Contemporary author Ruth Rendell, who also wrote under the pen-name Barbara Vine, passed away yesterday. She was 85.
A thriller and psychological murder mystery writer, she is best known for the creation of the well-known character Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford, a character that first appeared in Rendell's book 'From Doon With Death' published in 1964 and which was later to come to life on TV screens.
But that, of course, is not her only success. She has written more than 60 novels, with the most recent published only last year called 'The Girl Next Door'. A new novel, 'Dark Corners' completed just before her stroke in January will appear in bookstores in October.
Ms. Rendell, who lived in London, was a Labour Party member of the House of Lords and was known more formally as Baroness Rendell of Babergh. For more on her books, click HERE.
“People are different in reality from the way you've seen them while making scenarios in your mind. For one thing, they're less consistent. They surprise you all the time.”
'The Girl Next Door' by 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.
To read a review, click HERE.