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End In Tears: (A Wexford Case) Hardcover – 20 Oct 2005

3.8 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson; First Edition edition (20 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091796415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091796419
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,324,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Rendell's gift for characterisation illuminates every interview with a range of suspects and makes it a continuing pleasure to watch Wexford and Burden at work." (Sunday Telegraph)

"Rendell's psychological insights are so absorbing, it's easy to forget what a superb plotter she is" (The Times)

"No contemporary writer of suspense stories tries to vary the form's boundaries more than Ruth Rendell" (Guardian)

"End in Tears proved once again that no British novelist knows the heart's hungers like Ruth Rendell" (Christopher Bray, New Statesman)

"Ruth Rendell is a phenomenon. [She] has always had a deep insight into the criminal mind and the vicious selfishness of those who believe that their own desires override everything else. She uses it to good effect in End in Tears." (The Times)

Review

'[Rendell] is unequalled in her ability to create amoral, unprincipled characters, then to make us pity them, until they do something terrible.' (The Observer)

'Rendell's gift for characterisation illuminates every interview with a range of suspects and makes it a pleasure to watch Wexford and burden at work.' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'End In Tears proved once again that no British novelist knows the heart's hungers like Ruth Rendell.' (New Statesman) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As I continue my re-read of all Ruth Rendell's Wexford novels, I come to the very mixed bag that is 'End In Tears'. For me, this one starts out well with an intriguing plot and (initially) interesting and believable characters. As always with the Wexford novels (at least the later ones) there is an Issue and here it is surrogacy. The Wexford Family Subplot ties in with this because least loved daughter Sylvia (where has Sheila been recently?) is pregnant too. I always find these particular subplots disappointing because the outcome is always so predictable. I understand that Rendell wants us to feel involved with Wexford and his family but these bits, for me at least, are often the weakest parts of the novel. Even Dora Wexford is rather unlikeable here, being uncharacteristically selfish - never mind, it all works out well for her!

I don't mind the ridiculously PC Hannah Goldsmith too much - I suspect that we are supposed to find her ridiculous, certainly at the start of the novel. I do think that her budding romance takes up far too much time. She is also at the heart of what is supposed to be a tense scene towards the end of the novel but, for me at least, is just too melodramatic to swallow - the villain and his henchmen behave and speak EXACTLY as you would expect such cliched characters to do; its almost funny! The action scene at the bridge doesn't really work either. I suppose that is my biggest problem with this novel - when it moves away from the domestic into the world of 'organised crime'. I think Rendell does better with the former.

I was fairly satisfied with the final denouement (although, as usual, Wexford takes far too long getting to what is supposed to be the 'big reveal') and most of it made sense - elaborately constructed alibis aside!
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Format: Hardcover
When someone drops a lump of concrete over a bridge onto the cars driving below, an elderly woman dies as a consequence of the resulting smash-up. The accident is put down as another incident of mindless vandalism in a society that’s seeing an ever-increasing number of such acts, young blind rebellion.
Weeks later, 18 year old Amber Marshalson is killed walking home along a quiet road after a night out. Her father Graham has been up all night worrying, and eventually sets out to search the road he knows she’ll be coming home by. A shattering discovery is his to be made.
It’s only when the police find out that Amber was one of the people involved in the earlier road accident, driving a car very similar to that carrying the elderly victim, that they realise someone could easily have made a previous disastrous attempt on her life and, failing in that, has tried again with shattering success…
End in Tears is Rendell’s 20th Inspector Wexford novel. (It’s something indeed that they don’t make up even half her output.) These police procedurals of hers are not my favourite of her many fictional branches, but to many they constitute the most enduring and famous sections of her body of work. It’s easy to see why: while her other novels are dark, disturbing, twisted affairs of the head, the Wexford books are warmer and more welcoming things altogether. They do share a dark view of the human heart, true (this one particularly), but they come at it from the opposite angle. The crimes of the Wexford books, too, are more rational things; they're open to freer explanation, they make you less uncomfortable, make you feel less unsafe in your own skin.
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Format: Hardcover
'End in Tears' is the latest in Ruth Rendells' Wexford saga and as expected provides a compelling mixture of investigative intrigue and sensitive consideration of contemporary and compelling issues.
I learnt my lesson with this Wexford book. Rather than swallowing it in one gulp, I paced myself over several, very enjoyable eveings, savouring the stunning complexity of the plot and its final, shattering denouement.
When a feckless, and frankly not very likeable, teenager is found with her head bashed in, Wexfords team, with some interesting new additions, swings into action. A connection is speedily established with an earlier incident in which a concrete block is droppped from a bridge onto a passing car and the attention is quickly jostled by a cornucopia of plots and sub-plots. The focus shifts rapidly yet intelligently between a soon-to-be dual murder investigation, the distress of the reluctantly childless, an unusal seduction technique and an intriguing note of disharmony on the Wexfords' domestic front.
I am hard put to decide which aspect of Ms Rendells' talent I admire the most; her protrayal of characters that provoke such fierce emotional responses in the reader, her ability to construct a series of complex and inter-related plots or her esoteric knowledge of the English Language!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Slow, methodical detective work, rendering the content of this book a bit too slow itself, therefore not entirely to my taste. However, this is my first mystery by Ruth Rendell and I was not acquainted with its main characters and their personal history, which I understand follow a long succession of books. `Knowing' them beforehand may have been useful to appreciate this book a little more, but I have the feeling that my opinion after turning the last page would have been unaltered whether I did or not.
A BIT OF A *SPOILER* FOLLOWS UNLESS YOU HAVE READ THE AMAZON DESCRIPTION ABOVE AND SOME OF THE REVIEWS
In any case, their previous acquaintance would not have mattered with reference to the central theme in this book, which explores the murder of eighteen-year-old Amber in a quiet village in Sussex. Soon after, another young lady, Megan, disappears and is later found murdered. Although coming from very different social backgrounds, the police find out that the two girls knew each other and they had two things in common: youth -it goes without saying- and a child each. What could have led someone to kill them?
END OF *SPOILER*
Hard to pinpoint the facts as they are elusive up until the very last page of the book. They are also, along with the characters, quite muddled up and a bit hard to follow. Wexford's personal life and the one of some of his co-workers provide for a bit of a diversion, even though they all sooner or later connect with the central theme in a plausible juxtaposition.

All in all, it was not the best mystery novel I've read -and I read many-. What lacked here was a certain compactness within the characters which rendered the story less consistent than it should have been, considering the disturbing motive lurking behind the murders (which the reader picks up only toward the middle of the book).
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