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, the incidents that occurred, exert a profound influence – not only on the survivors but in unearthing the true nature of the mysterious past.
About the Author
Ruth Rendell is crime fiction at its very best. Her first novel, From Doon With Death, appeared in 1964, and since then her reputation and readership have grown steadily with each new book.
In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing.
Her books are translated into 21 languages.
"The Girl Next Door is vintage Rendell and a perfect celebration of her half-century. She's so effortlessly prolific that it's easy to take her for granted; we assume that if we miss one of her books, there'll be another one along in a minute. This novel, however, reminded me of the singularity of Ruth Rendell's talent, her effortless mastery of language and her uncanny genius for mapping a criminal mind." The Times "Rendell is as masterful as ever; her writing tense, brittle, and brilliant." Sunday Mirror "She is the peer of Kingsley Amis and Muriel Spark. The Girl Next Door is as great a novel as Stanley and the Women or Memento Mori ... a joy to read. Rendell's novels establish a sense of order that is deeply satisfying." Evening Standard "Fifty years on, the girl from Essex has become the unchallenged crime queen of suburbia. Her powers of observation are as acute as ever, and she writes about old age with as much gusto as any of the subjects she has tackled in her long career." Sunday Times "This book is extraordinarily courageous, a demonstration that fiction can take us where reportage dares not go." Independent
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 1st August 2014
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.39