Minty's boyfriend, Jock, was killed in the disastrous train wreck at Paddington, shortly after he borrowed all her savings. Now he has come back to haunt her. Zillah lost her estranged husband, Jerry, in that same accident. She is not convinced he is actually dead, but for reasons of her own decides not to pursue the matter. Fiona's fiancé, Jeff, has simply disappeared-quite inexplicably since she was supporting him in style. In her ingeniously unnerving new novel, Ruth Rendell deftly traces the connections among these women-and between them a series of vicious stabbings terrifying London. Adam and Eve and Pinch Me is a masterpiece of malice and psychological suspense.
A century-old diary points to the truth behind a notorious murder, if only its writer's granddaughter can unlock its riddles Lonely, ignored by her husband, a stranger in a strange land, Asta Westerby turns to her diary for comfort shortly after moving from Denmark to East London. Starting in 1905, she records the details of her new life and the development of her newborn daughter, Swanny. In the end, her journal spans five decades and becomes a literary sensation, offering an intimate view of an Edwardian life. But though the diaries are well known, few are acquainted with the dark tale hidden in their deleted passages. Asta's Book is at once a crime novel, a historical romance, and a psychological portrait told through the diary itself and through the voice of Ann, the granddaughter bent on unlocking the diary's excised mystery.<P> Note: This book is also published under the author Barbara Vine.
With floods threatening both the town of Kingsmarkham and his own home and no end to the rain in sight, Chief Inspector Wexford already has his hands full when he learns that two local teenagers have gone missing along with their sitter, Joanna Troy. Their hysterical mother is convinced that all three have drowned, and as the hours stretch into days Wexford suspects a case of kidnapping, perhaps connected with an unusual sect called the Church of the Good Gospel. But when the sitter's smashed-up car is found at the bottom of a local quarry- occupied by a battered corpse- the investigation takes on a very different hue. The Babes in the Wood is Ruth Rendell at her very best, a scintillating, precise and troubling story of seduction and religious fanaticism- and murder.
Who could have suspected that the exciting stag party for the groom would be the prelude to the murder of his close friend Charlie Hatton? And Charlie's death was only the first in a string of puzzling murders involving small-time gangsters, cheating husbands, and loose women. Now Chief Inspector Wexford and his assistant join forces with the groom to track down a killer . . .
From the Book Jacket: Philip Wardman is an ordinary young man, quiet and good looking, working at an ordinary job, living in an ordinary suburb of London. His one eccentricity is his neurotic fear of violence and death; his ideal of beauty is a statue of a minor Greek goddess, Flora, which stands in his widowed mother's garden. When she gives it away to a friend he impulsively and surreptitiously retrieves it, at the risk of arrest. At his sister's wedding Philip encounters the living incarnation of the marble Flora: Senta Pelham, a lovely, ethereal actress who disregards conventional morality. She comes to him that night, coolly informing him that he is the man she has been seeking all her life. A strange and passionate love affair begins. But darker forces soon intrude. Unlike Philip, Senta is fascinated with death; her disdain for the common run of humanity leads her to propose an evil game: Philip must prove his love for her--by committing murder
An elderly nursing home patient tells stories of her past that seem to mirror her caregiver's life to a disturbing degree--and that's before the stories take a deadly turnStuck in a loveless marriage and mired in a troubled affair, Genevieve Warner doesn't have a friend in the world--until she meets Stella, a patient at the nursing home where she works as a caregiver. Whip smart and deeply familiar, Stella confides in Genevieve the story of her life, a story that builds toward a horrifying confession. As Genevieve's own life slips helplessly down the same path, she desperately tries to turn away from a fate that seems inevitable. Sensitive and heartbreaking, The Brimstone Wedding is a mysterious tale of mistakes repeated.
