The woods outside of Kingsmarkham were lovely, dark, and deep. And they were about to vanish forever when the new highway cut through them. While Chief Inspector Wexford privately despaired about the loss of his hiking grounds, local residents and outsiders were organizing a massive protest. Some of them were desperate enough to kidnap five hostages and threaten to kill them. One hostage was Wexford's wife, Dora. Now, combining high technology with his extraordinary detecting skills, Wexford and his team race to find the kidnappers' whereabouts. Because someone has crossed from political belief to fanaticism, and as the first body is found, good intentions may become Wexford's personal path to hell.
One of Rendell's best (and Rendell never disappoints). An investigation into kidnapping and murder become personal for Inspector Wexford when his beloved wife, Dora, is among a group of hostages taken by an apparently radical conservation group who want a highway bypass project halted permanently. We see a very human Wexford here, who (along with his wife) sympathizes with those who want the project halted to spare forestland, wetlands, and wildlife. We see him in despair when his wife is taken hostage, but a shortage of police man-power preclude his superiors from taking him off the case. A great, fast-paced read.
Inspector Wexford case this time involves something more personal. This time his wife Dora has been taken hostage and he fears for her life. In "Road Rage," the respected inspector looks closely at an environmental issue, as construction of a new highway is about to render the harmonious setting of Kingsmarkham asunder. Dora happens to be actively engaged in opposing the construction, so much so that she is kidnapped. It is up to Wexford to unravel all the knots in this case, and to try to stay as professional as possible in so doing. The kidnappers have threatened to kill their hostages if their demands are not met. Wexford and trusty assistant Mike Burden are put to the test in this thriller.
Ruth Rendell is one of the really good English mystery novelists. Her crime stories are always readable and entertaining. In addition, her writing is very elegant, and she observes the world around us with a keen eye.
Chief Inspector Wexford is losing his favorite hiking grounds to the new highway. Residents organize a protest. Five hostages are kidnapped, including Wexford's wife, Dora. High technology is called on to seek the kidnappers' whereabouts.
I haven't personally read this book, but have read other books by Rendell. She is a master storyteller and this book is no exception. She always has a twist or a surprise that will catch you off guard. This book involves the kidnapping of Chief Inspector Wexford's wife.
From the book back:
A by-pass is planned in Kingsmarkham that will destroy its peace and natural habitat for ever. Dora Wexford joins the protest, but the Chief Inspector must be more circumspect; trouble is expected.
As the protesters begin to make their presence felt, a young woman's badly decomposed body is unearthed. Burden believes he knows the murderer's identity but Wexford is not convinced. Furthermore, having just become a grandfather, he is struggling to put aside his familial responsibilities and emotions in order to do his job.
The case progresses, and the protest excalates. And alarmingly, a number of people begin to disappear, including Dora Wexford...
'One of the greatest novelists presently at work in our language... a writer whose work should by read by anyone who either enjoys a brilliant mystery - or distinguished literature'