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The nineteenth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. 'A woman phoned to say she and her husband went to Paris for the weekend, leaving their children with a - well, teen-sitter, I suppose, got back last night to find the lot gone and naturally she assumes they've all drowned.' There hadn't been anything like this kind of rain in living memory. The River Brede had burst its banks, and t a single house in the valley had escaped flooding. Even where Wexford lives, higher up in Kingsmarkham, the waters had nearly reached the mulberry tree in his once immaculate garden. The Subaqua Task Force could find trace of Giles and Sophie Dade, let alone the woman who was keeping them company, Joanna Troy. But Mrs Dade is convinced her children are dead. As he embarks upon this mysterious investigation, Wexford is forced to question many of his core assumptions about society, even about his own family...
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.