Ruth Rendell is my favorite mystery writer but only with her psychological suspense/mystery books and not her Inspector Wexford police procedural series which this book is one. Nevertheless, I did like this book and was less bored than usual at all the questioning of suspects that Wexford and his partner, Burden, had to do. A woman is found brutally murdered in a quarry during a rock concert, dressed in a mauve dress she would not ordinarily wear. Wexford and Burden question the residents who live near the quarry who lie at first but finally tell the truth as pressure mounts from Wexford's relentless returns and questionings. Wexford is adept at putting a case together step by logical step which is interesting to read. However, he's quite a bland character and I find it hard to have any feelings towards him. Burden is much more emotional but appears inept and can be annoying at times. The other characters depicted are much more interesting, especially the trio of the rock star who was the headline act at the festival and his two "slaves" - a married couple who have their own reasons for catering to this "star's" desires. All are suspects but as usual, I wasn't able to guess the identity of the killer. Besides the peripheral characters, what I enjoyed the most from this book are the author's simplicity of writing and her intricate but plausible plot. I've read a lot of Ruth Rendell's books and it's no wonder to me why she has won so many awards.
An intriguing and engaging British mystery novel.