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Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford #9)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,446 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
The bed was neatly made, and the woman on top neatly strangled.

According to all accounts, Angela Hathall was deeply in love with her husband and far too paranoid to invite an unknown person into their home. So who managed to gain entry and strangle her without a struggle? That is the problem facing Inspector Wexford in Shake Hands Forever. Perhaps it was the mystery woman
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Published April 1st 2011 by AudioGO (first published 1975)
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Mar 03, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rendell Fans,Anglophiles, Literary Crime Lovers
Recommended to Katie by: me
I thought I had it all figured out. I was wrong, again. Per usual, red herrings abound in this Inspector Wexford centered mystery.

A woman is found dead in her home; she's been strangled by what appears to be a gilded necklace. The only evidence? Three coarse hairs and a fingerprint showing a small half-moon scar.

It's 1975, so there aren't any computer data bases, and other modern detective devices, which makes Inspector Wexford's job all the more difficult, and interesting.

Ruth Rendell is a po
Sep 07, 2015 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fiendishly clever story! I was afraid I'd figured out the mystery halfway through, and didn't want that to be the solution: first, because I liked the character who'd've been "guilty"; second, because I didn't want it to be that easy.

I needn't have feared such a thing, although I did have a glimmer of an idea early on but dismissed it. And I'd thought what I considered the solution because that's what Ruth Rendell wanted me to think.

Rare is the book that finds me slowing down as I reach
Aug 28, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am reading Rendell (and Barbara Vine) not because she recently passed away, but because I'd read so many of her books years ago, and rather in a haphazard way. I'd read one, liked it; read another, not liked it. But I remembered 'A Dark-Adapted Eye' as one of my favorites. I was re-reading it when I learned of her passing.

I also remembered how much I did like so many of her books, so now I am reading the Wexford novels, though I couldn't find the first or, or any of numbers 1-8, at my local li
Jun 15, 2012 Trish rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Despite the fact that neither Robert Hathall nor his wife Angela seemed particularly likeable...and that each appeared to outsiders to be as paranoid and "nervy" as all get out, no one seemed to dispute the fact that they were very much in love with each other. There's not much money rolling about--Robert has been married before and his extra cash is destined for alimony and child support. jealousy motive, no money motive, and a poor showing of a burglary motive...why was Angela Hathall ...more
Apr 16, 2016 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Wexford is confronted with the murder of the wife of a local man, but it is anything but a routine case as the clues are few and after complaints by the victims husband the chef tells Wexford to drop the case. Wexford, however has doubts and continues his inquires on his own. After considerable time some new information surfaces that allow him to close the case but with an unexpected ending.
Jun 20, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, listened-to
As my husband and I listened to this book in the car, we stopped the CD a couple times to wonder why Wexford was being blocked by his supervisor from from investigating people who seemed to us to be the most likely murderers. Needless to say there are twists and surprises that make it worth 4 stars so the delay was needed as a plot device. Surely some more plausible plot device could have been devised.

A caution for those who plan to listen to the audio version read by Nigel Anthony. He voices on
Shonna Froebel
Nov 17, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Rendell's that I missed and finally got around to reading. Inspector Wexford and his sidekick Burden, get a case of a murdered wife. The woman is discovered by her mother-in-law upon arrival for a weekend visit. The husband was at work when the murder occured, but Wexford is sure of his involvement. Wexford is however forbidden from more contact with the man after a complaint of harrassment and is forced to take his actions on the case onto his own time. He gets his nephew, in the ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Fey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The charm of mystery novels often comes from the detective or detectives solving the case. If you don't like these characters or find their methods of investigation unappealing, then you won't enjoy the story no matter how "good" the crime.

Such is the case here. Inspector Wexford utterly failed to charm me. He came across as a rather unappealing man who, while not entirely unpleasant, was someone I'd never want to deal with given his propensity to pout and his highly judgmental attitude.

I think
Mar 12, 2015 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I would've liked this a whole lot more had I been able to understand it. Its British dialect and sounding like it was on fast-forward much of the time, made it difficult to determine what was being said, especially during conversations. I could've slowed the narration in this audio format but that would've made it way too slow and very unnatural-sounding, making the regular speed the better of the two options.

Either the author has it incorrect or I just never knew...she has a person's se
Jul 10, 2014 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery, logos
Chronologically, this comes about midway through the Inspector Wexford series. The crime this time is the murder of Angela Hathall, who was found by her mother-in-law, lying on her (Angela's) bed, strangled. There are almost no clues, the place was been wiped clean. there is no murder weapon and the husband has an iron-clad alibi. As the investigation progresses (or doesn't), leads grow cold. Wexford is convinced that the husband and some other person conspired to kill his wife, but that doesn't ...more
Just arrived from Porto Alegre through BM.

Another great masterpiece written by the "new Lady of Crime". I do love the Wexford's series, the best in my opinion.

There is a movie version based on this book Shake Hands Forever: Part One (1988) with Tom Wilkinson acting as Robert Hathall.
Apr 19, 2015 Irma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Rendell Mystery

A challenging case for detective Wexford. He's challenged and left alone to his devices to make sense of this murder of a wife. I've always liked Wexford's vulnerabilities, here they are as a man as well as a detective. Enjoy a great mystery.
Dec 16, 2008 Tess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this mystery Rendell quotes Chesterton and I love the quote:

"There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two, but two is not twice one..."
Feb 18, 2012 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one. Not nearly as dated as the rock concert one, and I liked the continuing relationship between Wexford and his nephew, the business with Wexford losing weight, and his maybe/maybe not liaison with Mrs. Lake. Nice twist ending.
Kathleen O'Nan
Apr 25, 2015 Kathleen O'Nan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really fun Rendell, with a big surprise at the end. Also, it was interesting to see Inspector Wexford tempted by a woman and I'm proud of him that he resisted. Good man!
Jan 13, 2016 Saramaga rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Predecible y con poco ritmo. Lo bueno, que se lee rápido y entretiene al principio.
May 28, 2014 Hal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a tautly written thriller, filled to the brim with Rendell's trademark psychological insights. I find that the shorter her books are, the more I enjoy them. And this novel checked in at fewer than 200 pages in a paperback edition. In other books in the Inspector Wexford series, Rendell sometimes is a little too eager to show off her erudition. Here, she sticks to story telling, and I immensely enjoyed this tale.

