The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

Paperback - 2014
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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.
Publisher: [Toronto] : Doubleday Canada, c2014
ISBN: 9780385683333
Branch Call Number: MYS REN
Characteristics: 282 p. ; 24 cm

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j
jeffreyochsner
Jan 16, 2016

I finished this book, but it took effort. The overall plot was somewhat interesting, but the characters were not at all engaging. I recommend skipping this book and reading something else by this author.

n
nannerl
Nov 02, 2015

While a murder is central to the story, it's not really a mystery. It's more of a psychological examination of what it means to grow old, including relationships, memories, losses, and the long-term effects of abuse. The story gradually pulls you into the characters as more is revealed about each one. There are shocking moments and tender ones, extreme examples of selfishness and selflessness, and a jolly good ending.

a
Alleyopp
May 31, 2015

Sorry but it didn't catch my interest and I didn't finish it! Alley Opp

multcolib_susannel May 09, 2015

When a pair of severed hands are discovered buried in an underground tunnel, it affects the children who used to play there, now aging adults- in surprising ways.

g
Gramattie
Mar 13, 2015

good mystery. like the author. Prolific writer...look for another to try.

d
disgruntled
Jan 20, 2015

Boring, boring, boring. Can't believe this is really by Ruth Rendell. I don't know if I will finish it as I feel no interest in her characters.

s
sandralue
Jan 11, 2015

little bit creepy good author

t
titchieboyt
Nov 29, 2014

Ruth Rendell - one of her best reads so far. It was a short book and I read it in two nights. It started off in one theme and then changed to another, so it kept you guessing into which murder was actually going down. My best character was the the wife he left behind - Rendell was very strong descriptively in letting you see the wronged women and what lengths she would succumb to to get even. I can see a BBC crime drama happening here.
I'm reading another Rendell book now. I'm hooked for the time being.

r
readerpat
Nov 23, 2014

This was a very good unusual story. A man in his 70's leaves his wife of 55 years for his childhood sweetheart. A lot of different tales of the children who played in the tunnels after WW2. All of them brought together again 60 years later by the discovery of the box with the severed hands.

zullym Nov 16, 2014

One of the best books I have ever read. Immensely satisfying. Rendell's imagination has always been a marvel to me.

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