Books I read in 1987
Inspector Wexford is knocked out of commission when a car bomb meant for his daughter (an environmental activist and actress) injures him. This leaves his underling, Mike Burden, in charge of the case. The case concerns the death of a woman in a shopping mall garage.
She turns out to have not been the nicest woman, nor is anyone else in this story. (Rendell clearly was a bit of a misogynist).
Both Wexford, quickly back in the saddle, and Burden have their preferred murderer. There are lots of red herrings and excellent character development in this case. I guess Rendell's dark view of humanity coincides with mine.