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Harm Done [Paperback]

Ruth Rendell
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book by Rendell, Ruth

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not A Speaker Of Mandarin Yet No Harm Done March 9 2002
By Liz
It is quite difficult to witness Reg (Inspector) and Dora Wexford being pulled into the twenty-first century beset with political correctness, domestic violence, ad hoc babysitting duty, and a daughter's crumbling marriage. It was ever so much nicer when they were insulated from these distractions because we became insulated along with the Wexfords as we turned the pages and vicariously lived in the lovely Kingsmarkham mythical town for a time.
Well, Harm Done, is still a page-turner and not once did I not enjoy the novel. It was a bit tepid when stacked up against the wonderful, A Speaker Of Mandarin, and earlier Ruth Rendell Inspector Wexford fiction. Nonetheless, a lukewarm Ruth Rendell offering is worth a thousand mediocre mystery bestsellers we could all name. So, dear readers and fellow fans, dive in anytime to Harm Done for a truly decent read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Domestic violence a topic for Wexford mystery Feb. 10 2002
Wexford and his elder daughter appear in one of the later Wexford mysteries. Although the plot is simple it is anything but easy to unravel as it moves toward the end. Displays Rendell's typical excellent development of characters (even if you haven't read the earlier Wexfords -- which I also recommend -- it's fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No Harm Done Here July 1 2001
By Marcie
I have just stumbled upon some of the great books by Ruth Rendell, the first being "A Sight for Sore Eyes" which I absolutely loved. "Harm Done" was the 2nd book I read (actually listened to on audiobook) and liked it too, but not as well as the first. I was really getting into the story line about the girls who mysteriously disappeared, then returned in a few days unwilling or unable to tell police what had happened to them. I was sure the pedophile brought into the story was the culprit, but the two things had nothing to do with the other. I was a bit disappointed when the explanation came out midway through the book and it wasn't anything to get too worked up about. Then the author went on a completely different track with the abused woman plot. I guess they did all tie in together as the abused woman's baby had turned up missing too. I liked the book and will be reading more of Ruth Rendell's work, but I prefer the books that are more suspense and less Inspector Wexford.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No Harm Done May 26 2001
I really liked this book. Other reviewers have written that they thought there were too many unconnected stories. I think it just shows you what a mix of people there are in this small town in England. Crime touched all neigborhoods it seems.
The explanation for two of the disappearing girls was touching. What would you do in Vicky's situation?
I even liked the part about the lost raincoat. The author has a nice, typically English sense of humor.
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1.0 out of 5 stars very disappointed Nov. 19 2000
The Inspector Wexford series is one of my favorites. Rendell is at her best with this character. I was hungry for a mystery and bought it in hardback as soon as it appeared on the shelves and was glad to see how long it was. High expectation added to disappoinment. I agree with the other reviewers who found the book disappointing, politically correct, overwritten, and tedious. I would add that Inspector Wexford is not himself in No Harm Done-- readers who have not read any of the other Wexford mysteries will be pleasantly surprised to find a richer and less moralistic character. Don't give up because of No Harm Done.
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3.0 out of 5 stars some harm done Oct. 20 2000
This Inspector Wexford mystery is definitely not Rendell's best. I have read most of her novels and there are only a few that are not absolute masterpieces. This one had too much social commmentary for me and a "red herring" that took up 3/4 of the book made me feel deflated. And why was there a pedophile theme in the middle that had nothing to do with the plot? If this book is your first encounter with Wexford, please don't give up on Rendell. She's an author well worth reading. This just isn't one of her best books. Harm Done just didn't contain many of the elements fans read the Wexford series for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Rendell's best Aug. 11 2000
By sbtier
It is such a pleasure to read Rendell, I was sorry to have to reach the end of this complex novel. Rendell doesn't follow the usual sequence of crime, investigation, resolution. There are at least 6 major crimes in this book, some related, some unrelated, and some 'red-herrings'. One major plotline ends halfway through the book and one major plotline starts 3/4 the way through. You have to marvel at Rendell's expertise in tying everything together at the end.
Rendell is one of the best writers around...in any genre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Skillful and complex Aug. 4 2000
In her 18th novel featuring Inspector Wexford Rendell weaves together multiple plots involving two missing teen-age girls, a convicted pedophile returning to his residence in Kingsmarkham and the mob violence his return touches off, and a little girl missing from an upper middle class home. Not all of these plots work well together, which is why I have given it only 4 stars.
However, the central plot about the missing little girl is what captured me. The story that Ruth Rendell tells of the effects of domestic violence on an entire family is chilling and heartbreaking. Not only does the wife and mother suffer extreme mental and physical abuse but the two children remaining in the home are clearly adversely affected. The effects of domestic violence will be felt in this family long after their escape from abuse. Rendell builds an atmosphere of suspense and dread that can only be a small reflection of the terror of living in such a situation, but the empathetic reader will be much affected. There can be no real happy ending to this story, at least not immediately. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well drawn and believable characters, especially that of Inspector Wexford who is faced with a real moral dilemma.
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