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Ruth Rendell

One of the world's greatest ever thriller and murder mystery writers, Ruth Rendell was born on 17 February, 1930 in South Woodford, Essex and died on 2 May, 2015. The creator of Chief Inspector Wexford, she also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine.

Ruth published her debut novel From Doon with Death in 1964 (which featured Wexford as the protagonist) and sold over 20 million copies worldwide. A regular Sunday Times bestseller, she won many awards over the course of her career and was awarded a CBE in 1996 and a Life Peerage (giving her the title Baroness) in 1997.



Ruth Rendell Books

  • Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford Collection - 10 Books - Collection - 9781784752866 - Ruth Rendell
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    • Just £1.10 per book
    Ruth Rendell was one of the most beloved crime authors of her generation and this 10-book collection contains some of her finest work.

    Focusing on Chief Inspector Wexford and his various cases, these books are riveting from the very first page. Wexford will have to solve the case of a father finding the murdered body of his own daughter; take on the near-impossible task of identifying an unidentified body that has been buried for ten years or so and decide if it's related to a new body found in similar circumstances; and investigate the disappearance of two teenage sisters during the worst rain in living memory...

    Intelligent writing full of heart, these are books that any lover of crime fiction should be reading and they showcase the talent of one of the UK's best ever thriller writers.
  • AOJJZ
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    The dazzling new novel from Ruth Rendell. When the bones of two severed hands are discovered in a box, an investigation into a long buried crime of passion begins. And a group of friends, who played together as children, begin to question their past. 'For Woody, anger was cold. Cold and slow. But once it had started it mounted gradually and he could think of nothing else. He knew he couldn't stay alive while those two were alive. Instead of sleeping, he lay awake in the dark and saw those hands. Anita's narrow white hand with the long nails painted pastel pink, the man's brown hand equally shapely, the fingers slightly splayed.' Beneath the green meadows of Loughton, Essex, a dark network of tunnels has been dug. A group of children discover them. They play there. It becomes their place. Seventy years on, the world has changed. Developers have altered the rural landscape. Friends from a half-remembered world have married, died, grown sick, moved - or disappeared. Work on a new house called Warlock uncovers a long buried grisly secret. And a weary detective, more preoccupied with current crimes, must investigate a case of murder. In all her novels, Ruth Rendell digs deep beneath the surface to investigate the secrets of the human psyche. The interconnecting tunnels of Loughton in The Girl Next Door lead to no single destination. But the relationships formed there, and the incidents that occurred, exert a profound influence - not only on the survivors but in unearthing the true nature of the mysterious past.
  • BKHKH
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    A businessman boasts about cheating on his wife, only to find his own back to the wall. A beautiful country rectory reverberates to the echo of a historical murder. A compulsive liar finds herself caught out by an act of impulsive revenge. Atmospheric, mysterious and never predictable, these are among the nine short stories of dark deeds and heart-stopping suspense collected here for the first time. Pull the curtains, settle into a chair and read on as Ruth Rendell turns the screw of psychological suspense in her inimitable style. The stories are: A Spot of Folly; An Irony of Hate; The Haunting of Shawley Rectory; A Drop Too Much; Paradise; The Thief; The Long Corridor of Time; In the Time of his Prosperity and Trebuchet
  • AUAFR
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    When Carl sells a box of slimming pills to his close friend Stacey, inadvertently causing her death, he sets in train a sequence of catastrophic events which begin with subterfuge, extend to lies, and culminate in murder. In Rendell's dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense, we encounter mistaken identity, kidnap, blackmail, and a cast of characters who are so real that we come to know them better than we know ourselves. Infused with her distinctive blend of wry humour, acute observation and deep humanity, this is Rendell at her most memorable and best.
  • ABTUA
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  • ABUVD
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    Searching for truffles in a wood, a man and his dog unearth something less savoury - a human hand. The body, as Chief Inspector Wexford is informed later, has lain buried for ten years or so, wrapped in a purple cotton sheet. The post mortem cannot reveal the precise cause of death. The only clue is a crack in one of the dead man's ribs. Although it covers a relatively short period of time, the police computer stores a long list of missing persons. Men, women and children disappear at an alarming rate, something like 500 every day nationwide. So Wexford knows he is going to have a job on his hands to identify the corpse. And then, only about twenty yards away from the woodland burial site, in the cellar of a disused cottage, another body is found. The detection skills of Wexford, Burden and the other investigating officers of the Kingsmarkham Police Force are tested to the utmost to discover whether the murders are connected and to track down whoever is responsible.
  • AUAKO
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    Murder, corruption, blackmail. All these are part of someone else's world, not part of the everyday lives of ordinary people...or are they? This is a collection of sinister stories from the bestselling author who won The Sunday Times Literary Award for 1990.
  • ABTTZ
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    Her white face, beautiful, unmarked by any flaw of skin or feature, stared blankly back at him. He fancied that she had cringed, her slim body pressing further into the wall behind her He didn't speak. He had never known how to talk to women. There was only one thing he had ever been able to do to women and, advancing now, smiling, he did it. Then, when it was all over, he straightened her against the wall so that she would be ready to die for him again. It was the best thing in his life, just knowing she was there, waiting until the next time...But one day she wasn't there waiting...