One of Rendell's strengths is that her characters develop and change over tim
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen Hagen
Shake Hands Forever, by Ruth Rendell, an Inspector Wexford mystery) narrated by Nigel Anthony, produced by BBC Audio, downloaded from

Mr. Hathall met his mother at the train station. He indicated that his wife, Angela, was supposed to bring the car to pick them up, but Angela and the car never arrived. So mother and son walked from the station to the house. His mother kept chiding him the whole time, telling him he shouldn’t have married Angela and that he should have stayed with his
Um livro de mistério que me agradou bastante e cuja leitura é ideal para esta época do ano, enroscada no sofá com a lareira acesa.
É impressionante que este livro tenha sido escrito em 1975. Este facto faz-me valorizar ainda mais esta obra.

Este é mais um livro onde entra o perspicaz Inspector Wexford. O caso inicia-se com a ida relutante da mãe de Robert Hathall a casa deste, com o objectivo de fazer as pazes com a nora. No entanto, ao chegarem a casa do casal, Robert e a sua mãe, estranham o si
Mar 15, 2011 Esme rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford aus der fiktiven Kleinstadt Kingsmarkham in Sussex ist ein Phänomen.
An allen Romanen von Ruth Rendell schätze ich den bis ins letzte Detail ausgearbeiteten Plot. Da stimmt alles, jede Kleinigkeit ist bei der Auflösung des Falles am Ende wichtig. Jedoch ohne das die Geschichten konstruiert wirken.

Sehr gut gefällt mir, dass Wexford öfter mal in der Bibliothek recherchiert und auf diese Weise schon so manchen Fall aufgeklärt hat.
Beruhigend in der ganzen Masse von Kr
Glen Gerard
Another great story by a Ruth Randell . the climax is just amazing ; we readers think we have already figured it out but Ruth flips the story as we flip the pages of the book. another thing that I liked was the compress format storytelling of the author .she tells a great story in not more than 200 pages

even though I didn't thoroughly enjoy this one as " murder being done once " ; the novel didn't give up on providing thrills as a crime fiction story .
Pmalcpoet Pat Malcolm
Even this 1975 vintage novel is as tightly plotted as the most recent. Rendell has been a fine author from the start...or is it, she hasn't lost her touch? Whatever, a thoroughly enjoyable procedural in the finest British tradition. Not as dark as some of her other novels, which I also enjoy. Perfect for the beach, on a plane, wherever. I love to read these, and am on a journey this summer to read as many of the series as I can get from my library system.
Nov 15, 2011 Shyla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, mystery
This is definitely not a book I would have picked out to read for myself, it was a bookclub read. And although I was put off at first by the fact it was written decades ago and read like a show on BBC I still liked it. This is a true, old fashioned mystery. It reminded me of an Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes type. The murder mystery is interesting and kept me guessing and although I had an idea of who was behind it I would never have been able to put all the peices together myself and was su ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Hannahlily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
I read this because someone said it was better than Agatha Christie. It's not. The set-up and solution are quite clever: not exactly shocking, and not exactly believable (and certainly dated), but well-plotted. The characters are expertly drawn in the briefest of sketches (the first chapter is one of the greatest super-quick character depictions I've ever read), but I didn't like any of these people at all. I can deal with disliking the suspects so long as they're actually interesting people, bu ...more
Dec 04, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young woman is found dead, strangled, on her bed. She has not been acting normally lately. Her usually messy house is well kept, because mother-in-law is coming to visit her. How did someone come in and kill her, as she is afraid of people? Wexford has a lot of false leads, and also has to deal with a neighbor who causes him to reconsider his marriage vows.
Edward Rush
This started out strongly, but it is a book of its time (1975). The grossly unequal gender relations on which the plot turns seem archaic today. The big revelation at the end of mistaken identity had little impact. I'll read anything by RR because of her beautiful style and keen observation, but this book definitely belongs to her juvenile period.
Sep 28, 2014 Turtelina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Das Buch habe ich jetzt nicht so gut gefunden. Inspektor Wexford hat so verbissen - während des ganzen Buches - an einer Theorie festgehalten, dass völlig klar war, dass der Täter wer anderes sein musste. Weil das so glasklar war, bin ich irgendwann ausgestiegen und bis zum Schluss nicht mehr reingekommen.

Schade, aber zumindest war es dünn.
Jul 15, 2012 Manda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I find that I never really warm to characters written by Ruth Rndell I'm not entirely sure why - there seems to be something clinical about the writing somehow. At any rate, I quite enjoy the journey of her stories. I just couldn't read several one after each other.

This book is about a wife strangled on her bed. Wexford is pretty convinced that her husband done it, but he has an alibi. The police drop the investigation. Wexford doesn't.

Actually the most interesting things for me was the descrt
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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 and above all for Inspector Wexford.
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)
  • A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)
  • Death Notes (Inspector Wexford, #11)

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“There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one …” 0 likes
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