End in Tears by Ruth Rendell

An eighteen-year old girl, a young mother of Brand, is murdered. At first it seems like a random killing. She had no enemies. Nothing was stolen. Nobody would benefit from her death. Soon however Wexford makes a connection between her death and the death of two motorists killed by a concrete brick tossed from a bridge onto their car a couple of months earlier. The brick was intended for the girl. It isn’t a random killing. It’s murder.

To find the killer Wexford investigates a whole community: the girl’s family, friends, neighbours living in a small cul-de-sac. Soon he has some leads. The girl was from a good home and she was about to return to college, but she is mixed up with people from the other side of the social divide. Everything points to drugs.

Wexford is assisted by Hannah Goldsmith. She is a fierce feminist and very politically correct. I didn’t like her, but that’s the beauty of Rendell’s writing. Her characters are real and in real life it isn’t everybody that I like.

She also raises issues that not everyone is comfortable with. She touches a nerve. In End in Tears she is true to form. She looks a problems people face and don’t always know how to deal with, but as much as social issues are important to her, Rendell never loses the sight of human psyche. She gets into your head and under your skin.

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