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Some Lie And Some Die

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Arrow, London, 1974
(first published by Hutchinson, 1973)

dedication: To my son, Simon Rendell, who goes to festivals, and my cousin, Michael Richards, who wrote the song, this book is dedicated with love and gratitude

The blurb on the back:

For a while the pop festival at 'Sundays' went well. The sun shone, the groups played and everyone - except a few angry neighbours - seemed to enjoy themselves.
Then the weather changed. And in a nearby quarry two lovers found a body that made even Inspector Wexford's stomach lurch.
Dawn Stonor had been a local girl, back from London on a flying visit that not even her mother could explain - and the only clue that Wexford had was her strange connection with the star of the festival ...

'The best woman crime writer since Sayers, Christie, Allingham and Marsh' - Edmund Crispin, Sunday Times

Well, you know Ruth Rendell, and you either like her stuff or you don't. Personally I can live without it, but I guess you've got to accept that she's good at what she does, and this one - being the kind of thing she does - is no exception. A rock festival hits a small village in the early-1970s and inevitably ends in murder. There are the usual clumsy attempts to describe music that doesn't exist and that the writer doesn't like very much, but it's not too embarrassing and, since the emphasis is on the disruption of normal life, it all hangs together.

Typically of the casual racism of the period, a male black character is described as 'a magnificent tall Negro'. Can you imagine a white man being described as having a 'magnificent' appearance? Of course not. An animal, perhaps, but not a white man. It's a slave-trader's term.


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