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A Fatal Inversion


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About the Author

Barbara Vine was the pen-name of Ruth Rendell, and Viking published all of her books under that name. Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, with worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, and regular Sunday Times bestsellers. 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.


Vine is the pseudonym of noted mystery author Ruth Rendell, and this second Vine novel repeats the quality we've come to expect from this master writer. The story centers around a house and its young owner, 19-year-old Adam. When we meet Adam, however, he is ten years older, unhappily married and the devoted, obsessive father of a baby girl. Adam learns that two skeletons have been found at the house, which he had sold shortly after inheriting it. Slowly, Vine reveals the events of Adam's first summer in the house and what Adam and his friends did ten years before. We share Adam's anxiety as the police try to determine who the bodies are. The suspense is double-sidedwhat happened and why, and how will Adam deal with whatever materializes. There is a nifty surprise at the end, and Vine strings us (and Adam) along with consummate skill. Louise A. Merriam, L.E. Phillips Memorial P.L, Eau Claire, Wis .

A Dark-Adapted Eyefirst novel under the pseudonym Barbara Vine by the British author Ruth Rendellwon the MBA Edgar. This is the second, a mystery like all her works, transcending the genre. Evoked in beautifully ambient writing, the setting is a rural estate, Wyvis Hall, which Adam Verne-Smith inherits at age 19. Inverting the word ``someplace,'' Adam names his eden Ecalpemos where he revels through a summer with four companions. The months drift by until a horrible event scatters the lotus eaters, and Adam sells the property. For 10 years, the former friends live secure in the belief that they alone know their terrible secret. Then the present owners of Wyvis Hall dig a grave for their dog in the pet cemetery on the grounds and unearth human remains. Making headlines, the news stuns the Ecalpemos conspirators, long since established as proper London citizens. The author virtually defies one to pause between incidents in the exquisitely controlled developments that peak in a marvel of irony that no reader could foresee. (September)

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