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An Unkindness Of Ravens: (A Wexford Case) Paperback – 7 Jul 1994


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (7 July 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099450704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099450702
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 1.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, and will be remembered as a legend in her own lifetime. Her groundbreaking debut novel, From Doon With Death, was first published in 1964 and introduced the reader to her enduring and popular detective, Inspector Reginald Wexford, who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels.

With worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, Rendell was a regular Sunday Times bestseller. Her sixty bestselling novels include police procedurals, some of which have been successfully adapted for TV, stand-alone psychological mysteries, and a third strand of crime novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. Very much abreast of her times, the Wexford books in particular often engaged with social or political issues close to her heart.

Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

Ruth Rendell died in May 2015. Her final novel, Dark Corners, is scheduled for publication in October 2015.

Product Description

Review

"A brilliant reshuffling of a pack of clues . . . Rendell at her richest" (Sunday Times)

"Well-plotted . . . baffling . . . Still the tops" (Sunday Telegraph)

"A climax as chilling and unexpected as any she's perpetrated before" (The Times)

Book Description

The thirteenth book in the bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series, from the author of classic detective fiction and gripping psychological thrillers including End in Tears and Thirteen Steps Down.

Love your neighbour as yourself...


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
An “Unkindness” is the collective noun for a group of ravens. They are not particularly predatory birds, but neither rare they soft and submissive. Now, the Raven has become the symbol of a militant feminist group known as Arria, whose attitude to the male gender is, like the nature of said bird, far from submissive.
When Chief Inspector Wexford was asked to investigate the disappearance of his neighbour Rodney Williams he was certain it was just a case of another middle-aged man having run-off with a young woman. All the signs pointed that way. A waste of time to concern yourself with, his thoughts tell him. However, he would be shocked to his core when, weeks later, Rodney’s disappearance turns out to be the centre of a violent and bizarre murder.
As reliable as ever, this is Rendell – and Wexford – once again on fine form. If you want an entertaining, intelligent and realistic with piercing insights into society, Ruth Rendell is the author to whom you should turn. The Wexford series remains the best example of the English detective story currently being produced. It stands out not just for its layered intelligence, but its unflinching social observancy, its piercing insight into human nature, and its warm (sometimes!) and nostalgic centre in the form of Reg Wexford.
This novel is a very strong addition to the series. Rendell’s mystery is intricate and dramatic and original and very intriguing, with a plausible solution that will shock if not surprise. An Unkindness of Ravens is an excellent book of detection as well as being a vehicle for Rendell’s unerring observational insight into society and its constant shifts and changes. It is well worth anyone’s time.
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Re-reading 'Unkindness' it struck me how dated it seemed. This is not wholly surprising of course - it was written in the early eighties, but I felt it hadn't aged as well as even some of the older Wexford novels. I suspect this is largely due to its prevalent subject matter of militant feminism which was very much in its heyday at the time. This is what I call one of Rendell's Wexford 'shockers' where our cultured but comfortable country detective is dealing with particularly controversial subjects - in this case, bigamy and incest among others!

Its a bit of a mixed bag to be honest. Given the serious subjects dealt with, there's a surprising amount of humour, especially when Joy and Wendy are brought together. The characterization is pretty good, as always, although one teenage girl does tend to pretty well blend into another but perhaps that's deliberate. I'm not sure that the second murder is really needed or especially well handed. Rendell is also prone to drag out Wexford's explanation of 'how he guessed whodunnit' to the point where an astute reader will get there long before he does! I could have also done without the Jenny Burden depression subplot. All in all, it feels a bit overlong which is interesting because it is the first of the 'longer' Wexford novels. Its good - just not one of her best.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
Usually I find Ruth Rendell novels compelling reading and can't put them down. However, an "Unkindness of Ravens" was not one that I would recommend to anyone who was looking for an introduction to Rendells work. Although the plot had everything necessary for a top crime novel, I found that there were too many people brought into the plot, which at times made the storyline difficult to follow. I also felt that it was fairly easy in this book to work out "whodunnit" - indeed my early suspicions were proved right. This has very rarely happened when I have read other Ruth Rendell novels - indeed, in 95% of all of her works, I am always astonished at the actual outcome, as her meticulous plots usually result in suspense to the very end!
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Believe it or not, this is only the second Ruth Rendell book I've ever read - the first being 'Road Rage'. I thought the plot was well thought out, with various red herrings thrown in to distract the reader from foreseeing the denouement. The sub-plot of Wexford's family life adds interest. It's a clever title that makes perfect sense in the end when Wexford unpicks the tangled web and reveals all.
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Again the usual reliable Wexford and another triumph for Ruth Rendell who is in her normal form providing constant excitement and thrills for her readers
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By K M Breen on 8 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It met the need for a "light read" but not particularly exciting or beleivable. However it passed the odd spare hour.
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