Search Results: "Ruth Rendell"


BOOK REVIEW

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Ruth Rendell
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"The sedate pace and sociological focus of Rendell's recent work (No Man's Nightingale, 2013, etc.) are quickened here by the capacity of her golden agers to act, and act out, in ways as surprising as they are logical."
Rendell's 65th novel shows the incalculable effects of a 70-year-old crime on a group of friends—schoolchildren when it happened, alarmingly unpredictable retirees now. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE ST. ZITA SOCIETY by Ruth Rendell
Released: Aug. 14, 2012

"Over her last several outings (Tigerlily's Orchids, 2011, etc.), Rendell has been returning to the stripped-down dyspepsia of her earliest work, adding freak-show sociology to her velvet nightmares. Instead of exhausting the possibilities of her collection of plausible misfits, this group portrait leaves you longing for more."
Rendell's 62nd novel is a highly characteristic anatomy of the many varieties of servitude—some stifling, some nurturing, some murderous—along posh Hexam Place, Knightsbridge. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

PORTOBELLO by Ruth Rendell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"The tectonic shifts that bring the characters together and tear them apart lack the inevitability of Rendell's most compelling exercises in the sociology of doom (The Water's Lovely, 2007, etc.). No wonder she relents and allows her characters something like a happy ending."
What ought to be welcome news—the chance discovery of £115 dropped by a stricken passerby—is the catalyst that brings together another memorably ill-assorted crowd of neurotics, misfits and criminals bent on mischief. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

KISSING THE GUNNER'S DAUGHTER by Ruth Rendell
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 1992

"The story marks a masterful return to form for the supreme living exponent of the English detective story."
Rendell's last few books haven't been up to her extraordinarily high standard, but Chief Inspector Wexford's first appearance since The Veiled One (1988) is cause for celebration. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

GOING WRONG by Ruth Rendell
Released: Sept. 17, 1990

"And this is ultimately an obvious, monotonic psycho-suspense exercise—competently narrated (with occasionally intriguing details) but unworthy of the author of A Judgement in Stone, Make Death Love Me, and the Wexford detective series."
"Going wrong" indeed: Rendell's latest variation on a favorite theme—psychotically obsessive love—is surprisingly one-dimensional and padded out, without the sharp twists or convincing peril of her best (or even second-best) work. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE VEILED ONE by Ruth Rendell
Released: Sept. 7, 1988

"But, if less well-plotted than Rendell's best, this is absorbing and disturbing nonetheless—thanks to a suspect list abrim with edgy pathos, Wexford's paternal broodings on his rivalrous daughters, and (above all) the richly developed, nightmarish relationship between misguided Burden and suspect #1."
Another somber yet taut, darkly psychological investigation in suburbia for Inspector Wexford—though this time sidekick Mike Burden, still a tad naive, shoulders most of the responsibility (and provides much of the emotional interest). Mrs. Gwen Robson, a 60-ish housewife with an arthritic husband, is found dead—via nasty garrote, apparently—in the parking garage of a shopping mall. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE KILLING DOLL by Ruth Rendell
Released: May 29, 1984

"But, if less masterful than the best Rendell psycho-suspense (Judgement in Stone, Make Death Love Me), this is a strong improvement over Master of the Moor—with genuine, haunting creepiness and achingly pathetic irony in the central portrait: an obsessed brother and sister, one surfacing to sanity while the other sinks ever deeper into madness."
Rendell returns to her favorite psychological-suspense device here: two separate story-lines that will eventually overlap—with fatal results. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: Jan. 4, 1979

"Second-string Rendell, then—which means, by any other standards, perfectly solid and tremendously intelligent, invisibly stylish work."
Five Inspector Wexford stories that show Rendell at her least distinctive—the full-length Wexfords and non-Wexford novels and stories are all superior—but Rendell never sinks below a certain, remarkably high, level. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH by Ruth Rendell
Released: June 15, 1966

"It's for the ladies who will be taken as well as taken in but they won't mind since it's a very readable form of victimization."
Alice, who just has no looks at all but money, is lucky enough to have had a younger, attractive man fall in love with her and she's never wondered about Andrew at all—until her friend, Nesta, disappears from an address unknown, and she begins to have violent toxic seizures attended by doubts (Nesta and Andrew? Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

TO FEAR A PAINTED DEVIL by Ruth Rendell
Released: Aug. 6, 1965

"A natty, chatty English countryside affair, quite good of its kind."
This is a comfortable, old-fashioned novel of suspense bearing the classic puzzler symbol of the Crime Club series. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE COPPER PEACOCK by Ruth Rendell
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Lesser work from a major talent; readable but unpersuasive."
Nine new short stories from the prolific, impressive Rendell—but an underpar batch this time, with no top-notch entries and quite a few clinkers. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

LIVE FLESH by Ruth Rendell
Released: Sept. 2, 1986

"And, with no one else to care about (David and Clare are just sketches), the reader is stuck with Victor for the duration: claustrophobic, ultimately dispiriting company, despite Rendell's often-effective attempts to humanize a psycho-criminal profile."
When Rendell goes all out for psychopathology rather than conventional suspense, the results can sometimes truly be riveting—as in the case of A Judgement in Stone. Read full book review >