Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “An Unkindness of Ravens (Inspector Wexford, #13)” as Want to Read:
An Unkindness of Ravens (Inspector Wexford, #13)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

An Unkindness of Ravens (Inspector Wexford #13)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  1,733 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Rodney Williams's disappearance seems typical to Chief Inspector Wexford -- a simple case of a man running off with a woman other than his wife. But when another woman reports that her husband is missing, the case turns unpleasantly complex.
Paperback, 344 pages
Published September 12th 1986 by Ballantine Books (first published 1985)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about An Unkindness of Ravens, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about An Unkindness of Ravens

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAngels & Demons by Dan BrownRebecca by Daphne du MaurierIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Best Crime & Mystery Books
498th out of 4,998 books — 11,167 voters
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha ChristieThe Big Sleep by Raymond ChandlerThe Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleFarewell, My Lovely by Raymond ChandlerThe Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Bloomsbury 100 Must Read Crime Novels
77th out of 154 books — 117 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,468)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I've read thirteen of these Inspector Wexford mysteries now. THIRTEEN! They're not the greatest thing ever but for some reason I can't quit reading them! In spite of the whole murder aspect, these are "comfort reads" for me. I know and really like the two lead detectives, Wexford and Mike Burden. I like the setting in semi-rural England. So I guess visiting these characters is like visiting old friends.

This particular entry is odd. It involves this militant feminist organization called ARRIA. A
Deborah Gray
Ruth can be guaranteed to write a well-crafted story, an easy read. I enjoy Inspector Wexford and his dogged pursuit of the truth, a man with his own brand of intuition who would rather follow up leads himself than send a subordinate. In this case, there were sufficient plot twists to hold interest, although I did start to guess the murderer about 2/3 of the way in. And it kept me entertained on recent long walks as I listened to the book on an MP3.

However, this story particular choice of subje
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in March 2001.

When a neighbour's husband goes missing, Rendell's detective Wexford is reluctant to investigate. But what seems initially likely to be a case of a man going off with another woman turns out to be more complex, as he is revealed to have been a bigamist and as it becomes clear that no member of either family actually liked him very much.

As a murder mystery, An Unkindness of Ravens is neither particularly memorable nor difficult to solve (though i
Ruth Rendell é, na minha opinião, um ícone literário no policial tal como Agatha Christie. Adoro as duas, e os seus livros são devorados por mim numa questão de meras horas. Este só se tratou de uma excepção por causa da letra minúscula e do amarelo torrado das páginas. Mas devo dizer que este exemplar de Maio de 1986 mostrou-se um valente e amigável companheiro em viagens e esperas. Só foi pena que a desastrada (diga-se eu mesma) tenha descolado a capa ao andar com ele dentro das carteiras.


Okay, at first I didn't really get this book, but after the investigation plot kicked in, it grew a lot on me. The investigation plot was really well-structured, interesting, smart... basically what a detective novel should be like. Dropping clues here and there, making us readers do guessing games, with an ending which was not blindingly obvious from the start yet makes sense. I also liked the psychological aspects, the reactions of the characters were most of the times really starkingly aut
2,5 stars
Este livro foi uma chatice. Ainda bem que o livro é pequenino, porque não sei se aguentava muito mais do que 200 páginas disto. É um enredo moderadamente engraçado, misterioso, mas a história simplesmente não foi cativante o suficiente para me entusiasmar. Confesso que quando cheguei a meio, já pensava que nunca mais ia chegar ao fim. A minha personagem favorita foi o Wexford e talvez também o Burden, agora que penso nisso.
O final apanhou-me mais ou menos de surpresa. Consegui adivin
I think this is one of Rendell's most interesting books with regard to images of women, assumptions about feminine character, and feminism. She keeps setting up and knocking down feminine stereotypes, playing with our assumptions about the nature of women -- ugly/pretty, old/young, sophisticated/naive, strong/weak. Characters and readers are duped/led astray by the strong emotions produced by the very idea of abusive/exploitative men and vulnerable girls.
I enjoy the rather comic depiction of th
In case you missed it, Rush Limbaugh called a woman a slut simply because she had a different prespective on an issue. Of course to Limbaugh, the term feminist is a nasty word. I feel like I should send him a "Happy Women's History Month" card or something.

