Search Results: "Ruth Rendell"


BOOK REVIEW

A JUDGEMENT IN STONE by Ruth Rendell
Released: Feb. 3, 1977

"The reigning chronicler of crime-from-the-criminal-point-of-view has struck again, with somewhat less elegance than usual but with more sheer clout: weak of heart, beware."
Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write." 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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

TIGERLILY'S ORCHIDS by Ruth Rendell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 14, 2011

"A tragicomedy that follows very much the same formula as Portobello (2010). No new ground is broken, but fans will be pleased."
An ill-assorted group of neighbors, enough false notes to work corrosive effects and enough time for the whole bunch of them to stew until done, or done in. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

Released: Feb. 1, 1982

"But for anyone who has enjoyed the unsettling irony and horror of such Rendell novels as A Judgement in Stone, these are fine examples of restrained, sophisticated, even whimsical terror—with echoes of Saki as well as Christie."
Of the major contemporary mystery/crime writers, only Rendell—like Agatha Christie before her—is as impressive with short-stories as with novels: this third collection reaffirms her creepy skills (on shaky display in the recent Master of the Moor) for leanly convincing psychopathology, the blackest of black comedy, dreadful twists, and marital tensions of a particularly lethal nature. Read full book review >