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The Monster in the Box (Inspector Wexford,…

The Monster in the Box (Inspector Wexford, Book 22) (edition 2010)

by Ruth Rendell

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Title:The Monster in the Box (Inspector Wexford, Book 22)
Authors:Ruth Rendell
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The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell

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Ruth Rendell is one of my favorite authors and I like the Wexford series, but this one was a little slow for me. I hung in there, though, and felt rewarded at the end. The plot: a serial killer has stalked Inspector Wexford for decades but there has never been overt evidence linking him to the crimes and because the stalking incidents all looked coincidental Wexford has never had enough grounds to put anyone on his trail. An unexpected pleasure of reading this story was that it takes Wexford down a personal memory lane and I got a chance to learn some background on this great character. ( )
  naimahaviland | Jan 7, 2013 |
Not QUITE the last of Inspector Wexford (huzzah!) even though the end is drawing inexorably closer (pshaw, pshaw). This next-to-latest in the series has its roots in the early days of Wexford's career, when he became convinced that Eric Targo was a murderer. For years, his life and Targo's have intersected, in large part -- Wexford believes -- because Targo is taunting him. Eventually, the novel moves from the past to the present; Targo reappears, and Wexford is able, at long last, to build a real case against him.

Along the way, we are given a delightful excursion into Wexford's personal past, revealing how he met and married Dora. And we are treated to the usual odd mix of characters, presented with Rendell's usual subtlety. We also have the usual socially-relevant subplot, again involving Asians and the hyper-politically-correct DC Goldsmith. I found the ending a little dissapointing (after all that buildup, I hoped for more of a ahocker) but all in all this is another great read. ( )
  annbury | Jul 20, 2012 |
"Some years before, when his daughter Sylvia had been taking a course in psychotherapeutic counselling, she had taught him about the 'box' as a means of dealing with anxieties.
"'If you've a problem weighing on your mind, Dad, you have to visualize a box - maybe quite small, the size of a matchbox. You open it and put your worry inside - now don't start laughing. It works. Close the box with the worry inside and put it away somewhere, inside a drawer, say.'
"'Why not throw it in the sea?'
"'That's a bit final. You may want to take it out again one day.'
"'And this is going to take all problems away?'
"'I don't say that, Dad, but it might help. If you find yourself thinking of the worry, you also think it's locked away in the box so you can't touch it.'
"He had scoffed. But still he tried it. Several times since then he had put Targo [the suspected serial killer] in a box, and sometimes it had worked well. He tried it again now, carefully placing Targo and the white van and ... his own fear into the box and hiding it in a drawer of the desk in his office. And the white van failed to reappear." pp.139-40
  maryoverton | May 8, 2012 |
When you read this book you realize that Ms. Rendell is coming to the end of her wonderful Inspector Wexford series. I for one am sad to see this, but look forward to reading her next book "The Vault" which is recently out. In this book the enigmatic Wexford is being haunted by a ghost from his past. A ghost that he first met when he was just a young copper and newly on the force. A ghost who Wexford is convinced is a serial killer, but one that was never brought to justice. And then lo and behold the ghost comes back into Wexford's life after many years absence and Wexford and Burden are dealing with a present-day murder. Again Wexford has no evidence or proof other than his own assurance that this man is a serial killer and is still in the business, so to speak. I enjoyed the book. The first part of the book was especially strong, but the ending is a bit disappointing even though we know that things don't always work out the way they should in real life. I love Wexford and have enjoyed reading him over the past many years. He's a copper's copper and one who has good instincts and an intelligence that have all helped him be very successful in his long and illustrious career. Fortunately for me, I have still got quite a few non-series books written by the remarkable Ms. Rendell, and I'm going to enjoy getting through this list. She is a remarkable writer. ( )
  Romonko | Feb 17, 2012 |
another great book in the Inspector Wexford series. As usual, Rendell is a master at tying loose ends.
Also seeing into Wexford's past was a bittersweet addition to the story. ( )
  sogamonk | Jan 29, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Although the plot mechanics linking these two story lines are a bit creaky, it’s a pleasure to have flashbacks to a boyish Wexford in hot pursuit of girls of a certain alluring type.
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To Simon, my son, who told me about the box
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Inspector Wexford tries to convince Mike Burden that a man Wexford has long known, Eric Targo, is the killer behind a series of apparently motiveless murders.

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