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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Monster in the Box


I stumbled upon my first Inspector Wexford Novel by accident even serendipitously. I was looking for another title and when I was looking for it, The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell fell to the floor.  I’ve always been intrigued by these instances in my life when a book falls into my hands, so to speak. I’ve always found those instances fortuitous. So I kept it and checked it out with another book I had come for.
Back in England again and back and forth between two times in the life of the inspector.  An early question keeps reoccurring if things are better now than then. Wexford and his pal Burden explore this idea often and Wexford even examines his buddie’s second marriage in that way, too.
“You’re saying things were better then?” Burden raised his eyebrows.
“Yes and no. In some ways and in some ways not. I expect that’s true whenever you contrast one period of time with another period of time.” Wexford continues to speak of forensics and DNA and the mobile phone as examples.
We are talking about Wexford’s first murder that may have occurred in the 60’s maybe 70’s. He has stumbled upon the man who he had a gut feeling was the murderer, but was too young and green and was new to say anything especially without any evidence or even a motive. But now he is reawakened and with experience to revisit this first case. He continues his tale with weird and strange encounters with Targo, the suspect, over the years in odd places and at interesting points in other murders by strangling. Coincidences are building and that raises the red flags for Wexford who unburdens himself to Burden. We are Burden right now.
So many incidents from the past are coming back now to be closed or to be revisited; former female interactions, an acquaintance for whom he was best man remind us of how he was so convinced about something and didn’t say anything unlike his colleague, Hannah, who is pursuing a hunch. So is it better then or now? Wexford simply goes inside and closes the door not wanting to hear or see anymore.
I need to read some more of this series.

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