I've recently been looking at catching myself up on reading some of the "classic mysteries". The first Ruth Rendell book wasn't bad, but by this second book, she really found her voice. Brilliant psychological examination that fooled me as to where it was going, right up until the very end. Loved it!
A Beautiful Blend
This book blends Ruth Rendell's two styles beautifully -- the more straightforward, police detective style, with the sober Inspector Wexford; and the psychological exploration and extensive point-of-view writing she usually publishes as Barbara Vine. Terrific!
Inspector Wexford is certain that the right man was executed for a vicious murder 16 years ago. But when the future father-in-law of the murderer's daughter begins his own investigation, Wexford must re-examine the case that won him a promotion and "made" his career. A fast-paced, excellent read.
It was a brutal, vicious crime -- sixteen years old. A helpless old woman battered to death with an axe. Harry Painter hung for it, and Chief Inspector Wexford is certain they executed the right man. But Reverend Archery has doubts . . . because his son wants to marry the murderer's beautiful, brilliant daughter. He begins unravelling the past, only to discover that murder breeds murder -- and often conceals even deeper secrets . . .