- Hardcover: 184 pages
- Publisher: Long (Jun. 1969)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0090975308
- ISBN-13: 978-0090975303
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,650,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Best Man to Die Hardcover – 1 Jun 1969
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|Hardcover, 1 Jun 1969||
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"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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
'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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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 ...
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pressure of work, travel and a hint of laziness means I am now reduced to just giving a star rating. otherwise I never find time to review.Published 3 months ago by meryon
I am a huge Inspector Wexford fan, and this was definitely her least well written book - in my opinion.Published 8 months ago by margaret
A. Good read I read it fairly quickly to get to know the storyPublished 9 months ago by Mrs Joy Close
Good story but out dated references, not politically correct terminology these days.Published 10 months ago by Brendasonas
This book is awful and nothing like the later Wexford novels. Wexford comes across as a horrible person and there are some terrible outdated attitudes towards disability and class.Published 10 months ago by janeyanna