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No Mans Nightingale Paperback – 24 Apr 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 343 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Export (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099585863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099585862
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.2 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Rendell has won many awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View; a second Edgar in 1984 from the Mystery Writers of America for the best short story, 'The New Girl Friend'; and a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986. She was also the winner of the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, as well as the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

Product Description

Review

"With every page, Rendell reminds us why she is the doyenne of murder mystery and still absolutely at the top of her game." (Birmingham Post)

"[A] wry and twisty mystery — a joy to read." (Evening Standard) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

No Man's Nightingale: the eagerly anticipated twenty-fourth title in Ruth Rendell's bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Vanita on 1 Aug 2014
Format: Audio CD
Even though I love several of Rendell's books I am getting increasingly irritated by her cavalier use of Indian characters with absolutely wrong names and background details. In this book, the murder victim is called Sarah Hussain and is said to have converted to Christianity from Hinduism, and to hail from Darjeeling. Rendell has done this kind of thing in earlier books too - egregiously misnamed characters, but this one goes a bit too far. Everyone knows or should know that Hussain is a Muslim name. This supposedly Hindu character knows Urdu and Hindi (used interchangeably by Rendell, who doesn't seem to realize that these two languages have different scripts and that very few Hindus read Urdu, so if Sarah did, some explanation would be expected). And, of course, Sarah is so disgusted by the poverty she sees in India (although her grandmother, whose name we fortunately do not know, owns an estate in Darjeeling, that she gets converted by one of the many missionaries who are all over India helping the poor. The book is sanctimoniously scattered with references to racism. The many inaccuracies made this a difficult read for me. Rendell needs to hire an assistant to do some googling on her behalf.No Man's Nightingale: (A Wexford Case)
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Sellers on 25 Aug 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't expect to like the new Inspector Wexford novel. The Vault was pretty dire - hard to swallow and generally dull. But No Man's Nightingale is a jolly enough tale, compelling if not gripping, with some entertaining characters. I liked Jeremy Legge, proto-sociopath, and there was more than a sprinkling of personality disorders kicking around.

Ruth Rendell has always been pretty dodgy on race and racism. She's seems at times fixated on it, but somehow always misses the mark. She condescends grotesquely to ethnic minority characters: their colour is their defining feature and they're invariably beautiful, noble, elegant and exotic. She means well, I'm sure of it, but it's painful. Having said that, this book is by no means the worst example of this inverted racism (Not in the Flesh is the worst for that I think).

I'm so fond of Wexford, though. I've grown up with him. I would love to drink sherry with him and Dora. I'll forgive a lot where he's concerned. I'll forgive, for instance, the ludicrous manner in which he becomes part of this investigation; I'll forgive his "hunches" - always a cop out in detective fiction.

A few typos in the Kindle edition, but nothing major apart from the bizarre copy-editing blooper over the name of the supermarket.

All in all, hang your disbelief at the door and you'll enjoy a decent read.

Three-and-three-quarters stars ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Follows on 10 Aug 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like Ruth Rendal's Wexford books. This one disappointed. Wexford has retired but has far too mush involvement with the case run by his old side kick Mike Burden. I know that anyone who has worked, as I have, in a profession regularly portrayed in fiction will scream, 'they wouldn't do that'! OK, authors take liberties with procedures, they have too or the books would never be written. In this book, however, the retired Wexford is invited to sit in on interviews, given access to police reports etc. etc. IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN! Belief is stretched to incredulity. Also, the story portrays Burden as an idiot, idiots do not get promoted to Superintendent. Wexford outwits his former colleague from retirement. Sorry Ruth, this book was a mistake, you've retired Wexford, let him enjoy it.
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By sam155 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Nov 2014
Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of Ruth Rendell, and her alter ego Barbara Vine, and I will read anything at all that features my favourite Inspector Wexford, but No Man's Nightingale was so awful it began to feel like homework.

I always read in bed so generally only read a few pages at a time, up to 10 pages if a book is really engaging (and I can stay awake). However, the number of times I had to go back and reread things that didn't make sense, or try and track down the origins of yet another new character that had been brought into the mix made me just want to give up.

In the end, I was so disinterested and out of patience with who the murderer was that I still don't know because I just stopped caring. A good Ruth Rendell novel keeps the pace and keeps you interested, but here she introduced far too many characters that ended up having very little purpose, or were given far too much attention for the tiny role they ended up playing in the story. There were diversions, sub plot after sub plot, and way too much waffle padding it out.

I will always love a good Wexford, but I just thought this didn't do Rendell any justice. I did wonder if she even has an editor any more as this book needed to be more tightly plotted with far fewer tedious meanderings. It's a good job she has her reputation to back her up because if this had been a first novel I wonder if it would have got off the slush pile.

Rendell is immensely talented: you only have to read her earlier works for that, but lately I am getting impatient and didn't like this one at all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ruth Rendell is stuck with having retired Wexford. She probably regrets that. He is a very popular character, deservedly. She has therefore decided (this is not the first book in which she has done so) to bring him back as the retired policeman who is called in to help his former junior officer (a remarkably stupid though very well dressed man called Mike Burden) to solve major crimes. The artificiality of all that doesn't really matter. We Wexford fans are simply delighted that he goes on.

This is not a bad story. It starts with the murder of the female Vicar. Burden is in charge of the investigation. He jumps to all sorts of ludicrous conclusions. He allows his prejudices to take control, with the inevitable result that he pursues obviously innocent people. But Wexford comes to the rescue.

This novel is a bit slap dash. Portraying Burden as being almost certifiable in his refusal to pay any attention to the evidence strikes me as being slightly silly. Then, a little way into the story, Lady Rendell invents a new criminal offence called "unlawful killing". It apparently comes lower than murder and manslaughter in the rankings of crime. But the fact that it doesn't actually exist as a crime doesn't ruin the story: it is just a bit irritating.

This is a rather good yarn. Overlook Burden's idiocy and Lady Rendell's ignorance of the law and you will be bound to enjoy the story.

Charles
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