  • ABTYU
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    It seems fitting that the final resting place of a girl's body should be in a graveyard. But this is no peaceful burial. This is a brutal murder scene. On strict orders from his doctor, Wexford is sent to London for a break away from the pressures of the Kingsmarkham constabulary. But then he discovers his nephew Howard is heading the investigation into the macabre murder of Loveday Morgan, whose body was found abandoned in Kenbourne Cemetery. Despite opposition from Howard and his team Wexford is drawn to the case. And when he unearths Loveday's connection to a religious cult whose leader was imprisoned for sexual abuse, he relentlessly pursues this sinister new lead...
  • ABTYQ
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    It's impossible to forget the violent bludgeoning to death of an elderly lady in her home. Even more so when it's your first murder case. Wexford believed he'd solved Mrs Primero's murder fifteen years ago. It was no real mystery. Everyone knew Painter, her odd-job man, had done it. There had never been any doubt in anyone's mind. Until now ...Henry Archery's son is engaged to Painter's daughter. Only Archery can't let the past remain buried. He wants to prove Wexford wrong and in probing into the lives of the witnesses questioned all those years ago, he stirs up more than old ghosts.
  • ABTZL
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    Philip Wardman had more than just the ordinary squeamishness where death was concerned. Yet he could hardly avoid the suspicious disappearance of his sister's friend Rebecca Neave, especially when everyone was ascribing the cause to murder. Philip's feminine ideal is the statue of the Roman goddess Flora in his mother's garden. His marble Flora doesn't fade, doesn't alter, doesn't die. But then he meets Senta Pelham, a beautiful, sensual, childlike actress who flagrantly disdains the morals of society and passionately desires the elusive Philip.
  • AIGVU 5 years +
    5 years +
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    This is a charming story of a cat and a dog who live on the same street for younger readers, from bestselling author Ruth Rendell. Archie the cat and Archie the dog live next door to each other on a street full of feline friends and foes. Read about their adventures - including Archie the cat spending a scary night trapped in a neighbour's attic - in this gentle, lyrical, completely charming book for younger readers. It is perfect for all animal lovers.
  • AUAKS
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    The twelfth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. Wherever Reggie Wexford goes, death and intrigue are close on his heels. Having just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime holiday in China, Wexford finds himself haunted by memories of the old woman with bound feet who mysteriously followed him from one city to the next and the man who tragically drowned. Now, back in England, he finds himself investigating the murder of a fellow tourist. Knowing that the clue to these three mysteries lies in the East, Wexford turns his investigative skills to that place of unfathomable and sinister depths...
  • ALKKL
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    No Man's Nightingale: the eagerly anticipated twenty-fourth title in Ruth Rendell's bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series. The woman vicar of St Peter's Church may not be popular among the community of Kingsmarkham. But it still comes as a profound shock when she is found strangled in her vicarage. Inspector Wexford is retired, but he retains a relish for solving mysteries especially when they are as close to home as this one is. So when he's asked whether he will assist on the case, he readily agrees. But why did the vicar die? And is anyone else in Kingsmarkham in danger? What Wexford doesn't know is that the killer is far closer than he, or anyone else, thinks.
  • AACUI
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    Searching for truffles in a wood, a man and his dog unearth something less savory. The body, as Chief Inspector Wexford is informed later, has lain buried for ten years or so, and the post-mortem can not reveal the precise cause of death. Wexford knows it will be a difficult job to identify the corpse. Although it covers a relatively short period of time, the police computer stores a long list of missing persons. People disappear at an alarming rate - hundreds each day. When another body is found nearby, the detection skills of Wexford, Burden and the other investigating officers of the Kingsmarkham Police Force are tested to the utmost to discover whether the deaths are connected and to track down whoever is responsible.'Compulsively readable' - "The Scotsman". 'Rendell never fails to come up trumps' - "Irish Times". 'Wexford is as solid and reliable as ever' - "Birmingham Post". 'As ever, Rendell writes both literately and perceptively about her characters and the world they live in' - "Spectator".
  • AANGQ
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    'He had never told anyone. The strange relationship, if it could be called that, had gone on for years, decades, and he had never breathed a word about it. He had kept silent because he knew no one would believe him. None of it could be proved, not the stalking, not the stares or the conspiratorial smiles, not the killings, not any of the signs Targo had made because he knew Wexford knew and could do nothing about it'. Wexford had almost made up his mind that he would never again set eyes on Eric Targo's short, muscular figure. And yet there he was, back in Kingsmarkham, still with that cocky, strutting walk. Years earlier, when Wexford was a young police officer, a woman called Elsie Carroll had been found strangled in her bedroom. Although many still had their suspicions that her husband was guilty, no one was convicted. Another woman was strangled shortly afterwards, and every personal and professional instinct told Wexford that the killer was still at large. And it was Eric Targo. A psychopath who would kill again...As the Chief Inspector investigates a new case, Ruth Rendell looks back to the beginning of Wexford's career, even to his courtship of the woman who would become his wife. The past is a haunted place, with clues and passions that leave an indelible imprint on the here and now.
