Friday, October 23, 2015


Dark CornersDark Corners by Ruth Rendell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ruth Rendell's last book reminded me why I have read so many of her stories (some written as Barbara Vine). She leads the reader down a normal path that somehow spirals to despair and worse.

THE STORY: Carl Martin's father has died leaving him a lovely London house and it's contents. As a newly published author, he lacks the money necessary to maintain the property without taking in a boarder. This begins a series of mistakes Carl makes that totally change the course of his life.

Like many of us, Carl tends to overlook simple tasks. Rather than dispose of odd medicines his father collected, he ignores them as he unsuccessfully pushes himself to work on a new book.

Then he makes his first real mistake. He rents his upstairs to the wrong person to allow into his life. Dermot McKinnon seems to be harmless, if annoying, but he pays his rent on time.

Dermot works the front desk of a veterinarian's office. Rendell uses that office as a way to connect the various characters and move the plot along.

To say much more would spoil the experience for the reader. 

WHAT I THOUGHT: I've always appreciated how Ruth Rendell's stories can take the reader inside the mind of others who think differently. The way she assembles small, inauspicious happenings creates a sense of dread. Between blackmail, murders, and unplanned deaths, Rendell creates a story of dark comedy, an intricate web of calculated and accidental intersections with a warning about the destruction that can result from keeping secrets.

The final sentence in the book seemed a fitting ending to the career of a mystery writing legend. “Now it’s all over.”

Ruth Rendell died in May. She wrote the Inspector Wexford novels (made into a television series), stand-alone suspense novels, and psychological thrillers under the Barbara Vine pseudonym.

FIRST SENTENCE: "For many years Wilfred Martin collected samples of alternative medicines, homeopathic remedies, and herbal pills."

BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended. If you've never read a Ruth Rendell tale, you might check out this article that recommends five excellent choices.

DISCLAIMER: Invited by NetGalley to request and receive this title for an honest review.

Title: Dark Corners
Author: Ruth Rendell
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Scribner
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
No. of Pages: 240 pages
Copyright: October 27, 2015
ISBN-10: 1501119427
ISBN-13: 978-1501119422

Ruth Rendell (1930 - 2015) won three Edgar Awards, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as four Gold Daggers and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contributions to the genre from England's prestigious Crime Writers' Association. Her remarkable career spanned a half century, with more than sixty books published. A member of the House of Lords, she was one of the great literary figures of our time." (from the book)

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