Put on by Cunning Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Feb 1996
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|Audio Cassette, Audiobook, Feb 1996||
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From Library Journal
It has been said that the dramatic works of Shakespeare were written not by the poet-impresario but by another man with the same name. This is basically the plot of this otherwise very sophisticated and very English mystery by the author of such works as The Crocodile Bird (Audio Reviews, LJ 5/15/94). The term "anticlimax" scarcely does the work justice. In addition, reader Charles Kay, though sensitive and skilled, has a rough and not-very-pleasant voice. Also, the story, set in Thatcher's London suburbs, has a more than full complement of characters, several of whom are already dead when the action begins. This is a recording strictly for Rendell's fans, and libraries should purchase accordingly.
Preston Hoffman, Shelby, N.C.
Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"The most brilliant mystery novelist of our time." – Patricia Cornwell
"Ms Rendell exercises a grip as relentless as an anaconda’s." – Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The dedicated detective is so committed to finding the truth that he travels to California on his own dime to find out the truth about his case. As readers, we get the added bonus of seeing Wexford and his wife Dora travel in the US and their reactions to this country.
Wexford's search for the truth does not end in the US, though. We will also see him travel to France in his attempt to crack this difficult case. In the end, however, the readers will still be surprised by the tangled web of complexities and coincidences in one of Wexford's most challenging cases.
I believe this is one of the best novels in the Wexford/Burden series. In my opinion, though, Wexford novels are less engaging than Rendell's stand-alone mysteries. For this reason, I give the book four stars.
So it was a surprise to find Wexford taking his holidays in my native California. It was like seeing someone you recognize but can't place because they aren't in the place you normally see them. He and wife Dora make the trip in the second half of the book, and it's fun to see Wexford driving up Highways 1 and 101 and hearing his impressions of the places and people. He may have been hallucinating at one point when he saw a sign announcing the next town with its elevation listed in meters. Not likely. There was a time in the Seventies when the mileage signs were marked in both miles and kilometers, but often as not, the metric portion of the sign had bullet holes in it and eventually the government gave up on trying to introduce the metric system to an unwilling, even hostile, population. Our loss.
Wexford spends most of his two week holiday in California chasing down clues in a case he is supposed to have abandoned, but finds himself obsessed by. His wife goes sightseeing without him, and seems to be having a fine old time with an old flame who'd relocated to Los Angeles years ago.
Not long after the Wexfords return from California, Wexford manages to find it necessary to pursue the case to the South of France, but this time with his sidekick, Mike Burden.
The mystery itself gets quite complicated as Wexford chases down one false lead after another. It takes several pages of explaining to get all the pieces to fit in this one.
I'm still not sure I bought the whole mystery and its convoluted explanation, but going along with Wexford on his travels was certainly worth the ride.