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The seventeenth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. A by-pass is planned in the sleepy village of Kingsmarkham, a move that would destroy its peace and natural habitat forever. Wexford's wife Dora joins the protest movement, but Wexford must be more circumspect. Trouble is expected. Before the protesters even have a chance to make their presence felt, the badly decomposed body of a young woman is discovered. Burden believes he kws the identity of the murderer, but Wexford is t convinced. Just as Wexford is about to investigate the murder, a number of people disappear - including Dora Wexford. The Chief Inspector must battle with his powerful emotions and solve the case immediately, before his wife is placed in any mortal danger...
Ruth Rendell has won many awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View; a second Edgar in 1984 from the Mystery Writers of America for the best short story, 'The New Girl Friend'; and a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986. She was also the winner of the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, as well as the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.