The tenth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.
On a sultry August evening, the bloody body of a middle-aged woman is discovered beneath a hedge by a small boy.
There are only two things that surprise Wexford about the murder scene. One, that the only contents of the woman's handbag are some keys and a wallet containing nothing but some money. And two, how even in death, her deathly grey eyes possess a scornful glare.
The woman turns out to be Rhoda Comfrey, but there's no murder weapon, no apparent motive, and no one who actually cares that she died. Wexford's only hunch is that the clues to her murder must lie in her solitary London life. But her existence there becomes frustratingly impossible to trace.
One of the best novelists writing today
The most brilliant mystery novelist of our time
Probably the greatest living crime writer in the world
[Wexford] has become an old friend who gets better with age
Rendell has quite simply transformed the genre of crime writing. She displays her peerless skill in blending the mundane, commonplace aspects of life with the potent murky impulses of desire and greed, obsession and fear