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The Babes In The Wood (Inspector Wexford #19)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  3,331 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
With floods threatening both the town of Kingsmarkham and his own home and no end to the rain in sight, Chief Inspector Wexford already has his hands full when he learns that two local teenagers have gone missing along with their sitter, Joanna Troy. Their hysterical mother is convinced that all three have drowned, and as the hours stretch into days Wexford suspects a case ...more
Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published (first published 2002)
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Nov 08, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far, one of my favorite Inspector Wexford novels, by Ruth Rendell. I almost gave it five stars, but had one small (huge?) criticism about the book.

First off, it's the story of what happened to three missing people, two teenagers and a young adult woman. They've gone missing and it's up to Wexford, Burden, and associates to find them. This is all set against a backdrop of a flooded English countryside, with the nearby river literally moving right up the hill to Wexford's house. The feeling thr

Read by.................. Nigel Anthony
Total Runtime......... 12 Hours 10 Mins

Description: With floods threatening both the town of Kingsmarkham and his own home and no end to the rain in sight, Chief Inspector Wexford already has his hands full when he learns that two local teenagers have gone missing along with their sitter, Joanna Troy. Their hysterical mother is convinced that all three have drowned, and as the hours stretch into days Wexford suspects a case of kidnapping, perhaps connected
Apr 20, 2014 Vastine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(SPOILERS) An unfortunate misstep for the usually reliable Ruth Rendell. The book is filled with uninteresting subplots (especially one about a wealthy alcoholic and his narcissistic model wife) that constantly undermine the flow of the story. Like so many European crime novels, the story includes the usual religious boogiemen without even a hint of nuance. The solution largely comes via a plot device not the investigation we have been following(though to be fair to Rendell, pieces of the invest ...more
ZZZZZZZZZZZ--am I finished yet? This book was OK, the writing was excellent, but it dragged on. The story could have been shortened a bit. The plot was good, but the outcome was very predictable, at least to me. I'm going to read The Rottweiler next, also by Ruth Rendell. I've heard it is really good.

Mar 10, 2009 Ilze rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Rendell has an extremely long list of novels to her name, some famously "Inspector Wexford" ones ... but why bother reading them? For the entire 300+ pages I've just waded through, I honestly had the sense that the writer was sitting at her typewriter laughing at her readers: She clearly knew from the very beginning who killed Joanna Troy and why the Dade children went missing, as well as where they were. All the questions Wexford asks and all the investigations as to what, where and how are mer ...more

Una lettura può essere anche rilassante oltre che avvincente. Può sembrare che le due sensazioni si escludano, ma in un romanzo di Ruth Rendell, come in uno di Agatha Christie, si amalgamano alla perfezione. SOLI NEL BOSCO è un nuovo capolavoro di Ruth Rendell, dove le vicende si evolvono in un crescendo, rivelando segreti di famiglia e questioni religiose.
Già dalle prime pagine l'interesse si incentra sulla misteriosa sparizione di Giles e Sophie, fratelli e adolescenti che un alluvione ha avvo
Another great masterpiece written by Dame Rendell.

4* Going Wrong
4* The Keys to the Street
3* The Fever Tree and Other Stories
4* A Judgement in Stone
3* Fall of the Coin
4* People Don't Do Such Things
3* The Girl Next Door
2* To Fear a Painted Devil
3* Dark Corners
3* Live Flesh

Inspector Wexford series
3* Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9)
3* The Veiled One (Inspector Wexford, #14)
4* Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15)
3* Harm Done (Inspector Wexford, #18)
3* The Babes in the W
I recently read that Ruth Rendell has published her last Inspector Wexford novel (The Monster in the Box} and realized that I had a little catching up to do. In Babes in the Wood, Rendell comes closer to her standalone psychological suspense novels (some of which she publishes as Barbara Vine) than I recall her doing in past Wexford books. It seems that each family in this book is more dysfunctional than the next. Wexford and Burden must also deal with a fundamentalist church and with heavy rain ...more
Harry Connolly
Book 12 of #15in2015

Wow. This was sort of terrible.

Rendell died recently, and the way her obituaries described her work made me want to sample it. The sensible thing would have been for me to carefully select a much-lauded novel, but instead I grabbed something at random on the shelf.

