Saturday, January 24, 2015

No More Dying ThenNo More Dying Then by Ruth Rendell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have just finished reading "No More Dying Then" by Ruth Rendell. It was only after an Internet search that I have found out that I had read another book of hers, "From Doon With Death", which I even review here, on Goodreads. Through that search I have learned that Ms. Rendell suffered a stroke just about 20 days ago. I hope her health will improve.

The novel has not made a strong impression on me. It is written well, the plot is quite complex and relatively interesting, and the denouement is unexpected and clever, yet I am unable to find anything memorable in the book (similarly to the other book, which I have completely forgotten in one year). To me, it is just a standard psychological crime novel, perhaps a little above the average. I have very recently rated Karin Fossum's "Black Seconds" with five stars. Both novels concern very similar topic - disappearances of children - yet I find Ms. Fossum's work about two levels of excellence higher. Maybe it shows just how ignorant I am about the crime genre. After all, Ms. Rendell is an extremely successful writer of crime novels and mysteries, and she has received incredible number of awards from critics and readers (she has also written as Barbara Vine).

A five-year-old boy disappears in a town in Sussex and Chief Inspector Wexford leads the investigation. This brings back the memories of an event that happened about a year earlier - the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl, which still remains unexplained. The police seek connections between the two events. Inspector Burden, who seems to be the main character in the novel, is a part of the investigative team, but he does not help much because of his depression caused by the recent death of his wife, and other serious personal problems. So it is up to Wexford to solve the case.

I intended to rate the book with three stars, but the denouement is given in the form of Wexford's monologue, during which the Chief Inspector patiently explains to his friend, a doctor (Holmes and Watson come to mind), every single thing that has happened. To me, this is a trite and cliché way of ending a crime novel.

Two and three quarter stars.

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