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