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Some Lie and Some Die (Inspector Wexford #8)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,212 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
A mutilated body found at a rock festival.

In spite of dire predictions, the rock festival in Kingsmarkham seemed to be going off without a hitch, until the hideously disfigured body is discovered in a nearby quarry. And soon Wexford is investigating the links between a local girl gone bad and a charismatic singer who inspires an unwholesome devotion in his followers. Some
ebook, 192 pages
Published October 7th 2009 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1973)
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When the body of a brutally beaten girl is found in a quarry during a hedonistic hippy festival near Kingsmarkham, Wexford is first on the scene. The victim's face has been pulped by the back-end of a bottle, but who, in this atmosphere of peace and love, could be capable of such violence?

A TV series was made based on this book and it's available at YouTube.

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Jul 25, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, intricate, compelling mystery set in a time I distinctly remember! I was about the age of several of the main characters - both the victim and suspects - and yeah, it was like that, man. All cops were pigs. Well, not really. I was sort of a square, considering the times. But short skirts, weird makeup and those page boy hats we all wore, yeah I was there ...

As for the mystery, a young woman is found dead in a quarry at the scene of a 'rave-up' or what we Yanks would simply call a conc
Jun 18, 2015 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere part of the way through your third Ruth Rendell you will become aware of just why she is regarded as being the very best there is at this detective fiction game. You won't have started number three without having enjoyed one and two. You will have enjoyed being drawn by the plot, being drawn to the main character and being impressed by the technical structure of the books. It is only during number three that you realise that the wonderful feeling that is growing inside you is caused by ...more
May 06, 2015 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As with all of Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford books that I've read so far, this is a beautifully written murder mystery with superb characterizations and rich humour. Because it's from the 1970s, some of the humour is unintentional; hearing how we spoke and how we referred to certain things made me smile...more nostalgia than disdain.

And if you're curious, the song from which the title comes--the lyrics for which are included with a helpful map at the beginning of my edition of this book--is a
5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating read, June 17, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Some Lie and Some Die (An Inspector Wexford Mystery) (Paperback)
This is the 2nd mystery in the Inspector Wexford series that I've read and they are worlds apart. This story is not long at all as was thr other book in this series.

The premise (rock concert) would have been a mystery I would have ordinarily avoided but since it was an Inspector Wexford I gave it a try on CD.
Jan 18, 2011 Stacey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think maybe I need to take a break from Ruth for a bit to better appreciate her strengths. This particular novel has many of her hallmarks, but feels more dated given the setting--a seventies-era rock concert. The novel takes me back to old episodes of Ironsides and Hawaii 5-0 with the psychedelic camera work and the du. wacka, wacka sound track playing as the chief works his way throught the crime scene. As usual, Rendell uses an outside work to provide additional context to the mystery. This ...more
Apr 02, 2008 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: travelers who like suspense/detective stories
This was my first Inspector Wexford mystery. This book is much lighter and more traditional British detective fiction than Rendell's more recent books. Originally published in 1973, it has an Agathie Christie format, but it is more twisty than an average Christie. I liked it. It is simpler than modern detective/mystery stories in that it doesn't get into the flashy blood and DNA evidence. No multiple cliffhangers. The Inspector is a bit old-fashioned. The pace of the mystery seemed slow, followi ...more
Ursula Lecoeur
Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?

Marilyn Stasio of the NYT likes Ruth Rendell, which is why I often see her name whenever I scan the column for something to read. Some Lie and Some Die, originally published in 1973, is a delightful but merciless condemnation of human nature. There are many human flaws on display in this book, but Rendell takes a special look at whatever it is that makes us slaves to love.
Rendell confronts complicated human truths with uncommon cool. The characters


Read by................ Nigel Anthony
Total Runtime......... 6 Hours 10 Mins

Description: During the brilliantly depicted rock festival in the grounds of Sundays House, the bands play, the weather is fine, and a good time is had by all except one or two disgruntled locals. Oh, and the sometimes-grouchy Inspector Burden of course, but even he lightens up to the idea eventually. However, as the festival begins to wind itself down, two precocious lovers discover a battered body in a nearby quarry, an
This was not the author's best work. The mystery felt forced and klunky. Some of the characterizations were so based on being told what the person was like they felt weak. That being said, it's still a good book, with some gorgeous writing. The recurring characters have the depth and truth I've come to expect in Ms. Rendell's books.

My big issues with the mystery plot could be a spoiler, so stop here if you don't want to know yet.

