When Carl sells a box of slimming pills to his close friend Stacey, inadvertently causing her death, he sets in train a sequence of catastrophic events which begin with subterfuge, extend to lies, and culminate in murder.
In Rendell's dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense, we encounter mistaken identity, kidnap, blackmail, and a cast of characters who are so real that we come to know them better than we know ourselves.
Infused with her distinctive blend of wry humour, acute observation and deep humanity, this is Rendell at her most memorable and best.
Her absence is keenly felt. But we do have this mesmeric book . . . It's a felicitous last hurrah for Rendell Barry Forshaw Independent, Books of the Year
Ruth Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, and will be remembered as a legend in her own lifetime. Her groundbreaking debut novel, From Doon With Death, was first published in 1964 and introduced the reader to her enduring and popular detective, Inspector Reginald Wexford, who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels.
With worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, Rendell was a regular Sunday Times bestseller. Her sixty bestselling novels include police procedurals, some of which have been successfully adapted for TV, stand-alone psychological mysteries, and a third strand of crime novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. Very much abreast of her times, the Wexford books in particular often engaged with social or political issues close to her heart.
Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.
Ruth Rendell died in May 2015. Her final novel, Dark Corners, was published in October 2015.