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Ng that this is simply another case of a bored middle aged man having run off with a younger woman However when Rodney Williams is found dead and another local man is stabbed in hi. This was my least liked of the Rendell books I have read to date and Ruth Rendell has been one of my favorite mystery authors So what was the problem exactly I would break it down to three separate complaints1 The cold unemotional mother figure and her subseuently damaged or dysfunctional offspring While this leads to an interesting puzzle is it the mother or the damaged child who committed the crime It can begin to feel a little repetitious after awhile2 The young radical adult thing This gets done in many ways on many different subjects antiwar environment feminism etc But it far too often cartoonish as in portraying young people as unintelligent mislead sponges with no minds of their own ready to lap up and act on any anti societal message being fed to them by their wicked and misinformed leaders3 Explaining the solution by doing a complete psychoanalysis of the protagonist as explained by the local detective who was trained whereWell should this review deter you from reading a fairly good book Absolutely not but then I needed to grip so if nothing else I feel better now Oh and thank you for your patience

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An Unkindness of Ravens

When Chief Inspector Reg Wexford does a favour for his wife to look into the disappearance of one of their neighbours' husbands everything he finds seems to confirm his first inkli. An Unkindness of Ravens by Ruth RendellThis story was published in 1985 I wanted to go back to the start of the Inspector Wexford series after I had enjoyed so many of them that were written recentlyInspector Wexford is informed of a neighbors disappearance Actually it s his wife that has reuested he speak with the wife of the missing man The inspector doesn t think too much about this situation but does go to the home of the missing person and speak with the wife Mrs Williams In uestioning her he obtains some information including the company the man works for The next step is to uestion Rodney Williams employer There still doesn t seem to be too much out of place in Rodney Williams life until he learns of his income There the discrepancy beginsThe Inspector Wexford books offer exactly what I look for in a mystery DEPTH in characters and detail The slow painstaking deduction of each clue with the outside lives of Wexford and Burden keeping it realistic This was an author who in my opinion enjoyed writing every page and plotting every murder

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S An Unkindness ePUB #192 car Wexford finds himself thrown into an investigation involving a militant feministic organisation known as Arria who have taken the raven as their symbo. First Ruth Rendell read for personal reasons Did not like the book nor the detective Even though i picked it up because i had been told that it was about a staunch feminist group functioning underground the book turned out to be of nothing of the sort There was no feminism at all On the contrary i found it very misogynistic and patriarchal in its story approach and even language The man who in the beginning of the book is reported missing had a reputation This we get to know from the conversation inspector Wexford has with his wife Dora I ll tell you something I was scared to tell you at the time I thought you might do something violent Sure he said I ve always been so wild and free with my fists What are you on about He made a pass at Sylvia She said it defiantly Standing there in the long red dress holding the sherry glass her eyes suddenly wide and wary she looked astonishingly young So His elder daughter was thirty married twelve years and the mother of two tall sons She s an attractive woman I daresay men do make passes at her and no doubt she can take care of herself Dora gave him a sidelong look I said I was scared to tell you She was fifteen at the time Firstly i noticed the way the author describes women by making elaborate comments about their clothes and most of the time age appearance and bodies Women who have become agents of patriarchy have a major role in establishing norms and they inevitably turn out to be patriarchal Ruth Rendall throughout the book speaks the language of patriarchy Look at the way the inspector or is it the author who makes a mental note of how young Dora looked And the man s explanation to the sexual harassment that his daughter faced It is that she is an attractive woman I don t know how many times feminists will have to yell on rooftops that sexual harassment is not about looks or beauty It is about power and violence and gender This was only the beginning of things which were wrong with the book Another portion where a man was attacked by a woman in his car after he had given a lift to her there is a reason given for them not having contacted the police It was his wife who had dissuaded him on the grounds that if the police were called the conclusion they would reach would be that Wheatley had first made some sort of assault on the girlThat sounds like bullshit to me So what is the author trying to say Whenever a woman makes a complaint it will be assumed by default that the woman was attacked first and everything that was done was done in self defense Then it would have been so so so easy for people like us who have had to fight sexual harassment tooth and nail all the time yelling on top of our voices that we are not lying because that was what we were mostly accused of Are the police stupid or is the author Pitting women against women has been patriarchy s weapon for the longest time We can see many instances of it in the book The mysterious case of Jenny s pregnancy which was not mysterious to me at all from the look of things i knew what was wrong with the baby tells us that she not Burden the father was upset that she was going to have a girl Burden is a little relieved when he gets to know that his wife has started taking a psychiatrist s help He tells her Don t let him give you drugs It s a woman She wanted to scream with laughter The irony of it She was a teacher and this other woman was a psychiatrist and Mike s daughter Pat was very nearly ualified as a dentist yet here she was reacting like a no account junior wife in a harem Because the baby was a girlI am at a loss to decide what is meant by this that i uoted no account junior wife in a harem Seriously Throughout the book i never understood why this woman was upset with having a baby girl Nor did her innocent husband who seems to assume all psychiatrists are men in the earlier conversation So that is why the book saysIn vain he had asked why this prejudice against girls she who was a feminist a supporter of the women s movement who expressed a preference for her friends small girls over their small sons who got on better with her stepdaughter than her stepson who pofessed to prefer teaching girls to boysShe didn t know why only that it was so Her preganancy so long desired at first so ecstatically accepted had driven her mad The worst of it was that he was coming to hate the unborn child himself and to wish it had never been conceivedDid that make any sense It was helpful because i got to know that like many women and others the author had no clue what feminism is about She further elaborates with this rant that Burden does in a bar soon after It s not that she s anti girls usually Burden said For God s sake she s a feminist I mean it s not some stupid I must have an heir thing or every woman s got to have a son to prove herself In fact I think she secretly thinks women are better than men I mean cleverer and versatile all that She says she doesn t understand it herself She says she had no feelings about the child s sex one way or the other but when they told her when she knew she was well dismayed That was at first It s got worst It s not just dismay now it s hatred She says that ever since the world began sons have been preferred over daughters and now it s become part of race memory what she calls the collective unconscious What Jung called it Her justification made no sense to me even though i like Jung s terminology and what it means I hope that everyone else knows that stating that one s a feminist a lot of times does not make you a feminist The author didn t seem to know it You cannot be pissed just because you are going to have a girl baby and still call yourself a feminist Collective unconscious or not From time to time we get glimpses of the sexist nature of our inspector My guess is that these revelations were planted so that in the end people go he was right all the while with his sexism because view spoilerthe killer is a woman hide spoiler


