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The Monster in the Box: A Chief Inspector Wexford Mystery, Book 22 Audio Download – Unabridged

3.5 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 49 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 1 Oct. 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ99Y2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I came to this new Wexford title with some trepidation. I'd thought the last, Not in the Flesh, was pretty poor, with its shaky storyline and cringe-making subplot about female circumcision (cringe-making because of the quite condescending descriptions of the Somalian girl, not because of the procedure!).

However, I'm delighted to say that The Monster in the Box is a return to form. To be more correct, it's a return to form in some respects, something quite new in others. In what ways is it new? For a start, we go back in time to the days of Wexford's early career and the early stages of his relationship with Dora. These sections of the book are by no means boring filler: there's a particularly shocking scene in a Cornish cottage, for instance (and check out how Rendell plays with the reader's expectations with that one!). This story deals, too, with obsession, putting me in mind of some of the "straight" Rendell novels. It's also a particularly creepy book: the subject of Wexford's obsession, the monster he's trying to keep in the box, is particularly unnerving, almost a supernatural - or at least animalistic - figure.

The story is short, fast-paced, gripping, and in some ways bizarre (I enjoyed the runaway lion).

I think Rendell is better in this one on the race issues, though she's always sailed dangerously close to a condescending wind (so many of her asian characters have "noble" or "elegant" manners or profiles.)

One more point to note, and this is very strange. The novel seems to be set in the late 1990s. Can anyone explain why? I'm scratching my head about this one.

Advice for anyone disappointed by Wexford/Rendell's performance recently: give the pair another shot. This one's a really great performance.
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Format: Hardcover
As an avid fan of Ruth Rendell novels for many years I ordered this book early and in hard cover as I couldn't wait to read it and how disappointed I was on receiving my copy and settling in for a good read!
The plot if you could call it that was non existent and absolute rubbish.It had such potential when we were taken back to Wexfords past but to base an accusation of murder on how someone looked at you is ludicrous.There were silly sub plots about a possible abduction for an arranged marriage which was again based on nothing more than a hunch as if police had time to chase around following information so fragile.
Ruth Rendell should be ashamed a lazy novel with none of the excitement which we know she can produce.
Dont buy this book you can have my copy for free!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
There were so many mistakes in the transcription of this book the ebook format it made it difficult to read. I know the ebook version is cheaper but it should be of the same editorial standard as the paperback or hardback versions. There is no way that a traditional book would have been sold with this many errors. Amazon take note, shoddy ebooks like this will damage the uptake of the Kindle.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Ruth Rendell so it gives me no pleasure at all to write how much I actually disliked the Monster In the Box. It is actually so bad that it doesn't read like Rendell at all!How can such a gifted writer have created something which is both clumzy and boring, repetitive and annoying! It doesn't make any kind of sense. Do we expect Wexford to tell the story of his obsession about Targo to Burden in installments? No, we don't. Do we deserve the story to be dragged as it is, again we don't. Do we care about it one jot? Indeed we don't. But the worst part, as far as I am concerned, is Burden's wife and the young policewoman 's treatment of the Asian family. Surely there is a case for harassment in there! Reading about it was infuriating and yet I am not particularly PC myself but that some nosey parkers pretending to be open minded should go to such lengths, I couldn't take it! It made me want to scream at the writer because it was so lumpy, unbelievable, caricatural, conceited.....A dreadful book to be forgotten or disposed of...
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Format: Paperback
The idea for the book of Wexford solving a murder which happened in the past was a good one. However Miss Rendall should have stuck to the point and not go wandering off with reminiscing and getting involved in possible forced marriages.

This is a deary story, the only bit of light was the lion.
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Format: Hardcover
Normally I can't bring myself to criticise Rendell very much at all, and can be very forgiving of her flaws. But The Monster in the Box is just... well, a bit disappointing. There's nothing wrong with the writing, it's fine. There's nothing wrong with Wexford, he's fine. But everything else just gets a little wearing: Rendell's most puzzling hobby horse in the Wexford novels of late is political correctness, as exemplified by the scrupulously pc, so-politically-correct-she's-really-actually-prejudiced Hannah Goldsmith. It's just ridiculous, and feels like being battered over the head with a dead goldfish. It's not hard or big, it doesn't hurt, it's just puzzling, confusing, and very annoying. Also annoying is Rendell's insistence on featuring subplots about ethnic families by whom Ms Goldsmith suspects tradition are being carried out in a criminal way. She doesn't accomplish them badly (in fact, the subplot is much more believeable and well-handled than the main plot!) it's just annoying whenever you see anyone on a soapbox they appear no to be able to get off.

My main problem here was the main plot, which I found a bit ridiculous. It makes little real sense, is not remotely plausible (when you consider back to the golden days of Wexford novels like Wolf to the Slaughter), and the lack of any real motive is explained away very conveniently. Like the other reviewer, I also found it quite jarring that the book is set in the early ninties, where people still smoke in pubs and floppy disks aren't a distant memory. I'm sure that any devotees of Wexford able to overlook the fact that he's been in his fifties since the 60s , would be able to overlook that whether the book was set now or ten years ago.

I enjoyed it, because I always enjoy Rendell and her writing and her way of describing characters, but I wouldn't really recommend it as a crime novel or as a puzzle. One for the fans.
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