Search Results: "Ruth Rendell"


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

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

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

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

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

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

SPEAKER OF MANDARIN by Ruth Rendell
Released: Sept. 12, 1983

"Less tight and polished than Death Notes, with a ho-hum fadeout—but a disarming, fairly irresistible blend of mini-puzzles, solid detection, splendid travel writing, and Wexford charm."
Like the last Inspector Wexford mystery, Death Notes, this new Render novel is less an earnest mystery-story (like early Wexford) than a sly, teasing entertainment—with twists galore, subtly winking salutes to A. Christie, and an improvisatory feel that never slips over into archness or parody. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

A NEW LEASE OF DEATH by Ruth Rendell
Released: May 19, 1967

"But it's far-fetched even for the ladies who will probably be somewhat shocked by the Reverend's mid-stream affair."
The respectable Rev. Read full book review >

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

A SLEEPING LIFE by Ruth Rendell
Released: Oct. 6, 1978

"But only P. D. James can rival Rendell for total, no-seams-showing command of the classic genre, and true mystery fans, unlike literary critics, would probably give Rendell extra points for the un-literary economy and ease of her irresistible, nonstop prose."
When Rendell writes crime-from-the-criminal-point-of-view, she is gripping and creepy. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

ADAM AND EVE AND PINCH ME by Ruth Rendell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 12, 2002

Compulsive cleaner Araminta Knox is convinced she's being haunted by the ghost of her late fiancé Jock Lewis, even though nobody but her believes he really died in that Paddington train wreck. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE SECRET HOUSE OF DEATH by Ruth Rendell
Released: July 25, 1969

"British, this ends with a reverse English which should guarantee some surprise along with the sympathetic presentation of people you know, or might have known."
The domestic dereliction of Louise North with sales representative Bernard Heller ends bang-bang in their death and their neighbor, Susan Townsend (who had been deserted by her husband for another woman) is left to comfort husband Bob North, helpless and humiliated. Read full book review >