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Ruth Rendell


Hutchinson 1994
Jacket design Slatter Anderson

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Ruth Rendell

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There were four people besides himself in the waiting room and none of them looked ill. The olive-skinned blonde in the designer tracksuit bloomed with health, her body all muscles, her hands all golden tendons, apart from the geranium nails and the nicotine stains on the right forefinger. She had changed her seat when a child of two arrived with its mother and homed to the chair next to hers. Now the blonde woman in the tracksuit was as far away as she could get, two seats from himself and three from the very old man who sat with his knees together, his hands clutching his checked cap in his lap and his eyes on the board where the doctors' names were printed. Each of the GPs had a light above his or her name and a hook underneath it on which coloured rings hung: a red light and rings for Dr Moss, green for Dr Akande, blue for Dr Wolf. The old man had been given a red ring, Wexford noticed, the child's mother a blue one, which was exactly what he would have expected, the preference for the senior man in one case, the woman in the other.

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