2010: 11. A Guilty Thing Surprised

“When Quentin Nightingale left home for London each morning his wife was always still asleep.”

A Guilty Thing Surprised, Ruth Rendell

    This is an older Wexford mystery, and like From Doon to Death, it suffers a little from turning on a plot twist that was probably more shocking in the 1970’s than it is now (well, without giving it away, the twist is still shocking - certainly would be if you ran across it in real life - but it’s not a shock to run across it in a book any more.  In a book this twist is old hat).  And, the book, therefore, suffers a bit on a modern read. I figured out what was going on way, way before the police did, and, as I have often noted, I am not so quick to solve the mystery I’m reading.  In fact, I’ve had that problem with a couple of Wexford’s that I’ve read.  A major plot twist seems so obvious to me as to not even really be a twist, and it takes the police chapters and chapters to figure it out.  Her other books aren’t like that at all, so it makes me wonder whether Wexford is dim, or whether her Wexford books are just less modern than her other works.  

Date/Place Completed: January 2010

Categories: Ruth Rendell Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017