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Kissing The Gunner's Daughter: (A Wexford Case) Paperback – 15 Apr 1993
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"A very great pleasure ... Beyond praise, completely compelling - will delight all Wexford's admirers" (Allan Massie Scotsman)
"Psychologically acute and extremely disturbing, Ruth Rendell's work is outstanding" (The Times)
"The most brilliant mystery novelist of our time" (Patricia Cornwell)
A bank job goes wrong and a Kingsmarkham detective sergeant is killed. Months later, the Flory family are slaughtered at home by an unknown assassin. The cases seem unrelated. But Chief Inspector Wexford is not so sure. By the author of "The Copper Peacock" and "The Bridesmaid".See all Product description
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I like that Rendell's characters have their flaws. Despite her fame, it quickly becomes clear that Davina Flory was not an especially nice woman. Lovely though Daisy is most of the time, there are several examples of 'spoiled little rich girl' outbursts and behaviour that make her that bit more interesting. True, there are some 'stock' characters (the Virsons and, to a degree, the Harrisons spring to mind) but I really enjoyed the likes of Gunner Jones, Joanne Garland and even Bib Mew! Rendell excels in the descriptive passages here. She writes a great deal about the woods and grounds surrounding Tancred House but it never gets boring and its beautifully done. We see the woods change from late winter to early spring and we could almost be there.
I think the pacing is good and although its longer than the early Wexford novels, it never feels too long. If I have a couple of minor gripes - I'm not crazy about the 'Wexford family drama' subplot - daughter Sheila always comes off as affected and annoying! I also think that the second murder doesn't really add anything and feels very much like a plot device (throw in a second murder to keep them interested...) Wexford's unfolding of the denouement at the end feels about right this time and I love the simplicity of the last few lines. All in all, an excellent story!
The plot is intricately woven with each character described in detail, each one being assessed as being one of the murderous duo.The murder scene itself is described in minute chilling detail right down to the cutlery and china on the table.
The reader is kept in real suspense right until the final chapter. Well worth a read.