again! This is a masterful mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Wexford's beloved Kingsmarkham is a village divided. A new bypass is scheduled to be constructed, and protesters descend on the quiet little town, causing havoc everywhere. Dora Wexford is kidnapped on the way to the train station. Within hours, it becomes apparent that four other people have been kidnapped as well, and what seemed like innocent protests take on a sinister cast.

Despite his personal involvement, Wexford is placed in charge of the investigation. Seemingly stymied, he still manages to pull off a grand unveiling of perpetrators in true Rendell style. Endless plot twists and larger-than-life characters have definitely made this my favourite of the Wexford novels.

Fans of Rendell's style of writing will be thrilled with this relatively recent effort, and if you're not yet a fan, this wouldn't be a bad place to start. I totally lost myself in this one, and I'm sorry it's over.
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on July 30, 2015
At first I didn't think I could finish it. Another of Ruth Rendell's biology lessons....way too much "plant life" to begin with. Seemed like filling in of human characters was never going to start. But about 1/3 way thru decided I could finish it. The mystery has finally started to unfold. It's not a book that will ever "grab", me but it's OK
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on July 16, 2015
This is the kind of mystery I like best where you have no idea how the story will end. Even the readers who consider themselves sleuths extraordinaire won't figure this one out! The conflict between those who want to "urbanize" rural areas and those who love the countryside as it is, comprises the social issue behind the mystery. And the involvement of Dora, Chief Inspector Wexford's wife, adds a special dimension to the story. Read it. You'll be so glad you did!
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on October 19, 2013
I'm a big fan of Ruth Rendell so when I saw this book at the top of the list I immediately ordered it, not recognizing the title. Being familiar with all the characters and events, pretty much, in the Inspector Wexford series I soon realized (I am pretty sure) this book came out some time ago. Apologies if I'm wrong but it seemed pretty clear (from references in the story) it was an older book. I probably would have bought it anyway but without an indication of the original pub date I was confused and it was hard to orient myself to the story at first (based on others I've read for years in the series). Nonetheless for new or longstanding fans of Ms. Rendell a GREAT book. As always!!!
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VINE VOICEon October 17, 2014
Author Ruth Rendell is a prolific novelist who has written more than a dozen Inspector Wexford cases, as well as more than a score of other crime novels. She is a master of her craft and Road Rage is no exception. Even for a reader new to this series, one is immediately drawn to the characters. And not just Inspector Wexford and his wife Dora, but to the surrounding members of the constabulary and the community of Kingsmarkham. These quickly become people we care about, would associate with, are passingly interested in, avoid if at all possible, and there are still others we would cheerfully debate long into the night over a mug of stout, though not at any time call friend.

Rendell's definition of road rage is different from that here in North America. In this case, the English Highway authority has determined that spreading urbanism requires the building of a new highway bypass, a bypass that will pass through significant undeveloped, rural areas, including a favorite forest patch of Inspector Wexford's. Including an ancient Roman fort. And, while Wexford is deeply disappointed that the meadows and trees of Framhurst Great Wood will soon give way to concrete and asphalt, he is fully prepared to uphold the law when splinter environmental protest groups congregate in Kingsmarkham.

There are confrontations over rare species, over archeology, and then, over kidnapping. Someone lifts five citizens of the community and threatens more than mere bodily harm unless the bypass is stopped. The situation takes a more menacing turn when it is learned that one of the kidnapped victims is indeed, Dora, wife of Chief Inspector Wexford.

As is frequently the case in Rendell novels, the accuracy of details and procedure is impeccable and compelling. Road Rage is another in Rendell's legacy of fine, enduring English Police Procedurals, and one to be strongly recommended.
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on May 13, 2015
Not much fun. It does need a map of the area, since the plot is very dependent on comings and goings. Terribly British, too,don't you know. Echoes of Dorothy Sayers.
I read this because of the obits on the author's recent death which were laudatory, comparing her to another English detective story author I like, but she's not as good, sadly.
I won't be ordering her other novels. Enough said, I think.
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on March 10, 2013
The use of the term "road rage" is very clever. The residents of Kingsmarkham are joined by various "green groups" to protest the building of a bypass road. Then the unthinkable happens in this rural community.....a multiple kidnapping takes place and the threats begin - build the bypass and they die!! Read on...
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on December 9, 2013
I love this book. If you haven't read any of Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford mysteries, you are in for a treat if you pick this book. Great plot with a mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.
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