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The Best Man To Die: (A Wexford Case) (Inspector Wexford series Book 4) [Kindle Edition]

Ruth Rendell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The fourth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.



Nothing is ever quite what it seems...



A man and his daughter lie dead after a car accident. Strangely, no other car was involved and no cause has been found. Wexford's only option is to wait and hope that the one surviving victim - the mother, Mrs Fanshawe - regains consciousness.



But when she finally awakens six weeks later, Wexford's attention has already been distracted by a new and very violent case. Walking by the canal that same morning, Wexford discovered the bloody body of Charlie Hatton.



The two cases are obviously unrelated, although something is bothering Wexford and he can't work out why or what. But just as he begins to wonder whether there could in fact be a connection, the unexpected occurs: the Fanshawe daughter, believed to be killed in the accident, appears at her mother's beside very much alive...


Books In This Series (23 Books)
Complete Series


  • Product Description

    Review

    "One of the best novelists writing today" -- P.D. James "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" The Irish Times "A firm grasp of social concerns ensure that her novels are reflective of our own times, as well as hugely absorbing" -- Louise Welsh The Times "This is Rendell on cracking form, with the entire accoutrements one expects from her" The Good Book Guide

    Review

    'One of the best novelists writing today.' (P.D. James)

    '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.' (The 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.' (The Irish Times)

    'A firm grasp of social concerns ensure that her novels are reflective of our own times, as well as hugely absorbing.' (The Times)

    'This is Rendell on cracking form, with the entire accoutrements one expects from her.' (The Good Book Guide)

    Product details


    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.


    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars It's not new 23 Oct. 2009
    Format:Paperback
    It's as good as any Wexford story but first check if you don't have it already. It was first published in 1987, not in 2009 as the site more or less suggests.
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    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Classic twisty Wexford tale - poor edition 8 Dec. 2009
    Format:Paperback
    The four stars are for the tale, not for the edition.

    This is a classic Wexford murder mystery. Okay, so it's dated, but in a quaint, inoffensive way: note the fascination for novel technology such as a washing machine or a lift! I've said in another review that these new editions of the early Wexfords are very attractive: moody cover shots, nice larger-than-usual size, sturdy yet elegant little editions. Two gripes, though - the second more important than the first ...

    First, I really don't like the bland strap-lines on the covers. This novel's is: "nothing is ever quite what it seems" ... banal, or what? Come on, PR department, make an effort!

    Second, the book is full of typos. I lost count of the number of sentences that started with a lower-case letter. Words were jumbled: "on" instead of "no" and vice-versa. "May" was misspelled as "Mar" in one important passage - potentially very misleading in a detective story! And in another place, "she" has the "s" missing! - again, very confusing and pretty downright shoddy.

    Overall, certainly worth a look, but proofreading would be appreciated ...
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    17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars I must be getting very tiresome... 17 Mar. 2004
    By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
    Format:Paperback
    ...with my continual rantings on the brilliance of Ruth Rendell. In my quest to ascertain that every Ruth Rendell book here is reviewed, though, you'll be hearing more from me yet, I'm afraid.
    As I'm lazy, I'm just going to copy out the official blurb (plus, I can't say it any better):
    Jack Pertwee was getting married in the morning.
    Charlie Hatton drove his lorry eleven hours down from Leeds just to be there. Charlie was Jack's best friend and he would be his best man. When the two parted at the Kingsbrook bridge, jack felt as though his life was just beginning. But for Charlie Hatton, life was about to end.
    Detective Chief Inspector Wexford wondered why the fatal Fanshawe car accident kept upsetting his concentration on the Hatton murder. There couldn't be a connection. Fanshawe had been a wealthy stockbroker, Charlie Hatton a cocky little lorry driver with some illegal dealing.
    But was it just a coincidence that Hatton had been killed on the day following that of Mrs Fanshawe's regaining consciousness?
    On first read, several years ago when I was about 12, this book didn't strike me as one of the greatest Wexford's. On re-reading it, my estimation is much, much improved. The Best Man to Die is another excellent Wexford novel from Rendell's early period. It doesn't have the wonderful, vicious darkness of Wolf to the Slaughter or the unique quality of Some Lie or Some Die, but it remains a very very excellent and clever mystery that will likely confound even the most practiced of crime-fiction readers. It did me, even though I had read it before! I could remember, just about, who, but for the life of me I had no idea why, until Rendell revealed all in one of those excellent last-revelation chapters that she does so so well.
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    3.0 out of 5 stars Decent early novel 14 Feb. 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    'The Best Man To Die' was published in 1969 and is the fourth in the Wexford series. Wexford himself takes centre stage here for the first time and we get our first proper introductions to his (as yet nameless) wife and his daughter Sheila (already irritating). Rendell's portrayals of the working classes have been hitherto rather unsuccessful. In 'Wolf To The Slaughter' we had two charwomen and two lags, one of whom was even called 'Knobby'! Here she extends her range and although we are still in the realms of working men's clubs and avid socialists, her characters have more substance. Personally, I think she could have left out the rather embarrassing parallels between Jack & Charlie and Jonathan & David but otherwise, much better! As usual, the middle classes are better drawn and I especially like the gleefully malicious portrait of the unpleasant Mrs Fanshawe who really ought to be a character who has our sympathy given her circumstances!

    So far, so good but for me, the problem with 'Best Man' is the plot itself. This was one of the few times where I felt slightly cheated. Its not that the identity of the killer is difficult to work out - I think most readers stand a fair chance of guessing it from about half way through when the private hospital is introduced, but this is one of the few times in a Rendell novel where we hardly get the know the person in question. That always feels like cheating to me. Anyway, not one of her best!
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    5.0 out of 5 stars Slipshod proofing insults a great read 3 Feb. 2012
    Format:Paperback
    The Inspector Wexford series are classics of Engliish detective fiction and if you have not enjoyed them yet, then I cannot recommend them too highly. Ruth Rendell writes with psychological depth and insight and the detective puzzles are adroitly woven into studies of contemporary British life and society. The only thing that spoils this series is the slipshod proof-reading; the publishers obviously could not be bothered to employ someone with an eye for a silly typo. Pity, and shame on Arrow Books!
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars rendell at her best 29 Dec. 2012
    By george
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    the usual twist and turns you would expect from ruth rendell. a good read, and keeps you guessing who dun it
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