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The Way Through the Woods (Inspector Morse) Paperback – 16 Mar 2007

24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; New Ed edition (16 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330450808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330450805
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Colin Dexter has won many awards for his novels including the CWA Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger awards. In 1997 he was presented with the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding services to crime literature. Colin's thirteenth and final Inspector Morse novel, The Remorseful Day, was published in 1999. He lives in Oxford.

Product Description

Review

'Quietly, rather movingly, Strange was making his plea: "Christ knows why, Lewis, but Morse will always put himself out for you". As he put the phone down, Lewis knew that Strange had been right... in the case of the Swedish Maiden, the pair of them were back in business' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

'Morse's wickedest, twistiest case . . . prepare for last gasps of outraged admiration' Sunday Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My all time top favourite series in the mystery genre, and this book is the best I have read in the series. Few modern writers can rival Colin Dexter's exquisite character building, whether within the genre or from outside. Inspector Morse is a delightful, masterpiece creation. Morse is at once brilliant; peevish yet often sly and diplomatic, kindly towards those who work under him; with classic tastes in cars, music, and lifestyle; and, as far as women are concerned, lusting after every woman in sight in a manner that is pathetic yet endearing, a little creepy yet gentlemanly mannered that kind of makes you laugh at him and yet feel sorry for him at the same time. He is a very real character with very real strengths and weaknesses.

Also in this particular book Dexter reaches his peak in literary writing. Consider the brilliant 5 stanza poem on the "Swedish Maiden" with which Dexter introduces the murder to us. This is beautiful, brilliant poetry. The scene in Lyme Regis where Morse watches the tide coming in and the sea gulls momentarily flying suspended in the air then "peeling off" like fighter air-planes ... that is exquisite writing that evokes the scene's beautiful setting very viscerally.

While the writing and the characterization delights one aesthetically, at the same time the brilliant mystery and the plot dazzles one's mind with an equally exquisitely layered puzzle one impulsively feels compelled to follow. One cannot ignore the tantalisingly sexy direction the plot veers in which teases you with its somewhat restrained sauciness. i.e. It is not explicit sex, but it is all the more tantalising and titillating for its restrained quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane Baker VINE VOICE on 28 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had my Morse "period" some years ago but this gem slipped my net. I had quite forgotten just how scholarly Colin Dexter is. There is a strong sense of place in this novel which for me is important, the more so when I know most of them well. Beginning in Lyme Regis, sometime home of Jane Austen and John Fowles, moving to Nether Stowey,Somerset, where Coleridge and Wordsworth spent a short sojourn, back to Oxford and for Lewis on to Uppsala. The plot is strong and complex as are most of the characters. Beneath the Oxford spires of academia lurks another type of world which is where the main characters live and work. Music is another very attractive ingredient which makes for a fulsome storyline. The pre-text at the start of each chapter adds flair and food for thought. As ever Morse is the mouth - piece for Dexter's own social conscience. If willing the reader might be almost in conversation with Morse/Dexter. Brilliant, highly recommended as are most if not all of the Morse series.
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Format: Paperback
Have you ever been reading a book and thought “I wonder what this would be like if the ostensible main character was reduced to secondary status by the inclusion of an overwhelming number of scenes involving unimportant characters and events”? Or perhaps you’ve caught yourself, in stray moments, cogitating “Well, this is all fine but what we really need is a diary entry from an unattributed source, repeated as a device three or so times and ultimately dropped before 10% of the way into the book which will end up being written by a less than tertiary character in the narrative and referring to events that have absolutely no bearing on the plot”? If so, Colin Dexter has just the book for you: it’s called The Way Through the Woods and is one of the later entries in what I’m increasingly starting to realise is the massively over-hyped Inspector Morse series.

Oh, I know, you loved John Thaw. Everyone loved John Thaw, he was awesome. That doesn’t change the fact that Dexter’s source novels are the most egregious example of diminishing returns you could ever encounter. Here, everyone seems to have some mysterious reason for acting suspiciously – it’s like bad Hammer horror, with everyone peering ominously out of windows and wracking themselves over a guilt the source of which is never actually mentioned – and practically every character gets several chapters to just mull around and be sort of mysterious, or (if female, regardless of age or purpose in the plot) to moon over the raging sex panther that Dexter evidently imagines Morse himself to be.

It’s deeply awful, and a long way from the subtleties of, say, The Wench is Dead (which at least deserved the Gold Dagger it won...how this ever won one is beyond me, surely 1992 wasn’t that fallow a year).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Colin Dexter at his best. Morse is on leave in Lyme Regis when verses appear in the Times about the disappearance of the "Swedish Maiden". This results in a whole host of letters from Times readers which Morse reads avidly. Morse is persuaded to return to Oxford to take charge of the year old case and what follows is a brilliant and insightful investigation and solving of the case.

Read this - you won't find any other crime fiction novel which will beat this one!
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I chose a four star rating because I could not put the book down! The story unfolded gradually , but the pace of the unfolding was dramatic and compelling. Dexter's ' red herrings ' are so plausible. It's like reading three or four stories in one! I did noy enjoy the TV series at all. Quite frankly, I couldn't understand them!! But the books are totally different and I shall read each with eager anticipation. I have bought all fourteen Morse Mysteries--can't wait!
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