The characters were cliches: an absent-minded professor, a snotty supermodel, misogynistic Christian fundamentalists, the overweight guy who can't resist a sweet cake in the most awkward of social circumstances. T
Feb 28, 2013 Sophie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had potential, but as the plot unfolded, I found it more and more tedious. There were so many cliches it became rather laughable at times: women-hating religious fanatics, repressed spinsters, nagging women, drunken aristocrats. There was even an absent-minded professor, though the author tried to excuse it by pointing out that the character was a cliche. Wouldn't it be better to avoid such cliches altogether? Overall, the mystery was fairly well laid out and I had a good idea of who t ...more
Aug 23, 2010 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
It's raining in Kingsmarkham. And raining. And raining. There's flooding in the town, close to the home of Inspector Wexford, who is worried about his adult daughter, a divorcee with appalling taste in men, as well about his house. In the midst of the deluge, a teenage brother and sister vanish, along with the woman who has been staying with them during their parents weekend away. Wexford sees no real evidence of foul play, but is uneasy anyway. When the woman's car is spotted in a shallow gorge ...more
Pam Roberts
Apr 02, 2010 Pam Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Rendell is a wonderful writer and I especially enjoyed this Inspector Wexford mystery. The author manages to combine a really good mystery with recurring (and progressive with each book of the series) tales of the private lives of his co-workers and his two adult daughters. His daughter Sylvia gets the attention in this book and Wexford is not happy with her. The mystery, about two teenagers and their babysitter, has many twists and turns and is brought to a satisfactory, if somewhat unlike ...more
The Babes In The Wood by Ruth Rendell.

Inspector Wexford and people living in the Kingsmarkham area are experiencing the worst flooding in recent memory. The rains keep coming and are over flooding the banks of the Brede River. Wexford is notified of a missing person(s)alert for a baby sitter (Ms Troy) and two siblings in her care (Giles & Sophie). Since no trace has yet to be found of them why is the mother so certain they are all dead?

Another excellently written Inspector Wexford novel by R
Good story as usual, but some just very strange things that I have no idea why her editor didn't pick up on. They just grated.

For instance, in one section there was a comment made by Wexford that all three of the supposed victims' passports were at their (own)homes, so somehow that was supposed to mean that the abductor/murderer must be foreign and had left the country.

May 26, 2013 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I have with all of the Wexford novels, I had a wonderful time reading this one. (Actually, this time round, I listened to the audiobook version on my iPhone, but I read it when it was first published.) My only complaint is with the "solution," which didn't seem as believable as Rendell's solutions usually do. The side story about Sylvia was great.
Jun 06, 2010 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I normally really like Ruth Rendell and her mysteries but this one fell short. For some inexplicable reason, she decided to ruin a perfectly good story with strange feminist interjections and then a blatant anti-Christianity blib. It rang false in the novel and also for her detective, Inspector Wexford.
I finished the novel because I really did want to know "who did it" but wish I hadn't.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
It was a long time since I last read a novel by Ruth Rendell and I found this one enjoyable enough. The book dragged on a bit however, especially as Inspector Wexford had to revisit the same witnesses/suspects over and over again for further questioning. Still, Ruth Rendell is a very talented writer and I always enjoy her style very much.
Aug 17, 2010 Margie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series, u-k
Apparently I first read this before I started using GoodReads. I kept thinking the storyline was vaguely familiar, which made the mystery fall a bit flat. Good writing.
Diana Welsch
I've been enjoying mystery novels lately, and the premise of this one appealed to me. I didn't notice before I started reading that it was part of series, though, and if I knew that I might not have read it. I really didn't get a feel for any of the police characters, I guess because you have to read more of the books to really get their personalities.

This book just dragged on and on. It seemed like the police were just spinning their wheels for most of it, and getting clues and information tha
Oct 15, 2016 Ugnė rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
after I finished this book I said to myself that this mystery wasn't the last one. I definitely planning to read more right now, because it was so GOOD. JUST SO GOOD. and so unexpected!! the end was a huge surprise for me. HUGE FOUR STARS.

I'm so sad that in my country Ruth Rendell books aren't translated (apart this book). But I will be looking for more detectives/mystery's by other authors
Jan 09, 2014 Aušrinė rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dabar jau sunku rašyti kažką apie Ruth Rendell knygą „Vaikeliai girioje“, nes ją perskaičiau jau prieš kurį laiką, o ir pačios knygos neturiu netoliese. Tačiau geras įspūdis vis dar išliko, kaip ir įdomiausios citatos, kurias jau įpratau nusirašyti skaitydama knygą.

