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Ruth Rendell

The Veiled One

Hutchinson 1988
Jacket design Raymond Hawkey

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Ruth Rendell

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THE woman was lying dead on the floor when he came in. She was already dead and covered up from head to toe but Wexford only knew that afterwards, not at the time. He looked back and realized the chances he had missed but it was useless doing that he hadn't known and that was all. He had been preoccupied, thinking of an assortment of things: his wife's birthday present that was in the bag he carried, modern architecture, yesterday's gale which had blown down his garden fence, this car park that he was entering from the descending lift. Even the lift was not as other lifts elsewhere, being of rattling grey metal undecorated except by graffiti. Irregular printing from whose letters the red paint had dripped like trails of blood, informed him that someone called Steph was *a diesel dyke'. He wondered what that meant, wondered too where he could look it up. The lift was going down

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