It truly saddens me to be writing a review of the very last novel written by Ruth Rendell, whom the literary world lost on May 2, 2015. I’ve been a longtime fan of Ms. Rendell’s work. She will be very much missed in the literary world and by this reader.
As for her last book, it’s a perfect blend of suspense and tension. As always, Ms. Rendell built her storyline to make the most of each sentence, like a spider weaving each strand of silk in its web. It’s a page turner that will draw you into the dark story of Carl Martin, who rents part of his inherited home to a fellow who blackmails him and how Carl’s life begins to unravel. Ms. Rendell is a master of psychological suspense and has created a memorable character in Carl Martin and you’ll cringe as you watch him sink deeper and deeper into unstable chaos. While we can’t always agree with Carl’s actions, it’s hard not to empathize with him. I’d prefer not to say too much about the storyline and let Ms. Rendell weave her own magic in her readers’ minds.
If you aren’t familiar with Ruth Rendell’s work, then this last book of hers will open up much wonderful reading time ahead for you, as she wrote over 60 novels, most under her own name but also some under her pseudonym, Barbara Vine. Her sharp insight into the human mind and her wry humor make her books must reads. I’ve heard her work described as “cozy mysteries” but I don’t see that at all. Most of her work, including this one, gives me chills and while they may not be excessively gory, they’re certainly not cozy. Recommended.
This book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.