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The Girl Next Door

Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door (USA 2015)

From the Publisher:
From crime legend Ruth Rendell, a psychologically intriguing novel about an old murder that sends shockwaves across a group of astonishingly carnal and appetiteful elderly friends: "Refined, probing, and intelligent... never less than a pleasure" (USA TODAY).

In the waning months of the second World War, a group of children discover a tunnel in their neighborhood outside London. For that summer of 1944, the subterranean space becomes their "secret garden," where the friends play games, tell their fortunes, and perform for each other.

Six decades later, construction workers make a grisly discovery beneath a house on the same land: a tin box containing two skeletal hands, one male and one female. As the hands make national news, the friends come together once again, to recall their long ago days for a detective. Then the police investigation sputters, and the threads holding their friendship together begin to unravel. Is the truth buried amid the tangled relationships of these aging men and women and their memories? Will it emerge before it's too late?

Stephen King says, "no one surpasses Ruth Rendell when it comes to stories of obsession, instability, and malignant coincidence." In The Girl Next Door -- "yet another gem" (The Washington Post) -- Rendell brilliantly shows that the choices people make, and the emotions behind them, remain as potent in late life as they were in youth. "Rendell's wit, always mordant, has never been sharper than when she skewers patronizing assumptions about the elderly" (Chicago Tribune).

Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door. A Novel. Scribner's, ISBN: 9781476784342 (August, 2015), 272 p., $16.00.

 

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The Girl Next Door

Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door (UK 2015)

From the Publisher:
The dazzling new novel from Ruth Rendell. When the bones of two severed hands are discovered in a box, an investigation into a long buried crime of passion begins. And a group of friends, who played together as children, begin to question their past.

'For Woody, anger was cold. Cold and slow. But once it had started it mounted gradually and he could think of nothing else. He knew he couldn't stay alive while those two were alive. Instead of sleeping, he lay awake in the dark and saw those hands. Anita's narrow white hand with the long nails painted pastel pink, the man's brown hand equally shapely, the fingers slightly splayed.'

Before the advent of the Second World War, beneath the green meadows of Loughton, Essex, a dark network of tunnels has been dug. A group of children discover them. They play there. It becomes their secret place.

Seventy years on, the world has changed. Developers have altered the rural landscape. Friends from a half-remembered world have married, died, grown sick, moved on or disappeared.

Work on a new house called Warlock uncovers a grisly secret, buried a lifetime ago, and a weary detective, more preoccupied with current crimes, must investigate a possible case of murder.

In all her novels, Ruth Rendell digs deep beneath the surface to investigate the secrets of the human psyche. The interconnecting tunnels of Loughton in THE GIRL NEXT DOOR lead to no single destination. But the relationships formed there, and the incidents that occurred, exert a profound influence -- not only on the survivors but in unearthing the true nature of the mysterious past.

Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door. Arrow, ISBN: 9780099598756 (July, 2015), 342 p., £7.99.

 

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The Girl Next Door

Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door (USA 2014)

From the Publisher:
In this psychologically explosive story from "one of the most remarkable novelists of her generation" (People), the discovery of bones in a tin box sends shockwaves across a group of long-time friends.

In the waning months of the second World War, a group of children discover an earthen tunnel in their neighborhood outside London. Throughout the summer of 1944 -- until one father forbids it -- the subterranean space becomes their "secret garden," where the friends play games and tell stories.

Six decades later, beneath a house on the same land, construction workers uncover a tin box containing two skeletal hands, one male and one female. As the discovery makes national news, the friends come together once again, to recall their days in the tunnel for the detective investigating the case. Is the truth buried among these aging friends and their memories?

This impromptu reunion causes long-simmering feelings to bubble to the surface. Alan, stuck in a passionless marriage, begins flirting with Daphne, a glamorous widow. Michael considers contacting his estranged father, who sent Michael to live with an aunt after his mother vanished in 1944. Lewis begins remembering details about his Uncle James, an army private who once accompanied the children into the tunnels, and who later disappeared.

In The Girl Next Door Rendell brilliantly shatters the assumptions about age, showing that the choices people make -- and the emotions behind them -- remain as potent in late life as they were in youth.

Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door. A Novel. Scribner's, ISBN: 9781476784328 (October, 2014), 288 p., $26.00, eBook $13.99.

 

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The Girl Next Door

Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door (UK 2014)

From the Publisher:
The dazzling new novel from Ruth Rendell. When the bones of two severed hands are discovered in a box, an investigation into a long buried crime of passion begins. And a group of friends, who played together as children, begin to question their past.

'For Woody, anger was cold. Cold and slow. But once it had started it mounted gradually and he could think of nothing else. He knew he couldn't stay alive while those two were alive. Instead of sleeping, he lay awake in the dark and saw those hands. Anita's narrow white hand with the long nails painted pastel pink, the man's brown hand equally shapely, the fingers slightly splayed.'

Before the advent of the Second World War, beneath the green meadows of Loughton, Essex, a dark network of tunnels has been dug. A group of children discover them. They play there. It becomes their secret place.

Seventy years on, the world has changed. Developers have altered the rural landscape. Friends from a half-remembered world have married, died, grown sick, moved on or disappeared.

Work on a new house called Warlock uncovers a grisly secret, buried a lifetime ago, and a weary detective, more preoccupied with current crimes, must investigate a possible case of murder.

In all her novels, Ruth Rendell digs deep beneath the surface to investigate the secrets of the human psyche. The interconnecting tunnels of Loughton in THE GIRL NEXT DOOR lead to no single destination. But the relationships formed there, and the incidents that occurred, exert a profound influence -- not only on the survivors but in unearthing the true nature of the mysterious past.

Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door. Her new Bestseller. Hutchinson, ISBN: 9780091958831 (August, 2014), 282 p., £18.99, eBook £6.99.

 

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