The Vault

The Vault

An Inspector Wexford Novel

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In the stunning climax to Rendell’s classic 1998 novel A Sight for Sore Eyes, three bodies—two dead, one living—are entombed in an underground chamber beneath a picturesque London house. Twelve years later, the house’s new owner pulls back a manhole cover, and discovers the vault—and its grisly contents. Only now, the number of bodies is four. How did somebody else end up in the chamber? And who knew of its existence?

With their own detectives at an impasse, London police call on former Kingsmarkham Chief Inspector Wexford, now retired and living with his wife in London, to advise them. Wexford, missing the thrill of a good case, jumps at the chance to sleuth once again. His dogged detective skills and knack for figuring out the criminal mind take him to London neighborhoods, posh and poor, as he follows a complex trail leading back to the original murders a decade ago.

But just as the case gets hot, a devastating family tragedy pulls Wexford back to Kingsmarkham, and he finds himself transforming from investigator into victim. Ingeniously plotted, The Vault is a “masterful” (The Seattle Times) sequel to A Sight for Sore Eyes that will satisfy both longtime Wexford fans and new Rendell readers alike.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451624106 | 
  • July 2012
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1

ACURIOUS WORLD WE live in,” said Franklin Merton, “where one can afford a house but not a picture of a house. That must tell us some profound truth. But what? I wonder.”

The picture he was talking about was Simon Alpheton’s Marc and Harriet in Orcadia Place, later bought by Tate Britain—simply “the Tate” in those days—and the house the one in the picture, Orcadia Cottage. His remark about the curious world was addressed to the Harriet of the picture, for whom he had bought it and whom he intended to marry when his divorce came through. Later on, when passion... see more

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