10 thoughts on “An Unkindness of Ravens

  1. says:

    A British police procedural and mysteryA fine book which provides a detailed police procedural mystery with many characters

  2. says:

    I read this book in a couple of sittings Rodney Williams disappears his misnamed wife Joy reports it Then it escalates to a

  3. says:

    An Unkindness of Ravens by Ruth RendellThis story was published in 1985 I wanted to go back to the start of the Inspector Wexford se

  4. says:

    Read by Michael BryantTotal Runtime 8 Hours 9 MinsDescription Rodney Williams's disappearance seems typical to Chief Inspector Wexford a simple case of a man running off with a woman other than his wife But when another woman report

  5. says:

    After a rather difficult beginning this book pleasantly surprised me and I really liked it I admit that the beginning did not interest me at all I mean I was interested in the blurb But the first three or four chapters I found rather boring and even abandoned this book for a long time I am very happy that I decided to come back to it because it turned out to be excellentA story that seems to be very simple at

  6. says:

    This was my least liked of the Rendell books I have read to date and Ruth Rendell has been one of my favorite mystery authors So what was the problem exactly? I would break it down to three separate complaints1 The cold unemotional mother figure and her subseuently damaged or dysfunctional offspring While this leads to an interest

  7. says:

    The absurd insulting ending to this book completely mitigates the decent novel that came before I would not recommend this book to a

  8. says:

    Ok this is the third 'vintage' Rendell I've listened to on audiobook and I think I'm done they're clearly wildly popular in my local library but I can't get over how dated and old fashioned they are This book was originally published in 1985 but what we have is a story of young feminists who are also knife wielding man haters 'cos 'feminist' is a synonym for 'psychopath' obvs Alongside all the misogyny and dodgy gender

  9. says:

    First Ruth Rendell read for personal reasons Did not like the book nor the detective Even though i picked it up be

  10. says:

    This one has put me off Ruth Rendell and that's saying something I'll just have to keep in mind that it was written in 1985 and attitudes have changed a lot since then but her caricature of a militant feminist group is way over the

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