book log: 72) Ruth Rendell — End in Tears

20th in the Inspector Wexford series. A man lies awake worrying about his daughter who’s out late. She’s often out late, but that doesn’t stop him worrying, and this time he’s right. When he goes out at first light to look for her, what he finds is her murdered body.

Wexford’s worrying about his own daughter, who has announced that she’s going to be a surrogate mother for her ex-husband and his new partner. The murder of a teenage single mother is a little too close to home for him. And that’s before there is a second murder of a young woman. The murders are clearly linked, but how?

The plot’s good, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I have some of the earlier Wexfords. A major part of this is that Wexford’s sidekick is such a cardboard stereotype of a humourless politically correct social justice activist who can’t see her own prejudices that I felt I was being lectured. I nearly abandoned the book because I found it so irritating. I don’t regret sticking with it, but it’s not one I’m inclined to re-read.


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