A Guilty Thing Surprised

A Guilty Thing Surprised

an engrossing and enthralling Wexford mystery from the award-winning queen of crime, Ruth Rendell


In A Guilty Thing Surprised, multi-million copy and SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Ruth Rendell has created a thriller so taut and tense and full of twists and turns, you'll be gripped from page one. An absolute must for fans of PD James, Ann Cleeves and Donna Leon.

'Ruth Rendell is England's premier detective-thriller writer' -- Spectator

'The best mystery writer in the English-speaking world' -- The Times
'Ruth Rendell has a sharp and perceptive eye for everyday detail, an uncanny understanding of human behaviour and, above all, the ability to colour innocence with evil' -- The Sunday Telegraph
'I could not put the book down!' -- ***** Reader review
'You'll love it!' -- ***** Reader review
'A real page-turner' -- ***** Reader review
'Wexford at his compelling best' -- ***** Reader review


The discovery of Elizabeth Nightingale's broken body in the woods near her home could not have come as a bigger shock.

Called in to investigate, Chief Inspector Wexford quickly determines that the Nightingales were considered the perfect couple - wealthy, attractive and without an enemy in the world.

However, someone must have been alone with Elizabeth that night in the woods. Someone who hated - or perhaps loved - her enough to beat her to death.

The case seems straightforward. But Wexford soon learns that beneath the placid surface of the Nightingales' lives lie undercurrents and secrets no one ever suspected...


  • One of the best novelists writing today
    P.D. James

About the author

Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, and will be remembered as a legend in her own lifetime. Her groundbreaking debut novel, From Doon With Death, was first published in 1964 and introduced the reader to her enduring and popular detective, Inspector Reginald Wexford, who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels.

With worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, Rendell was a regular Sunday Times bestseller. Her sixty bestselling novels include police procedurals, some of which have been successfully adapted for TV, stand-alone psychological mysteries, and a third strand of crime novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. Very much abreast of her times, the Wexford books in particular often engaged with social or political issues close to her heart.

Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for 1976’s best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

Ruth Rendell died in May 2015. Her final novel, Dark Corners, was published in October 2015.
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