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No Man's Nightingale: An Inspector Wexford Novel Hardcover – November 5, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
I made peace long ago with the realisation that it was hard to like most of Rendell's characters, but this half-hearted portrayal of a much loved and respected collossus of crime fiction feels like a betrayal. The Kingsmarkham social landscape has been reduced to a bizarre amalgam of Albert Square in full tabloid- hysteria mode and Surbiton in the 1960's. Sadly, I think Ms Rendell and I have reached a parting of the ways, but I'll remember the good times.
I read it in just two days but could not remember who the characters were. I kept going back to check names and even then I was confused.
The description of London neighborhoods was interesting, but I can read a travel book for that.
Many twists in the plot did not make sense as unresolved hints continued to mount.
I still don't understand the red and blue striped tie mentioned in four different places. That never went anywhere and seemed like a mistake. Editing needed!
By the last twenty pages I simply didn't care. The book gave me a headache.
Even the closing sentence was irrelevant. Skip it.
Given that, I must say this current Wexford is not good. Also of the three series of books Rendell writes: Ruth Rendell, Barbara Vine and the Inspector Wexford series, the Wexfords are my least favorites. I realize that other readers enjoy them the most. I have always found them slow and Wexford and his family have never come alive for me and his friendly/adversarial relationship with his conservative Burden was understood in the first Wexford and their differences do not bear constant repeating and explaining as it is slows whatever mystery is on its way to being solved. Also I don't think Ms. Rendell's greatest gift is as a mystery plotter a la Agatha Christie, but she is a master of psychological suspense, unlike Christie. The Wexford series tends to be geared more towards conventional mysteries with a lot of social commentary.
This one is a lot of social commentary with little mystery. Sarah Hussein, a female vicar is murdered - as is the racist gardener who may have seen her killer. It is as if the author is more interested in commenting on the cliched characters she populates the book with - misogynists, racists, wife abusers, women fabulists who make up stories for attention, a gay man who fathers the vicar's daughter via artifiical insemination. his quite possibly jealous boyfriend, old time clergy who resent the new and modern ways of the church.Read more ›
Wexford does everything possible to alienate his friend Burden. He ridicules Burden for wasting time on staff meetings. He disapproves of the man Burden has arrested for the murder. And he pursues his own line of investigation, interviewing all sorts of peripheral people unofficially. I kept wondering why Burden put up with him. But of course Burden needs him, as does the story.
All through this book Wexford is reading Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, as befits a man with too much time on his hands. We are privy to his reflections as he philosophized over the death of Attila or an emperor's vicious pet bears. Wexford feels he's "become insignificant in the great scheme of law and order," yet he's the one who solves the case of the murdered vicar.
There are some compelling interpersonal dramas in the story, which Ruth Rendell handles with her usual flair.
The book is full of realistic characters. But Wexford's character is most realistic of all. At age 83, Rendell is in a good position to write convincingly about getting older while the world keeps getting younger, reading Gibbon while everyone else is on the Internet. I think this is what I liked most about No Man’s Nightingale.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A real page-turner and well written. The characters were very well drawn. I had to stop and take a breath before continuing at one point, but I think I've read a lot of this... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am a fan of Rendell but this one was mildly disappointing. The focus split into foci and there were more narrative threats than the author handled well enough. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jane C. Webb
My only complaint is that I've read all of the series and that there are to be no more. I love this series so much!Published 5 months ago by Kori
If you love the style of writers Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie, you will enjoy this book. More weighty than a cozy mystery, but a nice PG rating on blood, gore, and sex. Read morePublished 7 months ago by gypsysmom
Talk about not much of a novel. I cannot believe those that wrote the blurbs for this book actually read it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by A Southern Reader