(view spoiler)
May 01, 2013 Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a good murder mystery and there are few better exponents of them than RR. However, as someone else said, a break from these books may be a good idea as it's all seeming just a bit too familiar. Still, love the 'order out of chaos' that a crime book brings. Nearing the end of the book now and, as usual, not at all sure who did it!
Kevin Bergeron
The second book I've read by this author, "Heartstones" being the first. This book was a bit of a disappointment, as I loved "Heartstones" and this seemed to me not of the same level. It's a competently constructed and readable detective story, but rather flat overall, with little in plot, character or narrative voice that make it stand out. It stays very much within the lines of genre, and I like a book that breaks out and defies expectations. There is one part near the end of the book that I t ...more
Inspector Wexford #8.
Jayne Clifford-Greening
The synopsis reads: ' " When the body of a brutally beaten girl is found in a quarry during a hedonistic hippy festival at Sundays near Kingsmarkham, Wexford is first on the scene. The victim's face has been pulped by the back-end of a bottle, but who, in this atmosphere of peace and love, could be capable of such violence?

The body is that of local girl turned stripper Dawn Stonor, but it is the unlikely link between this ill-fated and the mysterious folk-singer Zeno Vedast that piques Wexford's
Mark Stevens
Aug 06, 2011 Mark Stevens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe not Ruth Rendell’s best, perhaps, but a middle-of-the-road entry is so much better than most. I have only read a half-dozen of Rendell’s (or so) but when I saw this title at a library book sale, for cheap, I grabbed it and immediately fell under her powerful spell. Rendell balances atmosphere, character and plot like few others. In other words, well. The Inspector Wexford stories I’ve read are solid and sturdy mysteries and start with analysis and deduction, of course, rather than action. ...more
Dennis Fischman
I don't entirely recognize Inspector Wexford in this book. His stay in London seems to have made him more liberal and more literary than he was before: the quotations from Shakespeare and from 19th-century British poetry come faster than the pints he orders in the pub.

People who know the era say that Rendell's portrait of a 1970's folk-rock singer and his groupies is spot on. I'll buy that. I didn't buy the psychology behind the murder. It's a good thing Rendell deepened the character and made
This was a nice and rather quick read.

I really enjoy it when Wexford waxes philosophical. Rendell always throws in some really good observations about human nature into her books.

The motive(s) and the entire breakdown by Wexford at the end of the book was really really good! I loved the way he pulled the 3 goof-offs together and told them the who, what, when, where, why and how of it all.
Sep 02, 2014 Hal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the weaker entries in Ruth Rendell's terrific Inspector Wexford series. She telegraphs the plot much more than usual. We don't get much in the way character development either. Unless -- like me -- you want to read the entire Wexford series you can probably skip this novel without missing much.
Jan 21, 2016 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my second Ruth Rendell book. She weaves a complex story and has me guessing until the last pages. Set in the early 70's police investigation is pretty primitive compared to today. Inspector Wexford has a victim, no suspects and plenty of lies to sort out. It hooked me in.
Apr 13, 2015 Irma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Rendell keeps you wondering

I've just finished the 3rd mystery in a row with detective Wexford and am hooked. I like him and his partner. I like the flaws and intelligence Wexford brings to the job, the story and the compassion he feels.
Rena Sherwood
This is a serious fucked-up book obviously based on David Bowie and the Glastonbury Music Festival. However, it is one of the most original and memorable mysteries that I've ever read.
This one centers on a hippie music festival in the early 70's. Young woman found with her face bashed in, killed a few days before the concert started. Wexford and Burden are on the case. These mysteries are strangely addictive.
Aug 28, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A friend recommended Ruth Rendell to me. This is the first book of hers I've read so I jumped into a series in the middle somewhere. Some Lie and Some Die is a good quickie (181 pages) mystery. I enjoyed the relationship between Chief Inspector Wexford and Detective Inspector Burden and am looking forward to reading more in this series.

Not to be too picky, I wish Rendell had written a slightly longer book with a little more about the the actual murderer. I think the ending could still have been
Dec 28, 2014 Béatrice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Je retrouve toujours l'inspecteur Wexford avec plaisir.
Sep 03, 2014 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do like a good "who dun it"! And this was no exception.
Jill Hutchinson
Apr 12, 2011 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This book, which is really more of a short story was written in the 1970s and it shows...... the murder takes place at a rock/folk concert and the "hip" language of the characters date it rather badly. But Rendell still weaves a good tale as Wexford and Burdon are on the scene to investigate the seemingly senseless killing of a local girl who appears to have no connection with the major suspects. Of course, there is a connection but not one that the reader expects. A quick but satisfying read fr ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, mystery
3.5 stars. Not quite as believable as some of her others.
Read in swedish: Några ljuger, några dör.
Aug 28, 2015 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good and an unusual ending
Oliver Clarke
Jan 13, 2015 Oliver Clarke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly satisfying whodunit
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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)
  • Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9)
  • A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)
  • Death Notes (Inspector Wexford, #11)

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