She and her mother would be climbing the stairs, following Heather's lead through the bedroom to what was on the other side, not a bathroom in the dream but a chamber floored and walled in marble. But as their love lives start to develop, someone is murdered along the way, and long buried suspicions re-emerge with potentially tragic results.
'Weeks went by when Ismay never thought of it at all. Then something would bring it back or it would return in a dream. The dream began in the same way. She and her mother would be climbing the stairs, following Heather's lead through the bedroom to what was on the other side, not a bathroom in the dream but a chamber floored and walled in marble. In the middle of it was a glassy lake. The white thing in the water floated towards her, its face submerged, and her mother said, absurdly, "Don't look!"' The dead man was Ismay's stepfather, Guy. Now, nine years on, she and her sister, Heather, still live in the same house in Clapham. But it has been divided into two self-contained flats. Their mother lives upstairs with her sister, Pamela. And the bathroom, where Guy drowned, has been demolished. But Death will rear its ugly head once more... Ismay and Heather get on well. They always have. They never discussed the changes to the house, still less what had happened that August day. But as their love lives start to develop, someone is murdered along the way, and long buried suspicions re-emerge with potentially tragic results.
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"Ruth Rendell is excellent at catatonia. She revels in the menacing potential of stillness, the sinister heft of the inanimate object. In this cool yet engrossing novel, life's miscellanea . . . threaten to unmask awful secrets. The suspense is genteel, but palpable . . . Rendell is in full control of her craft here. She places motives, possibilities, or question marks with forensic precision throughout the story . . . Impressively, she draws characters with great economy, unpicks and sustains them through a well-timed and smoothly executed story." * Sunday Times * "The quality of the writing is as high as ever, and so too is Rendell's control of the narrative, which sweeps along in short, tart sections." * Spectator * "Rendell coaxes her horrors along so seductively that all kinds of nastiness seem not only possible, but inevitable" * Literary Review * "Once again, she has broken with the traditions of crime fiction, that it should engage the mind rather than the emotions" * Sunday Times * "Ruth Rendell is back to her creepy best. She has always been wonderful at exploring the dark corners of the human mind, and the way private fantasies can clash and explode into terrifying violence" * Daily Mail *
About Ruth Rendell
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, is scheduled for publication in October 2015
The Water's Lovely by Ruth Rendell
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