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End in Tears (Inspector Wexford #20)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  1,657 ratings  ·  171 reviews
The award-winning author of Babes in the Woods and The Rottweiler brings us another gripping Inspector Wexford novel.

A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The driver behind is spared. But only for a while...

One particular member of the local press is gunning for the Chief Inspector, di
Audio, 0 pages
Published July 18th 2006 by Random House Audio (first published 2005)
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END IN TEARS. (2005). Ruth Rendell. ****.
It’s a good thing that I usually write down the names of characters in books as I go through a book, along with a brief description of who they are as they appear in the plot. If I didn’t, I would be lost half-way through this novel by Ms. Rendell. It features her protagonist Wexford, the head of the police in Kingsmarkham, a small city in England. The story moves along nicely, but, frankly, there are just too many characters. Even with my crib sheet, I
Lois Bouchard
I really liked this book but found it a little confusing at times. There was a large number of characters. I sometimes had to go back and review who they were.
I liked the feeling I got for the small British towns and surrounding .woods. I thought her characterizations were excellent. I developed vivid images of the players in this drama.
Bulent Yusuf
Tedious, middle-class claptrap! A book peopled by insulting stereotypes in service of a meandering plot. My first Rendell, and most certainly the last.
Sexist crap. Racist crap. Stereotypical clichés crap. A whole bunch of plot holes. Useless family background stories to bolster up the sexist agenda. There really are not a lot of good things I could say about this book.

A girl is killed and Inspector Wexford takes over the case. He and his team investigate the death of Amber and then another girl is killed as well. There is a connection between the two so the investigation proceeds gradually to an unbelievable and unrealistic end.

I found this bo
END IN TEARS (Pol Proc-CI Wexford, England-Cont) – Okay
Rendell, Ruth - 21st in series
Crown Publishers, 2005, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780307339768

First sentence: When he lifted it off the seat the backpack felt heavier than when he had first put it into the car.

Chief Inspector Wexford and team are investigating the bludgeoning death of 17-year-old Amber Marshalson. The case takes on an extra dimension when they realize Amber was the actual intended victim when a piece of concrete had been dropped f
Bookmarks Magazine

Ruth Rendell's quality work is both a blessing and a curse. With over 20 Wexford novels__and an even greater number outside the series and under her pseudonym Barbara Vine__reviewers have had ample opportunity to relish her characterizations and get wise to her narrative proclivities. Here they identify a case of the strengths of Rendell's writing (characterization and the use of metaphor) playing second fiddle to the contrivances of a thriller. Plot twists abound for those into neck-snapping pl

This gets 3 stars because I can't really rate anything by this author lower. However, I was somewhat disappointed in it. Other reviewers (on Amazon) have noted that it's like two books, splitting in the middle and losing the plot (pun intended) to an extent. I've read lots of Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine books and think they are the usually among the best of both the police procedural and psychological crime genres. This one starts out promisingly and the first half is a pleasure to read, but t ...more
Melinda Worfolk
Yes, more Wexford. My brain must be a bit taxed at the moment! Time for pleasant comfort reading. Rendell does get more grumpy and reactionary with each book, though she remains sly and entertaining.

(I'm reading this as an e-book with the font size cranked up, so every once in a while I glance at how many pages I've got left and am startled to see it says something like "475 of 860 pages." So I guess I'm about...halfway done then.)
Lake Oz Fic Chick
With the publication of End in Tears, the incomparable Ruth Rendell has now written twenty-some books of psychological suspense featuring Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford. In this story, teenage mother Amber Marshalson is found dead after a night clubbing with her friends. Soon after, the body of one of her friends turns up. Why did both of the girls travel to Frankfurt some months back? Where did Amber get two thousand pounds? Were the two girls involved with drugs? Was it blackmail? And what a ...more
I started this book on audio CD and finished by reading it. I'm not sure if the first half is much better than the last half or if it is just more a satisfying book when consumed by listening to John Lee voice the characters. Hearing the accents of various characters made them more enjoyable.

The mystery unfolds over several months which is a nice change of pace for the usual fiction where the mystery is solved in about 3 days.

