Select one of the keywords
Not in the Flesh: The New Wexford Novel    by Ruth Rendell order for
Not in the Flesh
by Ruth Rendell
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2007 (2007)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Chief Inspector Wexford of the the Kingsmarkham Police Force is back, watching his cholesterol and tracking down cold case killers in Not in the Flesh, whose cover chillingly states 'The past is a shallow grave'.

A man and a dog unearth the first body - of a man killed about a decade before - while truffle hunting in Old Grimble's Field - the land now belongs to John Grimble, who's obsessed with getting planning permission to build houses on it. The police start interviewing a colorful collection of neighbors including a famous (now dying of cancer) author who lives with his wife and ex-wife, her wife-in-law (the two get along surprisingly well). They also look into old missing person reports. Slowly and steadily puzzle pieces fall in place, but not before a second cold corpse is found in a trench on the same property as the first one, and of about the same vintage.

In parallel with the murder investigation, Ruth Rendell explores Wexford's and his family's relationship with members of the Somali community in Kingsmarkham and police attempts to prevent the female circumcision of a little girl, Shamis, by the very parents who clearly dote on her. I found this issue even more absorbing - and disturbing - than the mystery itself. I also always enjoy reading about the Chief Inspector's relationships with his wife Dora, with his old friend and colleague Burden, and his overall respect but occasional irritation with the politically over-correct DS Hannah Goldsmith.

As always Ruth Rendell delivers a solid police procedural and an intriguing read in her latest Wexford novel, Not in the Flesh. If you haven't read this series yet, start at the beginning and enjoy spending time in Kingsmarkham!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews