Top positive review
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First of three greats in a row!
on 30 April 2014
Everything is subjective of course, but I truly feel that this and the next two Wexford novels represent the pinnacle of Rendell's writing for her congenial, well-read country detective. I love everything about 'The Veiled One' from the shopping centre car park scene of crime, the intriguing split stories of Wexford and his deputy Burden to the large cast of interesting supporting characters. Even the soon-to-become obligatory Wexford family drama is not too bad in this one and does, at least, contribute to the plot in that it puts Wexford at the heart of the estate where the dead woman lived.
Many of the characters are fascinating studies but none more so than mother and son duo Dorothy and Clifford Sanders. This pair and their atmospheric, creepy home and lifestyle are superbly well done. Thanks to the Sanders' much of the novel has a very dark, almost Gothic feel to it. Rendell does contrast this well though with the colourful life and home of Dita Jago, the cheery dullness of the Robson's home and the bright, bustling shopping centre which is never long absent from proceedings. The moment when Wexford discovers the murder weapon is one of my favourite passages from a Wexford novel ever - its just so clever! Then there's the events surrounding the second murder, tense and fairly horrific - really excellent. As usual, Wexford does take quite a long time to elaborate his theories to conclusion at the end but its well written and I didn't mind too much. I highly recommend this novel and it would be as good a place as any to dip into the Wexford novels.