The Vault

Ruth Rendell

The Vault

‘Don’t forget,’ Wexford said, ‘I’ve lived in a world where the improbable happens all the time.’ However, the impossible has happened. Chief Inspector Reg Wexford has retired. He and his wife, Dora, now divide their time between Kingsmarkham and a coachhouse in Hampstead, belonging to their actress daughter, Sheila. Wexford takes great pleasure in his books, but, for all the benefits of a more relaxed lifestyle, he misses being the law. But a chance meeting in a London street, with someone he had known briefly as a very young police constable, changes everything. Tom Ede is now a Detective Superintendent, and is very keen to recruit Wexford as an adviser on a difficult case. The bodies of two women and a man have been discovered in the old coal hole of an attractive house in St John’s Wood. None carries identification. But the man’s jacket pockets contain a string of pearls, a diamond and a sapphire necklace as well as other jewellery valued in the region of £40,000. It is not a hard decision for Wexford. He is intrigued and excited by the challenge, and, in the early stages, not really anticipating that this new investigative role will bring him into extreme physical danger. 3.9 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
The Vault

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Crime, Thrillers & Mystery
Format Hardback
Pages 272
RRP £18.99
Date of Publication August 2011
ISBN 978-0091937102
Publisher Hutchinson
 

‘Don’t forget,’ Wexford said, ‘I’ve lived in a world where the improbable happens all the time.’ However, the impossible has happened. Chief Inspector Reg Wexford has retired. He and his wife, Dora, now divide their time between Kingsmarkham and a coachhouse in Hampstead, belonging to their actress daughter, Sheila. Wexford takes great pleasure in his books, but, for all the benefits of a more relaxed lifestyle, he misses being the law. But a chance meeting in a London street, with someone he had known briefly as a very young police constable, changes everything. Tom Ede is now a Detective Superintendent, and is very keen to recruit Wexford as an adviser on a difficult case. The bodies of two women and a man have been discovered in the old coal hole of an attractive house in St John’s Wood. None carries identification. But the man’s jacket pockets contain a string of pearls, a diamond and a sapphire necklace as well as other jewellery valued in the region of £40,000. It is not a hard decision for Wexford. He is intrigued and excited by the challenge, and, in the early stages, not really anticipating that this new investigative role will bring him into extreme physical danger.

THE MONSTER IN THE BOX by Ruth Rendell

Reviews

The Evening Standard

Mark Sanderson

... a bold attempt to combine Rendell's two chosen specialities: the police procedural and the psychological thriller ... The act of cross-pollination proves most fruitful and triumphantly demonstrates that a vault, in addition to being an underground chamber, can also be a leap of imagination.

21/07/2011

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The Independent

Jane Jakeman

This mystery is also an enormously enjoyable panorama of London and a hymn of love to its Georgian houses, which Rendell has followed through their varied fortunes from mansions to slums and back again to become the multi-million properties of the rich. She, and Wexford, are the sharpest modern observers of the "Great Wen".

05/08/2011

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The Sunday Times

Joan Smith

Superb … One of many clever things about the new novel is that it offers a tantalising mystery for readers unfamiliar with the earlier book [A Sight for Sore Eyes], while anyone who remembers it will know how some — but not all — of the corpses ended up there.

31/07/2011

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The Spectator

Andrew Taylor

The Vault is a little too discursive to be Rendell at her very best, and Wexford sometimes seems to be too good to be true. But the novel is sharp, astringent and humane. Even a second-division Wexford novel is something to be cherished.

30/07/2011

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