2009: 25. Sins of the Fathers

“It was five in the morning. Inspector Burden had seen more dawns than most men, but he had never quite become jaundiced by them, especially summer dawns.”

Sins of the Fathers, Ruth Rendell 

This book has a pretty good premise (one that they couldn’t have today, at least in England, though still in America, unfortunately).  An man was convicted and executed for a crime, and Inspector Wexford was one of the men who was caught him.  Now, years later, the man’s daughter wants to prove he didn’t do it.  Or rather, the father of the man she wants to marry comes knocking, hoping to prove that the woman his son loves isn’t descended from a mass murderer (this book has a retrograde notion of hereditary, though it could be just the character who is sort of an upper class ponce).  Anyway, it causes Wexford to reconsider his own role in the ancient murder and in doing so to uncover other secrets that lead to other crimes...

A pretty good mystery, though its necessarily somewhat dated with its attitude to crime - the daughter is beautiful, kind and Oxford educated and still concedes that if her father is a criminal she isn’t good enough for the son.  Barf-a-roo, but still its not a bad mystery.  Rendell’s writing now is much more complex than Rendell then, but Rendell then was still pretty darn good, so this is a good read.


Date/Place Completed:  March 2009; D.C.

Categories: Fiction; Ruth Rendell Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017