Not in the Flesh (Chief Inspector Wexford Series #21)

Not in the Flesh (Chief Inspector Wexford Series #21)

by Ruth Rendell
3.7 17

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Not in the Flesh (Chief Inspector Wexford Series #21) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
This audio book is more than a double treat, it's a sure fire can't-stop-listening-to winner when you pair the estimable acting talents of Tim Curry as narrator and the award winning writing of Ruth Rendell. Curry won many of us with his unforgettable debut in the cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He has made numerous screen appearances since then, playing diverse roles in such films as Kinsey, Charlie's Angels, The Hunt for Red October and Annie. This actor simply can't be pigeon-holed - on stage he has been nominated thrice for a Tony. His audio book narrations are as diverse as his professional career ranging from children's titles to science fiction to romance to fantasy and, of course, this stellar rendering of Not In The Flesh. For starters Curry has a wonderful voice, low, deep, strong. It is malleable, if you will, easily moving from tone to tone, intonation to intonation. Born in Britain he retains a hint of a British accent which, of course, serves us well in this story. What more can be said about Ruth Rendell or how much more praise can be heaped upon her? Surely she has numerous mantels to accommodate all her awards, among them are three Edgars, three Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and on it goes. For this reader/listener Inspector Wexford is one of her finest creations. Wexford was introduced to us some 35 years ago and by now he's an old friend to many. 'Old' is a key word here as he's grown a bit more codger-like with the passage of time, yet just as sharp, clever, and opinionated as ever. This time out a truffle hunter and his sniffing dog are having great good luck in the Sussex countryside - that is until the competent canine unearths what's left of a human hand. It's left to Wexford to identify the deceased who has probably been hidden in the ground for over a decade. Another confounding problem for the master detective is the inordinate number of people in that area who have simply vanished. As always Rendell's cast of characters is pure delight from close-mouthed residents to workmen who may or may not have seen anything to a downright nasty old lady with 'loglike swollen legs.' To read a work by Rendell is stay-up-late pleasure to hear it is prime time entertainment. - Gail Cooke
LoveReadingIL More than 1 year ago
The Inspector Wexford series has maintained a high level throughout and surely Ruth Rendell is among the best of mystery writers. As always, Wexford is so real that we feel the emotions he feels as this case progresses. Some have criticized the inclusion of the very real & sad issue of female mutilation, but shouldn't we be aware of what is happening in our world? It's not a subject I would choose to study, but as part of this fiction story Rendell has once again raised our awareness. An excellent, well-written adddition to a top-notch series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nepenthe18 More than 1 year ago
I agree with 4everyone on this one. There were too many characters and no accountability. Also the Somali issue was out of place. Maybe it would have been a better fit if one of the families involved in the actual mystery was Somalian. I found myself skipping through that whole bit.
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Alison16 More than 1 year ago
Inspector Wexford does it again but there are no obvious suspects or obvious red herrings. just mystery at it's best
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rendell's characters are appealing, and the novels have good story lines. Wexford seems to be a nice normal person with normal, everyday concerns as part of the back stories. (as compared to the ever so upper class Lynley of Elizabeth George's series). I think part of the appeal is that the regulars in Rendell's books could be our friends and neighbors. As a member of a women's service organization, I found the side story into the struggle against female genital mutilation well done. It was there and presented the horror without being overbearing, as is so often the case when a writer tries to add a political cause to the story.
katknit More than 1 year ago
Reg Wexford is one of the good guys in English crime fiction. Humane and genuine, he has managed to avoid become jaded during the course of his long career. In Not in the Flesh, Wexford and his capable staff must grapple with the discovery of not one, but two, long dead bodies, in a secluded little village. There is no dearth of suspects among the eccentric, somewhat reclusive inhabitants. A compelling subplot centers upon the practice of female genital mutilation among England's Somali immigrant population. While this custom is against British law, many Somali families nevertheless find secretive ways to modify the bodies of their daughters. Wexford's daughter appeals to her father to help stem the practice.
It is a pleasure to follow Wexford and his team as they, first, ferret out clues to crimes that occurred, in secret, a decade ago. Secondly, they must fit the disparate pieces into a coherent pattern, despite their certain knowledge that many of their interview subjects are less than truthful. The resolution of these plots relies upon coincidence in places, but the writing and the characterizations are so sharp that it's worth overlooking that factor. Careful attention is required to follow the twists and turns of this investigation.
4everyone More than 1 year ago
As always the British appear to provide beautiful descriptions of surroundings. Zany characters who get away with too much. Too many relationships destroyed. Too few held accountable.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Digging for truffles Jim Belbury and his late brother¿s Jack Russell Honey find something they were unprepared to come across. Instead of truffles they find a corpse buried on a vacant lot. He calls Information who get him connected to the Kingsmarkham police station. Chief Inspector Wexford leads the investigation in which he does not need forensics experts to tell him the body was interred a long time ago. Inside the basement of the abandoned building on this same property the police team finds a second murder victim also dead for quite a long time.------------- There is little useful evidcne at either crime scene so the team begins to slowly and methodically interview the neighbors who offer little help, but most act somewhat suspciously as if they are hiding something pertinent or another crime. Resolving the double homicides seems to be going nowhere, but Wexford keeps digging uncovering clues that begin to shape the case.----------------- There is a second investigation involving genital mutilation of Somali immigrants that add to this strong Wexford police procedural. Wexford calmly interrogates eccentrics while opining to the readers that civilization is dying due to modernization his proof is the people he interviews. NOT IN THE FLESH is an engaging investigative tale as the case unfolds slowly one clue at a time.--------------- Harriet Klausner