Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ruth Rendell - An Unkindness of Ravens

Rodney Williams's disappearance seems typical to Chief Inspector Wexford -- a simple case of a man running off with a woman other than his wife.
But when another woman reports that her husband is missing, the case turns unpleasantly complex.
Are the two disappearances connected? In her inimitable, suspenseful way, Ruth Rendell has fashioned a terrific mystery that keeps you guessing till the final pages.

Comment: This title was one of the chosen ones by one of my book clubs. I had never read anything by the author and the only thing I knew is that she is British. I got my copy at the library because I wasn't convinced I could like it, so it was nice not to have spend money on it. I end up enjoying the read, but it didn't rock my world.

Let's see if I can summarize the plot, so, this all starts with one of the detective Wexford's neighbor missing. At first it was believed she had run away with another woman, leaving his wife and children. But as time went by, new clues would pop up and things weren't as simple as that and the missing neighbor's life wasn't as plain as people thought. He had a secret and from the moment we know that, it's almost like the rest of the domino pieces start tumbling down.

I wasn't very eager to start the book. But I was also curious why someone would have suggested it in the first place, so I decided to give it a try.
The book is a mystery, very much in the liens of Agatha Christie, but having now read the two of them, Agatha is far superior. The reader was told things in a very slow pace and usually after things happened, so there was no other option but wait to see what would happen.It doesn't mean it was a bad thing, it's clearly the author's style, nothing wrong with it, it's just something one can't help but notice.
the story has several elements, obviously from author's research, and quite interesting, like feminist societies, how to look for clues in different writing machines, and so on. It all made a very interesting book, offering quite the few ideas for thought. I think if an author can manage to insert some sort of cultural idea in the story so the reader can wonder about it, it's at least a good effort to make the book more readable. I certainly enjoyed it.
As far as the characters go, some of them were very interesting and provided some good scenes and thoughts. I was very curious over the whys of some of their actions. At some point I suspected one or two of them weren't as simple as they looked and I was proved right when I found out who the villains were. I think it's not such a surprise after some point because the clues become a little bit obvious. Not how but the who's, definitely so.
The book isn't very big. I managed to read it fast and I didn't finish sooner because of other things to do. This book apparently is the #13 in a series with that detective, but as fas as I could see, there's no connection between books, the series is a series only due to the presence of detective Wexford.  I was thinking, should I recommend this' If someone likes mystery books along the British style, then I guess so. Otherwise, I think apart from the solution, obviously right at the end, it can be a bit too slow...
Still, I'm glad I tried it because there's nothing better than to try for yourself to see if it works.

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