Rendell is a very fine storyteller with a real affinity for the English language. She is adept at bringing characters to life, and at making the reader really care who the perpetrator was. She keeps the reader guessing until the very last few pages.
My one reservation about this novel is the convenient way in which Wexford's daughter's personal circumstances resonated with the victims'; this subplot seemed a little sledgehammerish and contrived. Much as I relate to the character of Sylvia Wexford, it was this issue that led me to rate the novel as 4* not 5*.