A daughter setting out to write a biography of her author father uncovers deadly secrets in his pastAfter celebrated author Gerald Candless dies of a heart attack, his daughter Sarah sets out to write his life story. But Sarah soon learns that although Gerald passionately loved his two daughters, he had a complicated and mysterious private life. The more she uncovers, the deeper Sarah's fascination grows for a man who was always present in her life but was never what he seemed. If Sarah can get to the bottom of her father's past, she stands a chance of healing her family and saving her own divided soul. An ingeniously plotted mystery, The Chimney Sweeper's Boy tells of the secrets we keep hidden even from those we love.
A young woman, sheltered from the outside world, comes to terms with her deluded, murderous mother--and what she must do to survive When the police come to the door at the gatehouse of a remote British estate, sixteen-year-old Liza and her mother know that their lives are about to change forever. After all, Liza watched her mother kill a man--well, more than just one. Having lived as a virtual hermit on the estate, Liza knows nothing of the outside world, but she sets off to find her way with the help of a newly won lover. As she learns about those around her, she begins to discover herself--and just how alike she and her mother might be. Rendell carefully unravels this tale of an obsessive bond between mother and daughter and of hope for a new life in a strange land.
In the Edgar Award-winning classic, a niece investigates the shocking secrets that condemned her once proud family <P> Faith Severn has never understood why the willful matriarch of her high-society family, aunt Vera Hillyard, snapped and murdered her own beloved sister. But long after Vera is condemned to hang, a journalist's startling discoveries allow Faith to perceive her family's story in a new light. Set in post-World War II Britain, A Dark-Adapted Eye is both a gripping mystery and a harrowing psychological portrait of a complex woman at the head of a troubled family.
She waits for him in the dark, her mind and body perfect, passive, until one day, when he goes to the cellar, and she is gone...<P> In A Demon in My View, Ruth Rendell creates a character as frightening as he is fascinating. Mild-mannered Arthur Johnson has never known how to talk to women. And his loneliness has perverted his desire for love and respect into a carefully controlled penchant for violence. One floor below him, a scholar finishing his thesis on psychopathic personalities is about to stumble--quite literally--upon one of Arthur's many secrets. Haunting and intelligent, A Demon in My View shows the startling results of this chilling alchemy of two very disparate minds--one pathological and the other obsessed with pathology.
The first death could have been an accident. When Mavis Ambrose is killed by a falling chunk of concrete, the police have no reason to suspect mischief. However, the bludgeoning of the young and gorgeous Amber Marshalson that follows is clearly murder. In the midst of the hottest summer on record, Inspector Wexford is called in to investigate. He discovers the two cases may be linked, and that Amber was at the scene of Mavis's death. When a third body is found, the case takes a disturbing and unexpected turn. The deeper Wexford digs, the darker the realities become, and what he finds leaves him feeling lost in a world absent of morals.From the Trade Paperback edition. dark humor, and trenchant social commentary into gripping and fast-paced plots, Ruth Rendell is in top form with End in Tears. Taking off from the first page with back-to-back murders and ending with one of Wexford's own officers in mortal danger, End in Tears touches on issues of class, race, parenthood, aging, and gender roles as it brings the traditional British whodunit into the twenty-first century.Also available as a Random House AudioBook, Large Print edition, and eBook. From the Hardcover edition.
A stranger lures a child into his car with the promise of sweets. A young man spots his fianc?'s double in a public park of ill repute. An executive visits the secluded home of a former employee whose intentions are frightfully unclear. A modest soul weds the woman he rescues from suicide--only to fall victim to an unfathomable form of possessiveness?. In the eleven tales gathered in The Fallen Curtain, Ruth Rendell lays bare the twisted inner workings of the unbalanced mind.
When a young man moves into a recently inherited Suffolk manor house, he falls into a summer idyll that gathers friends and strangers alike--and concludes in murderWhen the new owners of Wyvis Hall go to bury a dear pet dog, they stumble upon a ghastly relic left by the home's previous occupants: the bones of a woman and a small child, hastily interred. So opens a mystery set in motion a decade before when nineteen-year-old Adam Verne-Smith inherited the property and spent one debauched summer there with friends and a few aimless drifters. While most of Wyvis Hall's visitors that summer would go on to live respectable lives, two would never leave. Now, investigators must piece together not only whodunit, but also to whom it was done, in this brilliantly constructed thriller.
The award-winning British author presents eleven elegantly written, gripping stories that discriminating fans will savor.
When Margaret Parsons disappears, Inspector Burden tries to reassure her frantic husband that she will be back by morning. Privately, though, he is certain Margaret has run off with another man. But then the missing woman's body is found, strangled and abandoned in a nearby wood. And when Mr. Parsons lets the police into his home, a startling discovery leads everyone to question just who Margaret Parsons really was . . .
In this psychologically explosive story from "one of the most remarkable novelists of her generation" (People), the discovery of bones in a tin box sends shockwaves across a group of long-time friends.In the waning months of the second World War, a group of children discover an earthen tunnel in their neighborhood outside London. Throughout the summer of 1944--until one father forbids it--the subterranean space becomes their "secret garden," where the friends play games and tell stories. Six decades later, beneath a house on the same land, construction workers uncover a tin box containing two skeletal hands, one male and one female. As the discovery makes national news, the friends come together once again, to recall their days in the tunnel for the detective investigating the case. Is the truth buried among these aging friends and their memories? This impromptu reunion causes long-simmering feelings to bubble to the surface. Alan, stuck in a passionless marriage, begins flirting with Daphne, a glamorous widow. Michael considers contacting his estranged father, who sent Michael to live with an aunt after his mother vanished in 1944. Lewis begins remembering details about his Uncle James, an army private who once accompanied the children into the tunnels, and who later disappeared. In The Girl Next Door Rendell brilliantly shatters the assumptions about age, showing that the choices people make--and the emotions behind them--remain as potent in late life as they were in youth.
The dazzling new novel from Ruth Rendell. When the bones of two severed hands are discovered in a box, an investigation into a long buried crime of passion begins. And a group of friends, who played together as children, begin to question their past. 'For Woody, anger was cold. Cold and slow. But once it had started it mounted gradually and he could think of nothing else. He knew he couldn't stay alive while those two were alive. Instead of sleeping, he lay awake in the dark and saw those hands. Anita's narrow white hand with the long nails painted pastel pink, the man's brown hand equally shapely, the fingers slightly splayed.' Before the advent of the Second World War, beneath the green meadows of Loughton, Essex, a dark network of tunnels has been dug. A group of children discover them. They play there. It becomes their secret place.Seventy years on, the world has changed. Developers have altered the rural landscape. Friends from a half-remembered world have married, died, grown sick, moved on or disappeared. Work on a new house called Warlock uncovers a grisly secret, buried a lifetime ago, and a weary detective, more preoccupied with current crimes, must investigate a possible case of murder. In all her novels, Ruth Rendell digs deep beneath the surface to investigate the secrets of the human psyche. The interconnecting tunnels of Loughton in THE GIRL NEXT DOOR lead to no single destination. But the relationships formed there, the incidents that occurred, exert a profound influence -- not only on the survivors but in unearthing the true nature of the mysterious past.
Once Guy and Leonora were lovers. Now it's over but Guy can't forget...or forgive. Every day he calls Leo with fantasies about their love and their future. All she wants is him out of her life. But Guy isn't about to oblige. Then Leonora announces her engagement and finds out just how sick he is. When Guy tries to kill two members of her family, she gets in touch with her own peril.
Elizabeth Nightingale found peace and tranquility on her nightly walks through the rich, dense forests surrounding Myfleet Manor. But the peace she treasured was shattered one night when she found death waiting in the woods. Chief Inspector Wexford and his colleague Inspector Burden find a most unsavory case on their hands -- and must use all their wit and wisdom to solve it . . .
The search for the body commenced. Then the victim walked into town. Behind the picture-postcard façade of Kingsmarkham lies a community rife with violence, betrayal, and a taste for vengeance. When sixteen-year-old Lizzie Cromwell reappears no one knows where she has been, including Lizzie herself. Inspector Wexford thinks she was with a boyfriend. But the disappearance of a three-year-old girl casts a more ominous light on events. And when the public's outrage turns toward a recently released pederast and another suspect turns up stabbed to death, Wexford must try to unravel the mystery before any more bodies appear, and before a mob of local vigilantes metes out a rough justice to their least favorite suspect. In Harm Done, the violence is near at hand, and evil lies just a few doors down the block. From the Trade Paperback edition.rtunate. As Wexford moves closer to the truth, he confronts the discomfiting lesson that when it comes to the inner life of families, justice is rarely as straightforward as the letter of the law. From the Hardcover edition.
When Lizzie and Bell meet for tea after nearly two decades apart, the topic of conversation is murder--one that Bell herself committed<P> When Elizabeth Vetch spots Bell for the first time in seventeen years, she chases her down in order to learn why her old friend committed a terrible murder all those years ago. Bell has been in prison ever since the mysterious events that took place at the House of Stairs, a London mansion full of over-privileged, overstuffed, and somewhat sinister boarders, landed her there. Now it's up to Lizzie to put together the pieces of her friend's--and her own--fateful past. As the story behind Bell's crime unfolds, master of suspense Barbara Vine keeps readers guessing at the victim and the motive, letting the sword of Damocles hang over the heads of a fascinating and richly drawn cast of characters.
What on earth could have provoked a modern day St. Valentine's Day massacre?On Valentine's Day, four members of the Coverdale family--George, Jacqueline, Melinda and Giles--were murdered in the space of 15 minutes. Their housekeeper, Eunice Parchman, shot them, one by one, in the blue light of a televised performance of Don Giovanni. When Detective Chief Superintendent William Vetch arrests Miss Parchman two weeks later, he discovers a second tragedy: the key to the Valentine's Day massacre hidden within a private humiliation Eunice Parchman has guarded all her life. A brilliant rendering of character, motive, and the heady discovery of truth, A Judgement in Stone is among Ruth Rendell's finest psychological thrillers.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Set in and around London's Regent's Park, where the city's wealthiest, poorest, kindest, and most vicious citizens all cross paths, The Keys to the Street tells of the deadly thanks a young woman risks receiving in return for an act of selfless generosity."Is it true that we dislike those who have done us a service?" asks Mary Jago's grandmother. One of many questions about the best and worst of human nature, it is one with an answer Mary will discover for herself as a consequence of donating her own bone marrow to save the life of a young man she doesn't know...."It's us he's after," says Dill, "our sort." Dill's sort are the homeless who seek refuge in the park, whose corpses have lately been turning up impaled on the spiked railings that surround it....Mary is not their sort at all and would under ordinary circumstances be separated from such horror by social barriers stronger than iron bars. But she has performed a bold act, and the circumstances of her life are now extraordinary -- she is receptive to previously undreamed of happiness, and vulnerable to the darkest grief.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Pup casts spells which convince his unbalanced sister Dolly that he can actually do magic, even commit murder. As Pup tries to get out from under the burden of her belief, Dolly falls further and further into madness.
In the Gold Dagger Award-winning crime novel, a young man writing a history of London's Underground must contend with a killer living under his own roof <P> All his young life, Jarvis Stringer has obsessed over the London Underground. Now he's writing a detailed history of the subway, and to make money in the meantime he rents out cheap rooms in the crumbling former schoolhouse he's inherited, all to desperate single mothers, buskers, subway vigilantes, and assorted misfits. But when one of his boarders turns out to be a murderer, Jarvis becomes distracted from his work--to say the very least. King Solomon's Carpet is an absorbing depiction of London's subterranean landscape and of those eking out invisible lives beneath society's surfaces.