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No Man’s Nightingale by Ruth Rendell

Book cover

No Man’s Nightingale

Rendell’s Wexford is a long-lived character in a long-lived series. Although his life runs at a slower pace than normal time, he retired from the police a couple of books ago but he still makes his contributions to the causes of truth and justice.

In her latest novel, No Man’s Nightingale, you can see that age inexorably creeps on our hero but he still delivers a cracking performance. In the main, the novel is as tightly plotted as any other contemporary crime writing. Indeed, Rendell’s experience (and brilliance) shine through. Even the title, which seems wilfully obscure, made sense to me by the end.

The one glaring error I spotted was the contention that the Church of England now universally uses the Alternative Service Book rather The Book of Common Prayer as its predominant source of liturgy. That is correct in principal but the main liturgical source has been known as Common Worship since 2000; arguably not a matter to slay an author for though.

This could be the last of the Wexford books and, if so, will serve as a fitting epitaph to an illustrious career. However, I suspect I will not be alone in being delighted if Rendell disturbs her protagonist from his rest and reading a few more times yet.

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