Ruth Rendell’s newest Inspector Wexford mystery takes us back and forth through the likeable detective’s career.

Wexford has never told anyone of his suspicions that dog-loving entrepreneur Eric Targo is a murderer. He has little evidence to support his theory, beyond his suspicions of the man, and the fact that Targo gives Wexford an unnerving stare.  There are more apparently motiveless murders whenever Targo is around, and Wexford becomes increasingly convinced they are down to Targo.

When Targo returns to the area and another murder occurs, Wexford finally confides his suspicions to his partner, Mike Burden, who dismisses him and his ideas as fantasy, in the same way Wexford has dismissed Burden’s wife of the belief a local Pakistani family is arranging a marriage for their only daughter.

How these two plot lines converge, and eventually involve Wexford’s  wife Dora, are examples of Rendell’s fine sense of story and plot. And along the way, you will find out what ‘the box’ signifies.

This is the 22nd Wexford novel, and if you’ve never read one of Rendell’s  novels, stand-alones or from the Wexford series, start right here and you will learn all you have to know about her compelling protagonist.

Along with PD James and Frances Fyfield, (whom are all friends) Rendell forms the triumvirate of English mystery writers who only get better with age.