Ruth Rendell's debut work of crime fiction is also the first novel to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.
No one believed Mr Parsons' fears for his missing wife. Until two days later she was discovered in the woods, her face swollen and her clothes damply clinging to her lifeless body.
With no useful witnesses and a victim known only for her mundane life, Chief Inspector Wexford has just one clue: a lipstick found at the scene.
To find the killer, Wexford must first discover a motive. Because what he can't understand is how such an unassuming woman became the victim of such a passionate and violent crime.
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"Ruth Rendell has quite simply transformed the genre of crime writing. She displays her peerless skill in blending the mundane, commonplace aspects of life with the potent murky impulses of desire and greed, obsession and fear" ( Sunday Times)
"Rendell never fails to come up trumps, and her millions of admirers will eagerly consume this offering as they have all the others" ( Irish Times)
"Psychologically acute and extremely disturbing, Ruth Rendell's work is outstanding" ( The Times)
"This is Rendell on cracking form, with the entire accoutrements one expects from her" ( Good Book Guide)
"A firm grasp of social concerns ensure that her novels are reflective of our own times, as well as hugely absorbing" (Louise Walsh The Times)
'If crime fiction is currently in rude good health, its practitioners striving to better the craft and keep it fresh, vibrant and relevant, this is in no small part thanks to Ruth Rendell.' (Ian Rankin)
'The most brilliant mystery novelist of our time.' (Patricia Cornwell)
'Ruth Rendell's mesmerising capacity to shock, chill and disturb is unmatched.' (The Times)
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Book Description Paperback, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 192 pages. 7.05x4.37x0.47 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0099203502
Book Description Unknown, 1979. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099203502