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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Wexford yet
I usually prefer Rendell`s non-Wexford books as they are more psychological and thought-provoking, but this book is very thought-provoking too. This is mostly due to the sub-plots (paedophile riots and wife-beating are included), but also to the fact that several storylines are inter-twined, which keeps you guessing right to the end.
Rendell seems to improve with...
Published on 26 Nov 2000

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not perfect.
With the Wexford books Ruth Rendell has, in my opinion, created a "detective soap-opera". The characters and the place they live in are familiar to us and we enjoy reading about them. Apart from the odd fact that Wexford, Burden & Co. seem to move through time unaffacted by it, the books perfectly reflect their setting and the town of Kingmarksham sounds...
Published on 7 Oct 1999


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3.0 out of 5 stars Good Mystery Laden with a Lot of Baggage, 11 April 2010
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
In "Harm Done,"Kingsmarkham, Sussex, the country town where Chief Inspector Wexford tries to keep the peace, a lot is popping all at the same time. The local ecologically-minded populace has just succeeded in beating back a motorway bypass; there are some hard feelings remaining. A convicted pedophile has been released from prison, and come back to his registered home in the Muriel Campden Estate, a council estate packed with vulnerable children; the estate is in an uproar. A young girl from the estate, Lizzie Cromwell, has been missing for three days and then comes back, seemingly unharmed. Another local girl, the middle-class Rachel Holmes, is snatched soon after, and also comes back unharmed after a few days. And then two-year old Sanchia, daughter of Stephen Devenish, a local wealthy executive, is taken from her bed in the middle of the night.

It's odd, I've not thought of Lord Byron, famed English Regency poet, in years, and suddenly, I'm living in a Byron festival, and he turns up in everything I read. In "Harm Done," the writer describes a good-looking lad as a "young Byron." Rendell, of course, is an excellent, fluid writer, with fine qualities of wit, observation and imagination, and, as ever, she has woven an original, off-beat, intricate, many-layered plot here; nor does she take any of the lazy shortcuts we're accustomed to seeing on American television mysteries. However, although two deaths occur, the book isn't properly a murder mystery, I think. It's more a manslaughter and miscellaneous illegal behaviors mystery; the one murder that occurs does so late in the book. We've been waiting for it, and we sorta kinda know "whodunit," from the start. I do find Rendell has a tendency to get a bit preachy, on environmental issues; and, particularly, on women's issues. Of course, few people favor our ripping our environments to shreds, and fewer still, I hope, favor wife abuse, or sexual slavery: I wouldn't think her crusades were controversial, but to me, at least, they detract a bit from the mysteries. But the mysteries are excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Harm Done, 28 Feb 2009
By 
Spud Murphy (London,England) - See all my reviews
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When does Ruth Rendell ever write anything other than excellent?
I found this story very thought provoking and absorbing.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant introduction to Rendell!, 22 Jan 2001
By A Customer
I think that this is one of the best Rendell novels I've read, and I would recommend this to anyone who has not yet read her.
The sub-plots and the themes running through it are sensitively handled, and her narration skill is, as always, suspenseful yet subtle. The suspense seems to unfold slowly and you think that 'this is a strange case', then a quarter of the way through and you're hooked.
Rendell works like that, very strong on eccentric minds and subtle plots, and thought-provoking long after you've finished reading.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fast paced book, with plenty of suspense., 12 Oct 2000
By A Customer
The book was excellent as Ruth Rendall always is. It had alot of police enquires happening at the same time, which can be hard to follow.Wexford is a character that everyone likes as he maintains the human element of authority.It can at times be hard to follow all the cases being followed , but the variety of charecters make it a most enjoyable book.
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Harm Done: (A Wexford Case)
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