Road Rage by Ruth Rendell

I am currently reading Road Rage by Ruth Rendell, which features Chief Inspector Wexford who is privately despairing about the loss of his hiking grounds when he learns that plans are made to consstruct a new bypass which unfortunately cut through some ancient woodlands outside the town of Kingsmarkham. So angry local residents and outsiders organise a massive protest and Wexford’s beloved Kingsmarkham becomes a village divided as protesters descend on the quiet little town, trying to stop the new road being built on a local beauty spot which happens to be prime habitat for a rare species of butterfly.

To make matters worse the corpse of a missing German hitchhiker named Ulrike Ranke is discovered in the undergrowth by someone and then Dora Wexford is kidnapped on the way to the train station. Within hours, it becomes apparent that four other people have been kidnapped as well, and what seemed like innocent protests take on a sinister cast as it becomes apparent that  Some of the protestors are desperate enough to kidnap five hostages and threaten to kill them in order to stop the new bypass being buil.  Now, combining high technology with his extraordinary detecting skills, Wexford and his team race to find the kidnappers’ whereabouts.

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