A number of interlocking stories about changing moral standards and in
Not her best work but still entertaining. Teenage mother Amber Marshalson is found dead in the woods by her distraught father. Her infant son left to the care of grandparents who don't want him. The only witness, a dog walker says she saw a figure in a hood but little else. Later a friend of Amber's, Megan is murdered as well. Chef Inspector Wexford investigates these murders while going home to his daughter Sylvia who is giving up her baby to another woman. Wexford is not happy about this but w ...more
Another wonderful entry in the Wexford series--I haven't read one of these mysteries in several years and this book was a very good reminder of Rendell's storytelling abilities. She writes about interesting characters, modern dilemmas, complex relationships and realistic moral ambiguities.
In truth I bought into the obligatory red herring earlier than Wexford himself does but it turned out that it was only part of the solution. There was a surprise in store for him as well as for me.
Audrey K.
As I learned while reading this book, and reading other goodreads' reviews of the book, it was helpful for me to keep a character list. The author introduced over 40 characters, of varying importance, and their names can easily become confusing! There were many street names, neighborhood names, and even house names mentioned in the book. These, also, were tricky for me to keep straight. Inspector Wexford is British, and the U.K. is the location of this murder mystery. The British go about solvin ...more
Fabulous. One of the best of the Wexford series. The murder mystery itself is great, and the side stories about Sylvia and about Bal and Hannah are also great.

This is my second time through this one (this time as an audiobook, last time as a paperback). It's dawned on me that the subplots about Sylvia are better than those about Sheila. I've been reading about this family for more than 20 years, and yet I learn new things about them with each re-read.

The initial build up was interesting, but as with many other mystery thrillers, the end couldnot sustain the thrill. Wexford and his team, as usual, tried their best, and were successful at the end. And kudos to them. I liked the interplay between the various detectives, and the tidbits about their personal lives. The story revolves around two young adult females, of opposite social strata, educational status and attraction potentials being killed at weeks apart, and their association comes to l ...more
Ruth Rendell at her worst is better than most. This was middling for Rendell, which is to say, not a bad book. I found the ultra PC detective sargeant a bit annoying, and I didn't care for the way the multiple storylines all climaxed together, but overall enjoyed it.
This audiobook kept us entertained and curious for a couple of long drives. Wexford's fellow investigators are almost as interesting as the mystery to be solved. This story was all about babies - and surrogacy, as a side line. A lot of the baby stuff was pretty hard to swallow - Wexford's own daughter was acting as a surrogate for her ex husband and his new girlfriend...childless women were willingly duped into spending thousands of dollars to magically have a baby with no pregnancy... just too ...more
Sari Gilbert
One of the best Wexfords!!!!

Somehow, I had missed this Wexford and stumbled across it the other day while fiddling Round on my Kindle looking for the most recent which I will be reading soon. The result? I have spent the last three bedtimes rushing through it, glued to every word. I must admit I am not a big fan of Ruth Rendell's other (non-Wexford) books but I love this series and I love the main character and the adjuncts as well. Yes, I suppose there is a bit of contrivance in the plot but Re
Most of the time, I am reading ebooks, but this was an actual paperback. Perhaps I am missing the point, but it seemed to me that there was less Chief Inspector Wexford in this one. The Inspector is called in when two young women are killed brutally. It ends up that they are involved in a money making scheme of surrogacy, preying upon unwitting couples who want to have children. I didn't really care what happened to some of these characters. Guess I'll save the other Ruth Rendell book I have to ...more
I've read and liked Ruth Rendell books before but I really didn't care for this one. The plot was extremely (it seemed to me) convoluted but what I mostly disliked was the Politically Correct police officer. Not just the character but the way she and her attitude dominated the story. Possibly the intention was to demonstrate the influence her personal views had on solving the mystery -obstructive and detrimental - but I felt it was also obstructive and detrimental to my enjoyment of the story.

I've long been a great fan of Ruth Rendell's (and Barbara Vine's!) standalone psychological thrillers, but somehow I've never taken as much to her Inspector Wexford mysteries . . . even though I was devoted to their tv adaptations, many years ago, starring the excellent George Baker. The early books in the series didn't quite hook me the way various of their rivals did; the later ones seem to me undecided as to whether to be psychological thrillers or detective novels, and end up dithering somew
The basic mystery here is the murder of two young women. Young Amber is murdered late at night, on her way home from a nightclub in London. Her friend Megan is murdered some days later.

