5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
agreed, not her best, but again unique,
This review is from: The Babes In The Wood: (A Wexford Case) (Paperback)
true, this isn't really the best of Rendell's books, but it's still great. The story is interesting, and Wexford is becoming even more fascinating as he ages and feels increasingly adrift in a world that's largely moved on. There are some incredibly compelling sections which DO show Rendel writing at absolutely top form (e.g. the discovery of the car. I can't say more for spoilers) even if some aspects of the mystery are not QUITE of her normal quality.
The Babes in the Wood is packed with symbolism, which makes it a very thoughtful read indeed. In some of the early books, also, Wexford is not a very developed character, merely a vessel through which the mystery could be solved. In her later novels, he has grown and expanded and shown himself to be one of the most fascinating protagonists the genre has to offer. A sort of Old-Father-Time of the crime world. His presence in this story alone makes it worth reading.
The Babes in the Wood is still a five-star read, better than almost all other crime fiction. As well as an intriguing mystery, she crams in interesting social observation and wonderful character development, too. True, her characters may not always be likeable, but the view that unlikeable characters a good book does not make holds absolutely no water with me at all. Rendell shows us real people, all the time, not always in their best light, and they are always fascinating. If you want comfortable fiction, Rendell probably isn't always for you. If you want a strong and fascinating crime novel, she is.