Šią knygą pavadinčiau klasikiniu detektyvu – būtent tokiu, kokie man patinka. Čia viską tiria policijos atstovai, o ne kažkokie pernelyg byla susidomėję prašalaičiai, patys netgi vengiantys policijos. O gal man tiesiog patinka britišk
Maria Thermann
Apr 09, 2012 Maria Thermann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rendell is a master storyteller and one of the finest crime writers there are today. My favourite books of hers all feature Chief inspector Wexford, a character as complex as it gets in crime writing.

As is usual with Rendell's Wexford stories, the events leading up and surrounding the crime are mirrored by what happens in Wexford's private life. This time the entire town Kingsmarkham is engulfed by water due to excessive rainfall that has been going on for weeks. The River Brede and the Kingsbro
Aug 16, 2015 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wexford is getting to be an old fogey, needing help from his younger associates to decipher the slang of teenage witnesses. Two teens and their sitter go missing just before Christmas one very rainy winter in Kingsmarkham. Few clues arise easily, the case drags on, Wexford's divorced daughter has a new beau, whom Wexford dislikes (he's a thick-headed bore with no sense of humor). A businessman with a preening trophy wife finds an abandoned car on his estate, sees a body in it, but said preening ...more
Pan Alchemist
May 13, 2016 Pan Alchemist rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2016
This was a pretty decent mystery. It definitely kept me guessing, which is an unusual occurrence.

One thing that can be said about Rendell's writing, is that she writes well. The standard of the language in her crime novels (that I have read so far) are far superior to the more popular books in this genre. I also enjoy the fact that you need to be paying attention to pick up all the clues.

I was very satisfied with this book. The logic was rational (which sounds silly to say, but lets be honest,
Jul 31, 2008 Eliece rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The over-riding constant in this book was rain--so much rain that 'there hadn't been anything like it in Sussex in living memory'.
When two teenage siblings go missing along with their weekend chaperone, their rather unstable mother is convinced that they have drowned. Inspector Wexford feels certain that is not the case, but is at a loss as to what has actually happened to them. Eventually the woman who was supposed to be looking out for them, is found dead in her car in a ravine, but the weeks
Nov 27, 2013 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Rendell is always good value. But this is even better value than most. Life isn't good anywhere in Inspector Wexford's community as the book begins: the area is dangerously flooded and the rain continues. Two teenagers and their 'babysitter' disappear when their parents are away for the weekend. Did they drown in the floods? Then the babysitter's dead body is found - some 3 months after the event. The landowner on whose property the decomposed crpse is found had actaully sen it significantl ...more
Aug 07, 2013 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rendell-wexford
Kingsmarkham and environs – in fact, the whole of the British Isles – is inundated with rains, so much that floodwaters are threatening people’s homes. In the midst of hauling sandbags and moving possessions to upper floors, Wexford receives word of a family whose two children are missing, along with a family friend who was staying with them while the parents were away. The two teenagers are presumed drowned by their hysterical mother, despite their having been excellent swimmers, and the flood ...more
This is my third Ruth Rendell in last couple days and I have realised I could always depend on Rendell's books whenever I want to read a solid good book. The plot might disappoint me in the end but her writing would never. Her writing style is excellent; deep but not complex, intelligent.

Two teenagers have gone missing along with their sitter, Joanna Troy. Investigation takes new turn when a body is found. Wexford has his hands full with so much happening and clues pointing in many directions.

Jun 13, 2013 Athena rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim Kimselius
Jul 02, 2014 Kim Kimselius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Syndafallet av Ruth Rendell är en mycket spännande bok. Jag tycker om kommissarie Wexford, en helt vanlig man, inte försupen och frånskild, utan lever i ett lyckligt äktenskap med två vuxna döttrar.

Regnet vräker ned över Sussex, floden Kingsbrook har svämmat över sina bräddar och åtskilliga hus står under vatten. Kommissarie Wexford har fullt upp med att hålla ett öga på floden som sakta men säkert äter sig in i hans egen trädgård, när en Katrina Dade ringer och berättar att hon tror att hennes
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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)
  • Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9)
  • A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)

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