At first there was no reason to link the killings. In fact, the first death could easily have been called an accident. When the car driven by Mavis Ambrose is struck by a falling chunk of concrete and she is killed, the police have absolutely no reason to suspect foul play in her death. However, the bludgeoning of gorgeous eighteen-year-old Amber Marshalson that follows several months later is clearly murder.
In the midst of the hottest summer on record, Inspector Wexford is called in to investigate the Marshalson case. He quickly discovers a potential link between Mavis' death and Amber's murder: Amber was driving the car directly behind Mavis' when the piece of concrete crushed it. Whatever other ties both cases might have, Inspector Wexford is certain of one thing: whoever wanted the teenager dead was willing to kill twice.
When a third body is found, the case takes a completely unexpected and quite a darkly disturbing turn. And as Inspector Wexford investigates the case further - the darker such realities become. In fact, the more Inspector Wexford digs into the case - and the closer that he gets to solving it - the more it inevitably leaves him feeling adrift; absolutely lost in a world that is seemingly without morals.
I have always enjoyed reading Ruth Rendell's books and this one was no exception. I have actually read several earlier books from this series many, many years ago. However, while I'm not sure if it is because this is a later mystery in a rather long series or not, I will say that I found the mystery to be remarkably more complex than I was expecting. I had some trouble keeping all the characters straight in my mind, so the mystery became just the slightest bit confusing to me. Despite that, I would still give this book an A!