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Not in the Flesh (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)by Ruth Rendell
Synopses & Reviews
One mild summer evening, a young couple are enjoying dinner while their daughter sleeps peacefully in her stroller under a tree. When her mother steps outside she is stunned: The child is covered in blood.
Inspector Sejer is called to the hospital to meet the family. Mercifully, the child is unharmed, but the parents are deeply shaken, and Sejer spends the evening trying to understand why anyone would carry out such a sinister prank. Then, just before midnight, somebody rings his doorbell.
No one is at the door, but the caller has left a small gray envelope on Sejers mat. From his living room window, the inspector watches a figure disappear into the darkness. Inside the envelope Sejer finds a postcard bearing a short message: Hell begins now.
This is classic Fossum—and the critics are saying this is her best book since The Indian Bride.
When Inspector Sejer receives a postcard with the message "Hell begins now," he sets out to uncover who's behind a string of cruel pranks that have thrown the peaceful town of Bjerkas into unrest, in this chilling new installment of the Inspector Konrad Sejer series from "the next Scandinavian literary superstar" (Chicago Tribune), acclaimed Norwegian mystery writer Karin Fossum.
For the first time, Fossum shows her hand-- a novel about an author whose latest creation is the melancholy tale of a complacent man whose life is ripped apart by a young drug addict.
A woman wakes up in the middle of the night. A strange man is in her bedroom. She lies there in silence, paralyzed with fear. The woman is an author and the man one of her characters, one in a long line that waits in her driveway for the time when shell tell their stories. He is so desperate that he has resorted to breaking into her house and demanding that she begin. He, the author decides, is named Alvar Eide, forty-two years old, single, works in a gallery. He lives a quiet, orderly life and likes it that way—no demands, no unpleasantness. Until the icy winter morning when a young drug addict, skinny and fragile, walks into the gallery. Alvar gives her a cup of coffee to warm her up. And then one day she appears on his doorstep. Broken is an unconventional, subtle, and disturbing mystery from a master of the form.
After a truffle-hunting dog unearths a human hand instead of a precious fungus, Chief Inspector Wexford and his team proceed to interrogate everyone who lives nearby to see if they can turn up a match for the errant appendage among the eighty-five people who have disappeared over the past decade in this part of England. Then, when a second body is discovered nearby, Wexford experiences a feeling that's become a rarity for the veteran policeman: surprise. As Wexford painstakingly moves to resolve these multiple mysteries, long-buried secrets are brought to daylight, and Ruth Rendell once again proves why she has been hailed as our greatest living mystery writer.
About the Author
RUTH RENDELL has won numerous awards, including three Edgars, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as three Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from Englands prestigious Crime Writers Association. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.
From the Hardcover edition.
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