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11 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent novel by Rendell
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...
Published on 9 Oct. 2003 by RachelWalker

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and bad points both...
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...
Published 13 months ago by Iain C. Davidson


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent novel by Rendell, 9 Oct. 2003
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Good and bad points both..., 30 April 2014
By 
Iain C. Davidson "iain1825" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Unkindness Of Ravens: (A Wexford Case) (Inspector Wexford series Book 13) (Kindle Edition)
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of her better works, 5 Feb. 2002
By A Customer
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Wexford does it again, 31 Aug. 2013
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent Rendell, 3 Jun. 2013
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Wexford case, 8 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: An Unkindness Of Ravens: (A Wexford Case) (Inspector Wexford series Book 13) (Kindle Edition)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars An Unkindness of Ravens (A Wexford Case), 13 Mar. 2013
By 
Mrs. Amanda Conquest (Essex, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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I am into reading Ruth Rendell crime books at the moment and love the Wexford books!!

The book was used.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking listening, 6 July 2013
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Really good story line, kept us absorbed for hours. Its over 8 hours long so great for a long distance drive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 18 Oct. 2014
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I love the Wexford but think that the last novels are not as interesting as the previous ones.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 14 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: An Unkindness Of Ravens: (A Wexford Case) (Inspector Wexford series Book 13) (Kindle Edition)
Typical Wexford case and very enjoyable as usual. Worth a read.
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