  • ACFEE
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    When Stuart Font decides to throw a house-warming party in his new flat, he invites all the people in his building. After some deliberation, he even includes the unpleasant caretaker and his wife. There are a few other genuine friends on the list, but he definitely does not want to include his girlfriend, Claudia, as that might involve asking her husband. The party will be one everyone remembers. But not for the right reasons. All the occupants of Lichfield House are about to experience a dramatic change in their lives...Living opposite, in reclusive isolation, is a young, beautiful Asian woman, christened Tigerlily by Stuart. As though from some strange urban fairytale, she emerges to exert a terrible spell. And Mr and Mrs Font, the worried parents, will have even more cause for concern about their handsome but hopelessly naive son. Darkly humorous, piercingly observant of human behaviour, Ruth Rendell has created here another compelling fable of our lives and crimes.
  • ABTYT
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    On a stormy February afternoon, little Stella Rivers disappeared - and was never seen again. There were no clues, no demands and no traces. And there was nowhere else for Wexford and his team to look. All that remained was the cold fear and awful dread that touched everyone in Kingsmarkham. Just months later, another child vanishes - five-year-old John Lawrence. Wexford and Inspector Burden are launched into another investigation and, all too quickly, chilling similarities to the Stella Rivers case emerge. Then the letters begin. Horrifying, evil, threatening letters of a madman. And suddenly Wexford is fighting against time to find the missing boy, before he meets the same fate as poor Stella.
  • ABTXJ
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    After ten years in prison for shooting - and permanently crippling - a young policeman, Victor Jenner is released to a strange new world and told to make a new life for himself. It's hard to fill in the days, but at least there's one blessing - he was never convicted for all those rapes he committed. Then Victor meets David, the policeman he shot, and David's beautiful girlfriend, Clare. And suddenly Victor's new life is starting to look an awful lot like the old one.
  • ABTXM
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    Weeks went by when Ismay never thought of it at all. Then something would bring it back or it would return in a dream. The dream began in the same way. She and her mother would be climbing the stairs, following Heather's lead through the bedroom to what was on the other side, not a bathroom in the dream but a chamber floored and walled in marble. In the middle of it was a glassy lake. The white thing in the water floated towards her, its face submerged, and her mother said, absurdly, "Don't look!"' The dead man was Ismay's stepfather, Guy. Now, nine years on, she and her sister, Heather, still lived in the same house in Clapham. But it had been divided into two self-contained flats. Their mother lived upstairs with her sister, Pamela. And the bathroom, where Guy had drowned, had been demolished. Ismay worked in public relations, and Heather in catering. They got on well. They always had. They never discussed the changes to the house, still less what had happened that August day...But even lives as private as these, where secrets hang in the air like dust, intertwine with other worlds and other individuals. And, with painful inevitability, the truth will emerge.
  • ABTYP
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    No one believed Mr Parsons' fears for his missing wife. Until two days later she was discovered in the woods, her face swollen and her clothes damply clinging to her lifeless body. With no useful witnesses and a victim known only for her mundane life, Chief Inspector Wexford has just one clue: a lipstick found at the scene. To find the killer, Wexford must first discover a motive. Because what he can't understand is how such an unassuming woman became the victim of such a passionate and violent crime.
  • ABTYW
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    Angela Hathall is found strangled in her bed but shockingly the death of this meek and solitary woman sparks little emotion from her husband. Called in to investigate, Wexford's curiosity only deepens when he discovers that the Hathall household has been meticulously cleaned but for a single distinctive palm print. As the case develops Wexford is increasingly frustrated by the seemingly pointless nature of the murder. There is no motive, no weapon and no suspect. Nothing except the unidentified print. But despite the sparse evidence, Wexford is convinced Hathall is hiding something. So when Wexford is taken off the case he decides to take matters into his own hands...
  • ABTYY
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    What connects a kidnapped baby, a woman's body left to rot in a cove in Yugoslavia, a suspicious suicide and the century-old case of a wife who poisons her husband? The answer: Wexford. In the first of five cases, Wexford is brought in to deal with a distraught mother whose baby girl has been swapped with an unknown baby boy. When a local priest discovers the missing baby, safe and sound, on the church steps, the hunt for the missing girl is quickly over. Mother and daughter are happily reunited, but the mystery of the baby boy remains unsolved. Then Wexford discovers Paddy Jasper has returned to Kingsmarkham, a man previously investigated by Wexford for violently abusing a child. Now Wexford fears the next reunion may not be as happy as the last...
  • ABTYZ
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    The tragic death of Manuel Camargue, Kingsmarkham's very own celebrity flautist, is met with a ruling of misadventure. But when, after an absence of nineteen years, Camargue's entrancing daughter Natalie reappears, Dinah, his fiancee goes to Wexford for help. Dinah believes Natalie is not who she claims to be. Knowing there is a large inheritance at stake, Wexford begins to investigate. But then events take a gruesome twist and now, more than ever, Wexford must establish Natalie's true identity.