Friday, January 25, 2008

End in Tears by Ruth Rendell

This was an audio book. It was read by John Lee, whom I didn’t enjoy as much as I’ve enjoyed Davina Porter, who has read other Rendell titles. The book was good most of the way through, but the ending was unsatisfying. I felt like Rendell just kind of sprung the killer on us, ha ha it was her all along, bet you couldn’t guess. Well I couldn’t guess, and I wasn’t really convinced, either. I also didn’t buy the whole subplot about surrogate parents and suspect adoptions. But no matter. As usual, I enjoyed the peripheral characters almost more than the main ones. Hannah, a new addition to the Kingsmarkham police force, provides some good entertainment as she rages over Wexford’s lack of political correctness.

(Book 2, 2008)


Anonymous said...

Hey, Becky -- I have only *just* discovered Ruth Rendell. I'm not much of a mystery reader and the only mystery writers I've much liked over the years are Dorothy Sayers, P.D. James, and, recently, Kate Atkinson (though I *much* preferred her "Behind the Scenes at the Museum," which I read because of your praising it).

Anyway, I decided to try a Rendell novel after hearing an old friend whose opinion I'd always respected recommend her. This old friend happened to be someone I hadn't seen in nearly 20 years: Mary Ellen Quinn, now an editor at Booklist who had been a mentor to me when I was a teenager working in my local library branch (Jacksonville, Florida) and she was in her first job as a librarian.

Tempus fugit. Thanks to the Internet, I rediscovered MEQ and when she was in my city recently for an ALA conference, we had dinner together and, predictably, spent most of it talking about books and authors we love.

A long windup to say I'm nearly at the end of Rendell's "The Water's Lovely" and it's fantastic! Why have I never read her stuff before? This isn't a "police procedural," but a thriller of a type I really enjoy.

Which others would you recommend, Becky? I don't think I want to read the ones with a detective, but more like this one.

Becky Holmes said...

Susan, I am so glad you tried Ruth Rendell! She is such a wonderful writer and her work is so varied. I have not yet read The Water's Lovely, so I have that to look forward to. My favorite non-Wexford books are The Tree of Hands and The Crocodile Bird. You should also try the books Rendell writes under the name Barbara Vine. These are even more along the line of psychological thrillers, rather than crime novels. My favorite Barbara Vine novel is A Fatal Inversion, though they are all excellent. Let me know how you do with these!

Anonymous said...

Oy -- I must now add that I didn't like the ending of this book. One too many coincidences for me (and I had willingly suspended my disbelief) and a then-current event woven in that took me out of the narrative and into an old newspaper.

But I did like the writing, the suspense, the character development, and the first 4/5s of the novel. So I shall certainly try another!

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