Inspector Wexford is leading the hunt, with several on his team. We are treated to not only the investigation of the case itself but to incidents in the lives of Hannah and Bat as well as Wexford and his family.

The case becomes complex. There are many avenues to investigate, some of which come to have nothing to
Inspector Reg Wexford is something of a dinosaur, albeit a respected one, in the Kingsbridge Constabulary. As usually happens as people age, he is more and more discomposed by current societal attitudes and mores, while his younger colleagues take them for granted. It's a good thing that Reg has some skilled and trusted younger colleagues upon whom to rely, because, while he's a fine detective, he hasn't kept up with important technological advances. On the other hand, 30-ish DS Hannah Goldsmith ...more
Tina Siegel
I hate to say it, but my first Ruth Rendell really disappointed. The narrative was confusing (too many characters and different people getting different information at different times constantly), the parallels (between police work and personal life) too contrived, and Hannah too odious. I think Rendell meant her to be a strong, female character, but ended up with someone so judgmental and humourless that she became the worse kind of feminist stereotype...and, in the end, all she wanted was a ma ...more
I had high expectations for this book. After all, it was written by one of the British Grand Dames of Mysteries, Ruth Rendell. I was sorely disappointed. I found it extremely convoluted and heavy to read. There were far too many story threads and some of the important characters were so forgettable that it was difficult to see how they fit in to the solution when it mattered. There were so many red herrings it was ludicrous.
It was definitly not a good time for me to read this book, as I've been feeling a bit down and sad. And Ruth Rendell books are always a bit depressive, full of psychological stuff and lots of bla bla bla... It didn't get my attention, I found it a bit boring and was really tired of the book when I was halfway through it. Many times I just forgot what I had read and was a bit lost in the story. I'm not saying it was a bad book, just bad timing of mine...

The ending was a little better than the res
Pmalcpoet Pat Malcolm
The main plot was as tight as ever, but much of the book was given over to Hannah, the sargeant who seems more interested in appearances and social correctness than in doing her job. No wonder she walks straight into a trap! Burden is as unlikable as ever. Wexford is at odds with his daughter Sheila and with his wife! The characterization of the suspects is unusually thin. Not Ms Rendell's best offering, by far.
Oct 23, 2007 Stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with half a brain
I found this one of Rendell's more satisfying Wexford mysteries (OK, I admit it: I prefer the novels she writes as Barbara Vine.) Every once in a while, Dame Ruth lets a little sentimentality creep into her writing, as she did with this book. I think it works to the story's advantage. I love ultra-PC Sergeant Hannah Goldsmith's silent grapples with Inspector Wexford...I see a lot of myself in her, though I daresay my own feminist sensibilities have mellowed as I've gotten older.

Inspector Burden
I love the main characters in this series (Wexford, Dora, Burden) but some of the peripheral characters (Hannah, Bal) were written as stereotypes. Rendell is usually so excellent at characterization that it was jarring. But overall I still liked the book very much - she just writes excellent mysteries even if some of the characters seem one-sided to me.
A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The driver behind, a young mother, is spared. But only for a while. Then another young woman dies.

Chief Inspector Wexford, with his old friend and partner, Mike Burden, along with two new recruits to the Kingsmarkham team, pursue their inquiries that quickly become very complicated - drugs? surrogate mothers? baby selling/buying?

I have always liked Ruth Rendell's stories
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A.K.A. Barbara Vine

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, was an acclaimed English crime writer, known for her many psychological thrillers and murder mysteries.
More about Ruth Rendell...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Wexford (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1)
  • A New Lease of Death (Inspector Wexford, #2)
  • Wolf to the Slaughter (Inspector Wexford, #3)
  • The Best Man to Die (Inspector Wexford, #4)
  • A Guilty Thing Surprised (Inspector Wexford, #5)
  • No More Dying Then (Inspector Wexford, #6)
  • Murder Being Once Done (Inspector Wexford, #7)
  • Some Lie and Some Die (Inspector Wexford, #8)
  • Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9)
  • A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)
From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1) A Judgement in Stone The Babes in the Wood (Inspector Wexford, #19) A Sight for Sore Eyes Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15)

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