Searching for truffles in a wood, a man and his dog unearth something less savoury – a human hand.
The body, as Chief Inspector Wexford is informed later, has lain buried for ten years or so, wrapped in a purple cotton sheet. The post-mortem cannot reveal the precise cause of death. The only clue is a crack in one of the dead man’s ribs.
The police computer stores a long list of missing persons. Men, women and children disappear at an alarming rate, something like 500 every day nation-wide. So Wexford knows he is going to have a job on his hands to identify the corpse.
And then, only twenty yards away from the woodland burial site, in the cellar of a disused cottage, another body is found.
The Snapshot Review
What I Liked: Sitting down with Wexford and Burden again; the subplot which, as often happens in Rendell’s Wexford novels, deals with a complex socio-cultural issue, one which Rendell handles well.
The “But”: Plot was predictable; characters not as finely detailed as in previous Wexford novels.
Ms. Bookish’s Very Quick Take: Wexford fans are always thrilled with a new Wexford novel, but this one isn’t quite up to par with previous ones. Still, very readable.