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The Vault: An Inspector Wexford Novel by Ruth Rendell

The Book:

The discovery of four dead bodies under a manhole cover by the house owner brings about a massive investigation. It appears that three of these bodies were buried or rather put there at one time and twelve years later a fourth body was added. The questions arise as to who discovered this vault after so many years and used it to hide one more death.

Chief Inspector Wexford is pulled into this case by a friend in spite of being retired. He also has a personal tragedy to deal with when his daughter is stabbed by her much younger lover. Will he deal with the pressures of his personal life sanely and yet manage to solve this case?

The View:

Honestly when I picked this book I did not expect too much from it. I was anticipating a major disappointment as the first few chapters were way out there. Too many characters, names and past references and the slow agonizing read threw me off. That is, till I refused to let go and read further into the book.

I liked Inspector Wexford and his style of working. The fact that he was retired and did not have a professional backing to do the kind of job he was doing was something that perplexed me. It would have been more authentic if he had to rely on his friend for certain fact-finding that can otherwise not be done by a person with an official id. I also didn’t care too much about his personal tragedy as I felt it was thrust into the story rather forcefully.

After the initial slow pace, the story took speed and I enjoyed reading it after that. The clues unravelled quite smartly and led to one another adding a lot of anticipation to the read. The plot itself was unique and had a lot of diversity in the characters that were involved. Rated a 4 on 5 if you can get past the initial slowness.