Books by Barbara Vine

THE CHILD'S CHILD by Barbara Vine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 4, 2012

"The overwhelming sadness of the events in both stories is leavened by the matter-of-fact firmness with which Vine measures them out. Not even fans who expect more felonies will be able to put this one down."
Vine's 14th (The Birthday Present, 2009, etc.) is a novel within a novel—well, within a novella, anyway—in which both tales revolve around a straight woman's unexpected relationship with a gay man. Read full book review >
THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT by Barbara Vine
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 10, 2009

"Less dense and gloomy than most of Vine's work (The Minotaur, 2006, etc.), though that's a matter of degree. Despite an untidy and anticlimactic ending, as gripping a tale as you'll read this year. "
Ruth Rendell's 13th pseudonymous novel traces the four years of unintended consequences following a Conservative MP's ill-advised attempt to spice up his sex life. Read full book review >
THE MINOTAUR by Barbara Vine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 21, 2006

"Using the conventions of a Victorian pastiche, Vine presents as satisfying a family of monsters as you're likely to find. It's like watching a house of cards collapse in exquisite slow-motion."
In Ruth Rendell's 12th thriller under the Vine byline (The Blood Doctor, 2002, etc.), a Swedish nurse, in order to be near her lover in London, takes a post in Essex only to find that love is in dangerously short supply at Lydstep Old Hall. Read full book review >
THE BLOOD DOCTOR by Barbara Vine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2002

"A dense, dazzling exploration of the biographer as detective, and of the truism that blood will tell."
Biographer Martin Nanther turns detective when he attempts a life of the great-grandfather who earned the family its peerage and its curse—in Ruth Rendell's tenth suspenser under the Vine byline (Grasshopper, 2000, etc.), a meticulous tale that moves with the balefully majestic force of a submerged iceberg. Read full book review >
GRASSHOPPER by Barbara Vine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Even though Vine's characters invariably find waiting such a losing game, her loyal readership may want to wait till next year just this once."
Years after she caused her teenaged lover's accidental death, claustrophobic Clodagh Brown is once again mixed up in deeds that are bound to end fatally—but none too soon—in this intricate, rather febrile exercise in the delayed payoff. Read full book review >
THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER'S BOY by Barbara Vine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 10, 1998

A dead author turns out to be anything but the blandly successful public figure he'd pretended to be for 40 years, in Ruth Rendell's ninth as Barbara Vine—a slow-moving, richly textured suspenser. Read full book review >
THE BRIMSTONE WEDDING by Barbara Vine
THRILLERS
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"1995, etc.) is her most tightly wound, her most searching, and perhaps her finest to date. (Literary Guild/Mystery Guild alternate selections)"
 A quiet but ultimately searing double portrait of two women's doomed affairs. ``As for liking, they're past all that,'' caregiver Genevieve Warner thinks about her geriatric charges at Norfolk's Middleton Hall. Read full book review >
NO NIGHT IS TOO LONG by Barbara Vine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 1995

"If the plotting is a little thinner than usual, her seductive way with plausible, self-excusing Tim is a model of suave unmasking."
 Huddling in a cold, nameless town on the Suffolk coast, Tim Cornish recalls the time he got away with murder, not realizing that in Ruth Rendell's novels as Barbara Vine, nobody ever gets away with anything. Read full book review >
ANNA'S BOOK by Barbara Vine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 2, 1993

"Despite an anticlimactic ending, then: the best Vine since A Dark-Adapted Eye."
 For her sixth Barbara Vine novel (King Solomon's Carpet, 1992, etc.), Ruth Rendell returns to the formula of the earliest Vines: the unfolding investigation—through the interpretation of contemporary accounts aided by memory—of a crime in the past. Read full book review >
KING SOLOMON'S CARPET by Barbara Vine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 27, 1992

"Richly textured but slow-moving: a thriller for readers who think it's better to travel hopelessly than to arrive."
 King Solomon's magic carpet is the London Underground, running past the disused old school building that houses the most ill- assorted covey that Vine (Ruth Rendell) has brought together since A Fatal Inversion for this updating of Conrad's novel of terrorist conspiracy, The Secret Agent. Read full book review >
THE HOUSE OF STAIRS by Barbara Vine

Like the two earlier Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine novels (A Dark-Adapted Eye, A Fatal Inversion), this seriously flawed yet mesmerizing tale is a retrospective account of the events leading up to a crime, less a whodunit than a what-will-happen? Read full book review >