There is an actual point to my rambling here. Rendell's book deals with the question of what is feminism or to be more precise, can things go too far. At least in part. How she deals with it is rather interestingly and enjoyable. Nice to find
This is the 13th Inspector Wexford adventure, who with his side-kick Inspector Mike Burden, solve crimes - usually murders - and keep the citizenry of Sussex, England safe. Although these books are murder mysteries at their core, the author excels - and where she differentiates herself from the "pack" - in painting psychological dramas. The term thriller is a bit overblown, as Rendell's tales proceed much too slowly for that label. (Not a knock just a description, and enjoyment of this series wi ...more
Nicole Landry
Another great book! I think what I like about Rendell's mystery/crime fiction compared to other authors is that she always includes so many twists and turns, murders, accidents etc and her books never follow the same pattern like Carolyn Hart & Anne Perry for ex. With their books, you always know exactly how the book is going to be laid out, what comes next and there is only one or two murders and thats it. Rendell does a great job in the Wexford series of keeping you interested, the action ...more
Arthur Okun
Ruth Rendell has written a novel that includes mystery,murder,and the maze continues
with the conclusion ---"I don't believe this could happen" Only Rendell could write this novel.
I will miss her.Rodney Williams is missing. Eight days. But he travels often. His wife Joy
is not that worried,except she believes that he has a girl friend.They have a son and Sara ,daughter
who aspires to be a doctor.
This is the Rendell trap-------I am totally involved--of course Rodney's Body turns up. Stabbed.
Thats i
The absurd, insulting ending to this book completely mitigates the decent novel that came before. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Kathleen O'Nan
I had such mixed feelings about Wexford's 13th appearance. While it was a lot of fun in many ways, the cartoonish descriptions of the feminist group and its members was very irritating. If I hadn't known better, I would have thought it had been written by a man, by one too young to have lived through the period of militant feminism. On the other hand, the sadness of Mike Burden, Wexford's friend and semi-partner, about his wife's view of their previously anticipated baby seemed real and heartfel ...more
The essence of mystery, crime and drama is in subtlety and yet a riveting story line.Too many characters with too many threads and perspectives take those aspects away. Which is what I thought of this book. A melange of flavors which did not quite blend in together.
Be it the complexities in the personal lives of characters to the development of the case events, the investigation and eventual closure , appeared like everything that could possibly be, came in and happened and gave a disjointed sen
Syd Perry
This was a patron inspired read. She told me that Ruth Rendell is one of her favorite authors and can write a mystery like no one else. Then from the back of the CD box "The Boston Globe hails Ruth Rendell as "the best mystery writer anywhere in the English-speaking world." This suspenseful yarn..."puts most of its like to shame" according to the New Yorker.

So I listened. It reminds me of Agatha Christie mysteries. I ate those up in high school. Now I'm a thrill seeker, suspense junkie and this
Interesting social commentary of a sort, tossed in with the mystery.
I read this within a year or two of its 1985 publication, I think, and I'm surprised on this reread to find it's become something of a period piece. It may have been the last procedural in which forensic evidence turned on matching a writing sample to a typewriter, and was late enough to note that golfball/daisywheel type stocks for electric office machines were easily disposable and even a few primitive computers of the Apple I/Commodore generation were not completely out of reach of the typist ...more
Rendell (and PD James) have shifted the detective genre from "whydunit" to "howdunit," and this book encapsulates that. Wexler's investigation dredges up myriad fascinating characters, all with a potential motive for killing the pedophile bigamist Williams. The ARIA raven society of young feminists may or may not have inspired the crime--we are left guessing right up to th end. The entire scope of womanhood is presented here; Rendell asks if murder a valid response to male oppression of us? Rend ...more
It's an easy read and I spent a few pleasant evenings reading it but there was nothing that really made it stand out as particularly ground-breaking or memorable. This may not have been the case back in the eighties though so I'd be interested to read some more of her more recent work to see if it packs more of a punch.

complete review on my blog : http://madhousefamilyreviews.blogspot...
There seemed to run a disapproval of the feminist ideology in the book. I noticed it in a couple of earlier books also but it was more open in this. It sort of put me off, even though it is a supposed to be a mystery story and it is a decent one at that. But if the author can serve her own agenda, so can the reader.
Barış Erdem
Yazarın okuduğum ilk kitabıydı ama maalesef beklentilerimi karşılayamadı.Kitabın girişi ve hatta 100 sayfası nispeten fena olmasa da sonrasında olaylar,şahıslar,vs. her şey birbirine karışıyor.Kurgu da son derece yavan kalmış.Zorlanarak bitirdiğim bir kitap oldu açıkçası.İlla okumam lazım diyenlere başka bir kitabından başlamalarını öneririm.
Kathleen Burns
Having rediscovered inspector Wexford I will certainly read more of these. A little disappointed that it took the inspector longer than it took me to figure out the case but excellent in most regards.
Je ne m'en souviens plus (j'avais oublié d'écrire mon commentaire à l'époque!). Mais en principe, j'aime beaucoup cet auteur, d'autant que Charlotte m'en a donné plusieurs, en anglais.
First time reading a Wexford mystery. Have to say, the character, and book as a whole did not do a lot for me. Wexford just seemed the a be a very dry (and not especially bright) detective with a lot lacking in personality. I also felt that, while the details were not made clear until the very end, the gist of the murder could be readily guessed at.
Theryn Fleming
This was my first Ruth Rendell writing as Ruth Rendell book, but I've previously read several of her Barbara Vine books. An Unkindness of Ravens was a standard police procedural, featuring a bunch of characters who are apparently regulars, including the main detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. The Barbara Vine books are more dark, psychological thrillers. I think I prefer those, but this was an entertaining mystery nonetheless. The plot involves a husband who's vanished and a group of militant f ...more

Look, the book was reasonably well-written; I've enjoyed many of her other books. But oh, the cliches in this book about "militant feminist separatists" had me wincing with their clumsiness. And the murderer turns out to be crying rape/incest up in order to further her career in the face of sexism and her father was probably right by denying her career anyway. Militant feminist teens don't let themselves be the victims of incest you see. Wince, wince. And she befriends another girl with
Book jumps around a lot among scenes and people. Confusing. Perhaps I should have started with book one and gotten to know and enjoy the heroes.
Lucy Barnhouse
I usually enjoy Rendell's novels a great deal, finding them well-written and astute. This one, however, was bizarrely and pervasively misogynistic. I could sputter outrage for paragraphs, but I'll spare you that, and recommend sparing yourself this book.
It was a very long time since I'd read the last Inspector Wexford, so this book finds him retired and not coping that well with retirement (as you can imagine). He gets invited to be an 'expert' on a case in London (does that really happen? well who cares) and it begins again. It's hard to see how this format could continue, but I do hope it does. I, for one, promise to turn a blind eye to the improbability of it all. It was another brilliantly characterised crime novel, and left you wanting mor ...more
Another great Wexford mystery. Complex, full of twists and English lifestyles. Not full of gore and violence. Simply put - a good read.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 82 83 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The House of Stairs
  • The Wench Is Dead (Inspector Morse, #8)
  • Death at the Alma Mater (A St. Just Mystery #3)
  • Oxford Blood (Jemima Shore, #5)
  • Written In Blood (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #4)
  • Killer Dolphin (Roderick Alleyn, #24)
  • The Wood Beyond (Dalziel & Pascoe, #15)
  • Death of an Expert Witness (Adam Dalgliesh, #6)
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)

Share This Book

“Burden thought irrelevantly that Wendy Williams must be attracted by bald men, first Rodney with his exaggerated forehead, naked as an apple, then this pebble-head.” 0 likes
“the case of her following his directions and taking the footpath” 0 likes
More quotes…