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Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9)
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Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford #9)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,234 ratings  ·  81 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
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 11th 2000 by Vintage (first published 1975)
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Best Book 9s in a Series
56th out of 158 books — 19 voters
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85th out of 90 books — 36 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mar 03, 2012 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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, like 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 lib
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
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
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..."
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Shonna Froebel
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
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
Alexia Gordon
Dragged a bit in some parts, an attempt to extend the suspense until the last few pages, but a good, classic mystery where the focus was on the puzzle, not the protagonist's love life.
Pam Kennedy
Another thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery from Ruth Rendell. While murder mysteries are not my usual favorite genre these pleasant excursions with Inspector Wexford and the quite British setting are a nice change of pace.
I don't have much to compare this book to--I can't remember the last time I read a mystery. But this was a fun read--though what bookclub will discuss about it I really couldn't say. Coming into the middle of a series, I couldn't understand why the protagonist's boss would give him a hard time, given that a series of books has been written about his crime-solving prowess. And I'm not clear on whether he cheated on his wife and if that's in keeping with his character. But otherwise I thought the ...more
Inspector Wexford goes rogue cop after he is told to lay off his prime suspect in a murder case by his chief. Of course, Wexford going rogue is not "Dirty Harry" in its proportions but very "English" ...

Are Wexford's instincts right? That of course is the answer to the mystery. Will you find yourself realising the answer before Wexford, or will you be like Wexford's nephew (a fellow police officer) only aware of the truth when Wexford sets it out?

Rendell, as always, brings the man Wexford (and h
Kathleen O'Nan
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!
This was a very twisted tale: two bodies are found on the property of a disgruntled man who inherited it from an uncle. At first, they seem to have something to do with his feud with the local council around building permits. However, the net widens and Wexford and Burden talk to a famous author and his two wives--or the ex and the current, who all live together. There were several nasty but entertaining characters in this book: the property owner and the two wives. The solution is a tangle of l ...more
Puzzle Doctor
Rather dull and predictable - to me at least. Review @
Ruth Rendell is one of my the best mystery writers. Greatly admire her.
Linda Rowland
This may be the Wexford I like the best. We do see a different side of him.
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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)
  • A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)
  • Death Notes (Inspector Wexford, #11)
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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“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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