Barbara's Reviews > The Monster in the Box

The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell
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's review
Feb 23, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery

It has been so long since I read a Ruth Rendell novel, I cannot remember which I read. Recently, I have finished several Barbara Vine mysteries and had fallen under her spell. After reading "The Monster in the Box", I had the surprising sense that I was comparing two different authors!Perhaps it is not fair to do so with this one book. Vine's writing seems to have a more heightened tension throughout, with the constant mental question,"where are we going with this?" Each of her characters seem to possess some emotional baggage and quirkiness, adding to the mystifying aura of the tale.
In Rendell's "Monster", we see several people with more "normal" problems,the dilemmas of immigrant families and one odd, chilling, possible serial killer.The protagonist, Inspector Wexford, who is familiar to many readers after 22 books in this series, traces his history with this man through many years. This police procedural is certainly not an "edge of the seat", gripping mystery; but Rendell's intricate prose captures one's interest throughout. She has clearly defined her characters, imbuing them with behavioral traits which are
compelling, endearing or enigmatic. The English countryside and the urban areas are deftly and interestingly painted throughout.

Rendell has managed to sustain suspense to the very last page and has provided me with an enjoyable experience.
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message 1: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Thanks Barbara. I'll have to get to this sometime soon.

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