Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Vault

Ruth Rendell writes three different types of novels. Under her own name she writes creepy standalone thrillers, often based around unstable psychopaths or neurotics, plus the Inspector Wexford series of more typical whodunits. Under her pseudonym Barbara Vine she writes disturbing gothic family tales. I haven't read much Vine but I find that I really love Rendell whatever mode she is writing in. This, her latest book, is strange, in that it is a Wexford novel (brought onto a case as an adviser since he is now retired), that also happens to be a sequel to one of her great standalones, 1999's A Sight for Sore Eyes. That book ended with three bodies sealed away in a hidden cellar, and this book opens with that cellar being discovered, only there is now a fourth body interred along with the rest. Truthfully this book was a little bit thin and you could feel that the pages were being padded with many red herrings and a subplot (an interesting subplot) about Wexford's difficult grown daughter. That aside, Rendell is such a compelling writer, and her characters so good, that I enjoyed this book as much as I've enjoyed anything for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment