Tag Archives: Ruth Rendell

Last from Ruth Rendell, Fantasy Debut

I’m so sad to be writing a review of Dark Corners, because it’ll be the last book from one of my favorite authors of all time. Ruth Rendell died earlier this year and left behind a tremendous legacy. As her alter ego Barbara Vine she wrote beautifully complex psychological thrillers, and while her Rendell books were more procedural they still always had crazy amounts of depth. Dark Corners isn’t her greatest Rendell work (I reserve that praise for Judgment in Stone), but I was duly…

Read More »

The St. Zita Society by Ruth Rendell

Synopsis: When the servants of the residents of a tony London neighborhood get together to try to improve their collective lot, they have no way of knowing that their cozy way of life is about to explode–thanks to the secrets they’re all protecting. Review: The St. Zita Society took some time for me to warm up to it, mainly because there was no one I felt like I could connect with. But Rendell is such a brilliant writer that she kept me interested, and when…

Read More »

The Vault by Ruth Rendell (Inspector Wexford)

Synopsis: An underground vault with four bodies is found underneath a picturesque London home–and one of them was put in there much later. Review: I love Ruth Rendell but I was really bored by The Vault, a sequel of sorts to A Sight for Sore Eyes, which I really enjoyed. I think it’s that I don’t really care for Inspector Wexford as a character. I’ve read a few of those books and I haven’t liked a single one. I also found the mystery just not…

Read More »

The Face of Trespass by Ruth Rendell

Synopsis: A poverty-stricken writer flees a failed affair, but things may have already gone too far. Review: The Face of Trespass is an early novel by one of my favorite writers, Ruth Rendell. It’s a short book and a quick read, yet packed with psychological complexity and fascinating characters. I loved the hermeticism of Gray’s world and his believably strange relationship with his French stepfather Honoré. Not as transcendent as some of her best works (Judgment in Stone in particular) but well worth the read.…

Read More »

The Killing Doll by Ruth Rendell

Synopsis: A lonely young man sells his soul to the devil so that he will grow tall, but it’s his troubled sister who falls under the sway of the occult. Review: The Killing Doll is an odd little book, with more horror elements than can usually be found in a Ruth Rendell crime novel. I’m used to the pettiness of her characters, but usually there are one or two who engage me. I really didn’t connect to any of these people, and was glad when…

Read More »

The Water’s Lovely by Ruth Rendell

Synopsis: Convinced her sister murdered their stepfather, a young woman unravels when her relationship ends while her sister’s flourishes, and she wonders whether she should finally tell. Review: The Water’s Lovely is one of Ruth Rendell’s quieter books, with a fineness to it despite the emotional (and sometimes physical) violence that lurks in most of the relationships. While most of the characters have deep emotional flaws, some of them are appealingly good, even brave and admirable, and that’s what kept me really engaged in this…

Read More »

The Tree of Hands by Ruth Rendell

Synopsis: A bereft woman’s mother’s desperate act triggers a violent spiral affecting a whole community. Review: The Tree of Hands was lesser Ruth Rendell. It dates back to 1986 and she’s really grown as a writer since then. It definitely has her trademark nuanced characterizations but the story wasn’t as gripping as later works like The Rottweiler have been. Share on Facebook

Read More »

Favorite Author Meme

Heather at Errant Dreams came up with a wonderful meme–enjoy & consider yourself tagged! * Answer the questions as you see fit. Although they’re all phrased to ask about a singular author, feel free to respond with multiples, or even a list. * Where possible & convenient (you don’t have to go as crazy as I did!), include a link here or there to an author’s website, your review of one of their books, or a review that inspired you to try the author(s), so…

Read More »

The Alphabet Meme

Picked this meme up from Melanie, in honor of two YA books I read for work this weekend. The goal of this is to list favourite authors according to last name (with a representative fave book as well). Atwood, Margaret — Cat’s Eye Bronte, Charlotte — Jane Eyre Card, Orson Scott — Ender’s Game Dragonwagon, Crescent — The Year It Rained (with Paul Zindel) Eager, Edward — Half Magic Forster, EM — Howard’s End Gibson, William — Neuromancer Hobb, Robin — Ship of Magic Ishiguro,…

Read More »

Highlights (Booking Through Thursday)

From Booking Through Thursday: It’s an old question, but a good one . . . What were your favorite books this year? List as many as you like … fiction, non-fiction, mystery, romance, science-fiction, business, travel, cookbooks … whatever the category. But, really, we’re all dying to know. What books were the highlight of your reading year in 2007? It was a good year, reading-wise. Here are my highlights, with links to my reviews. The Ghost Writer by John Harwood East of Eden by John…

Read More »