more than an ordinary mystery, it grips you with a tale involving the
entire villiage..great mystery writer
"Wonderful...Rendell, as usual , gives us .. more than a mere mystery here...a multilayered construction." Pittsbirgh Post-Gazette
In the midst of severe flooding, two young teens (13 and 15 years old) and their caretaker go missing from their home in a small city in England while their parents are away for a few days. Their mother insists that they have drowned and the local police accommodate by calling in Subaqua, a team of underwater searchers. Chief Inspector Wexford believes the drowning theory is flawed but his superior officer insists on focusing resources on it and nowhere else.
Thus time is wasted that could be spent doing a more fruitful search.
Initially, Wexford suspects that the caretaker, Joanna Troy, has for some reason abducted the teens. His investigation centers on who she is and what she has done in the past. He also is interested in young Giles Dade, the 15-year-old teen, and his conversion to an odd fundamentalist church. But his work is cut out for him as he encounters character after character who do not seem to be telling the truch.
As is typical with Rendell books, we are treated to a wide range of persons and motives for their actions. We also get to know Wexell's feelings about his own daughters and their choices of mates, as these stories do not stay only with the case.
All three missing persons are found and a case of possible murder is developed.
Eventually Wexell threads his way through and puts it all together and the right persons are arrested. But only after getting inside many people and getting to understand why they do what they do. Rendell has a deep understanding of psychology and does not stick with simple characters. Each book adds to our understanding of Wexell as well as of human nature in general.
From Pittsburg Post-Gazette: "Wonderful ... Rendell, as usual, gives us more than a mere mystery here. Her novel is a multilayered construction in which a case acts itself out amid nature's dark forces and the even darker forces that shape the psyches of the village inhabitants."
This book is one of Ruth Rendell's Detective Wexford novels. Good who done it that surprised me at the end though I had the general area right. Story of a missing babysitter and the two adolescents she's watching. Good plotting and superb psychological insight, the latter an area the author excels in as attested by her many awards. What surprised me even more than the revelation of the murderer was the revelation of the babysitter's true character.
A classic police who-dunnit, where the mystery is unraveled through legwork, and talking to everyone, more than once. Little or no forensics, which put me off a bit.