Friday, May 18, 2012

The Vault

Chief Inspector Reg Wexford is retired.  Now he's just plain Reg Wexford, and life has lost some of its zest.   He and Dora are spending time in the coachhouse of his daughter's luxurious grounds and he's enjoying exploring London on foot.  When an old colleague, Tom Ede, calls him up to ask for his help as an unofficial, unpaid police advisor, he leaps at the chance.

The Vault refers to Wexford's name for the underground cellar which has recently been opened and led to the discovery of several dead bodies.  The bodies are not new, and it's a difficult task to unravel who they are, let alone deduce who the murderers are.  Wexford struggles to keep his impatience under control: used to be the boss, and having the authority of his badge to gain him entree wherever he wants to go, working as an unofficial advisor, and handling the case the way Ede wants him to is frustrating.  However, he soldiers on, and delivers the solution in the case.

This is a good book, but the pace is slower than previous Rendell books.  Perhaps Wexford has just lost some momentum in retirement.  Maybe only a 2-star on my rating scale of 5.

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