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Not in the Flesh: A Wexford Novelby Ruth Rendell
Synopses & Reviews
A new Chief Inspector Wexford mystery from the author who Time magazine has called “the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world.”
When the truffle-hunting dog starts to dig furiously, his master’s first reaction is delight at the size of the clump the dog has unearthed: at the going rate, this one truffle might be worth several hundred pounds. Then the dirt falls away to reveal not a precious mushroom but the bones and tendons of what is clearly a human hand.
In Not in the Flesh, Chief Inspector Wexford tries to piece together events that took place eleven years earlier, a time when someone was secretly interred in a secluded patch of English countryside. Now Wexford and his team will need to interrogate everyone who lives nearby to see if they can turn up a match for the dead man among the eighty-five people in this part of England who have disappeared over the past decade. Then, when a second body is discovered nearby, Wexford experiences a feeling that’s become a rarity for the veteran policeman: surprise.
As Wexford painstakingly moves to resolve these multiple mysteries, long-buried secrets are brought to daylight, and Ruth Rendell once again proves why she has been hailed as our greatest living mystery writer.
Searching for truffles in a wood, a man and his dog unearth something less savoury-a human hand. The body, as Chief Inspector Wexford is informed later, has lain buried for ten years or so, wrapped in a purple cotton shroud. The post mortem cannot reveal the precise cause of death. The only clue is a crack in one of the dead man's ribs. Although the police database covers a relatively short period of time, it stores a long list of Missing Persons. So Wexford knows he is going to have a job on his hands to identify the corpse. And then, only about twenty yards away from the woodland burial site, in the cellar of a disused cottage, another body is discovered. The detection skills of Wexford, Burden, and the other investigating officers of the Kingsmarkham Police Force, are tested to the utmost to see if the murders are connected and to track down whoever is responsible.
When a man and his dog searching for truffles unearth the corpse of a man buried more than a decade earlier, Chief Inspector Wexford must piece together long-ago events to uncover the identity of the victim and the cause of his death, only to find his investigation complicated by long-hidden secrets and the discovery of another body nearby. 60,000 first printing.
About the Author
RUTH RENDELL has won numerous awards, including three Edgars, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as three Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writer’s Association. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.
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