What connects a kidnapped baby, a woman's body left to rot in a cove in Yugoslavia, a suspicious suicide and the century-old case of a wife who poisons her husband? The answer: British crime fiction's favourite detective, DCI Reg Wexford.
In the first of five cases, Wexford is brought in to deal with a distraught mother whose baby girl has been swapped with an unknown baby boy. When a local priest discovers the missing baby, safe and sound, on the church steps, the hunt for the missing girl is quickly over.
Mother and daughter are happily reunited, but the mystery of the baby boy remains unsolved. Then Wexford discovers Paddy Jasper has returned to Kingsmarkham, a man previously investigated by Wexford for violently abusing a child. Now Wexford fears the next reunion may not be as happy as the last...
Ruth Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, and will be remembered as a legend in her own lifetime. Her groundbreaking debut novel, From Doon With Death, was first published in 1964 and introduced the reader to her enduring and popular detective, Inspector Reginald Wexford, who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels. With worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, Rendell was a regular Sunday Times bestseller. Her sixty bestselling novels include police procedurals, some of which have been successfully adapted for TV, stand-alone psychological mysteries, and a third strand of crime novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. Very much abreast of her times, the Wexford books in particular often engaged with social or political issues close to her heart. Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer. Ruth Rendell died in May 2015. Her final novel, Dark Corners, is scheduled for publication in October 2015