The Monster in the Box

The Monster in the Box

An Inspector Wexford Novel

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The Monster in the Box is the latest addition to Ruth Rendell’s "masterful" (Los Angeles Times) Inspector Wexford series. In this enthralling new book, Rendell, "the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world" (Time), takes Inspector Wexford back to his first murder case—a woman found strangled in her bedroom. Outside the crime scene, Wexford noticed a short, muscular man wearing a scarf and walking a dog. The man gave Wexford an unnerving stare. Without any solid evidence, Wexford began to suspect that this man—Eric Targo—was the killer.

Over the years there are more unsolved, apparently motiveless murders in the town of Kingsmarkham.

Now, half a lifetime later, Wexford spots Targo back in Kingsmarkham after a long absence. Wexford tells his longtime partner, Mike Burden, about his suspicions, but Burden dismisses them as fantasy. Meanwhile, Burden’s wife, Jenny, has suspicions of her own. She believes that the Rahmans, a highly respectable immigrant family from Pakistan, may be forcing their daughter, Tamima, into an arranged marriage—or worse.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439150375 | 
  • July 2010
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Introducing mystery writer Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell, "reigning queen of crime fiction," reveals the inspiration for her acclaimed Inspector Wexford series.

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Read an Excerpt

1

HE HAD NEVER told anyone. The strange relationship, if it could be called that, had gone on for years, decades, and he had never breathed a word about it. He had kept silent because he knew no one would believe him. None of it could be proved, not the stalking, not the stares, the conspiratorial smiles, not the killings, not any of the signs Targo had made because he knew that Wexford knew and could do nothing about it.

It had gone on for years and then it had stopped. Or seemed to have stopped. Targo was gone. Back to Birmingham yet again or perhaps to Coventry. A long time had passed since he had been seen in... see more

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Monster in the Box by Ruth Rendell includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.



Introduction

The latest addition to Ruth Rendell’s classic and beguiling Inspector Wexford series takes Inspector Wexford back to his days as a young policeman, and to the man he has long suspected of murder —serial murder.

Outside the house where Wexford investigated his first murder case, Wexford notices a short, muscular man who gives him an unnerving stare. Without any solid evidence, Wexford begins to suspect that this man —Eric Targo, he learns —is the killer. Over the years there are more unsolved, apparently motiveless murders in the town of Kingsmarkham, and Wexford continues to quietly suspect that the increasingly prosperous Targo is behind them.

Now, half a lifetime later, Wexford spots Targo back in Kingsmarkham after a long absence. Wexford tells his longtime partner Mike Burden about his suspicions, but Burden dismisses them as fantasy. Meanwhile, Burden’s wife Jenny has suspicions of her own. She believes that the Rahmans, a highly respectable immigrant see more

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