Search Results: "Ruth Rendell"


BOOK REVIEW

NOT IN THE FLESH by Ruth Rendell
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 10, 2008

"Rich, tangled and as sharply observed as ever."
Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford and his Kingsmarkham colleagues (End in Tears, 2005, etc.) deal with not one but two bodies of men whose relatives long ago gave up hope of ever hearing from them again. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THIRTEEN STEPS DOWN by Ruth Rendell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Masterful, as usual. No one does evil better."
Another brilliantly rendered Rendellscape in which the central figure is the blond, blue-eyed psychopath next door. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE BABES IN THE WOOD by Ruth Rendell
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 21, 2003

"Sex, drugs, religious mania, dysfunctional families—and not even Wexford's own domestic circle is safe this time."
Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford's stellar 19th case hinges on the disappearance of a pair of teenagers and their babysitter. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES by Ruth Rendell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 17, 1999

"If the result lacks the energy and inevitability of the classic A Judgment in Stone, Rendell supplies a Dickensian wealth of social detail that brings her beautiful people and their predators to startling life."
Rendell's 46th (Road Rage, 1997, etc.) is a modern-day fairy tale—Margaret Yorke meets Fay Weldon—that shows the dark side of lovers' reckless pursuit of their objects of beauty. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

ROAD RAGE by Ruth Rendell
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Rendell's most probing and ambitious book since—well, since Wexford's Edgar-winning last appearance in Simisola (1995)."
Rendell's evolution from the unnervingly focused analyst of plausible psychoses to the more outward chronicler who uses crime to diagnose the ills of contemporary Britain—one of the glories of today's mystery fiction—continues in a masterful tale of eco-terrorism that chills Chief Inspector Wexford as none of his earlier cases have. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

TALKING TO STRANGE MEN by Ruth Rendell
Released: Oct. 5, 1987

"Finally, then, despite fine atmosphere, dozens of clever touches, and considerable charm in the schoolboy-espionage, this is one of Rendell's least effective constructions: too much contrivance, too much clinical psychology, too little genuine passion or peril."
Rendell's favorite psycho-suspense technique—two separate plots that crisscross ironically, often fatally—resurfaces in this new, intriguing, yet very disappointing thriller: a long, low-key tease that never really rewards the reader's trust and patience. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

HEARTSTONES by Ruth Rendell
Released: June 3, 1987

"So, though Rendell's gift for lean, atmospheric storytelling is never in doubt through this intense miniature, it has neither the riveting conviction of her stories nor the rich, ironic patterning of her best psycho-suspense novels."
Although Rendell may well be the greatest living writer of suspense short-stories (Means of Evil, The Fever Tree, and two other collections), this 80-page tale—an inaugural entry in the "Harper Short Novel Series" (see Weldon, below)—is an off-kilter, uncharacteristically clumsy effort, with the author's notable talent for creepy psychopathology forced into an obvious, gimmicky framework. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

DEATH NOTES by Ruth Rendell
Released: Sept. 14, 1981

"And though it's no news that Rendell can be scary, clever, sardonic, and even warmly engaging (the Wexford family remains a likable crew), here she's all that and genuinely witty as well—in another fiendishly readable winner from an awesomely versatile talent."
P. D. James gets the headlines, but it is becoming increasingly clear, with one superb book after another (A Judgement in Stone, A Sleeping Life, Make Death Love Me), that Ruth Rendell is the best all-around mystery/crime writer in the world today. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

SOME LIE AND SOME DIE by Ruth Rendell
Released: Nov. 9, 1973

"Quite quiet, even for rustic England."
Ruth Rendell, pleasanter than most, and her Inspector Wexford, nicer than most, and neither working with very much when a girl's body is found in a quarry after a Woodstock-type festival while a red dress proves to be the murder instrument. 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 >

BOOK REVIEW

AN UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS by Ruth Rendell
Released: Sept. 3, 1985

"On the other hand, the page-by-page storytelling—wry, superbly paced, full of arresting character-details—is still unsurpassed in the mystery field."
Rendell's non-detective thrillers sometimes become a bit excessive in their layers of psychopathology; her Inspector Wexford cases are usually more restrained. Read full book review >