Synopses & Reviews
INCLUDES AN EXCERPT OF RENDELL’S FINAL NOVEL, DARK CORNERS
Ruth Rendell is widely considered to be crime fiction’s reigning queen, with a remarkable career spanning more than forty years. Now, in Portobello, she delivers a captivating and intricate tale that weaves together the troubled lives of several people in the gentrified neighborhood of London’s Notting Hill.
Walking to the shops one day, fifty-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction—and his own good intentions—Wren hatches a plan to find the money’s rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners—people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs. As these volatile characters come into Wren’s life—and the life of his trusting fiancée—the consequences will change them all.
Portobello is a wonderfully complex tour de force featuring a dazzling depiction of one of London’s most intriguing neighborhoods—and the dangers beneath its newly posh veneer.
London's Portobello Road a street fabled for its shops and outdoor market provides the backdrop for Edgar winner Rendell's superlative suspense novel which features a cast of colorful characters from varied classes and walks of life. Secretive 50 year old Eugene Wren who's addicted to cheap candy lozenges is toying with marrying his longtime girlfriend physician Ella Cotswold. Rootless Lance Platt cases the neighborhood for costly homes he can break into and clashes with his great uncle Gilbert Gibson a former burglar who now preaches the gospel. One man's losing 115 pounds triggers a series of coincidences that brings this disparate lot closer together toward haphazard violence and death. Rendell (The Water's Lovely) is particularly adept at portraying young people just a dole check away from homelessness as well as the carelessness and callousness of the book's upper middle class characters. Her style has become ever more spare while retaining its subtle psychology and vivid sense of place. (Sept.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"London's Portobello Road, a street fabled for its shops and outdoor market, provides the backdrop for Edgar-winner Rendell's superlative suspense novel, which features a cast of colorful characters from varied classes and walks of life. Secretive 50-year-old Eugene Wren, who's addicted to cheap candy lozenges, is toying with marrying his longtime girlfriend, physician Ella Cotswold. Rootless Lance Platt cases the neighborhood for costly homes he can break into, and clashes with his great-uncle, Gilbert Gibson, a former burglar who now preaches the gospel. One man's losing 115 pounds triggers a series of coincidences that brings this disparate lot closer together, toward haphazard violence and death. Rendell (The Water's Lovely) is particularly adept at portraying young people just a dole check away from homelessness as well as the carelessness and callousness of the book's upper-middle-class characters. Her style has become ever more spare while retaining its subtle psychology and vivid sense of place. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
“No one surpasses Ruth Rendell when it comes to stories of obsession, instability, and malignant coincidence, but in Portobello she has surpassed herself. Invisible wires draw seemingly disparate characters closer and closer until this reader actually felt them under his skin. The clarity and reason of her prose stand in perfect contrast to the escalating madness in the tale. Portobello is a brilliant novel.”—Stephen King
"A thriller steeped in psychological intrigue . . . Rendell's prose style is as succinct and accessible as ever."--Daily Mirror (UK)
"Impossible to put down. . . . Portobello is as brilliant as anything she has ever written."--The Evening Standard (UK)
“In her trademark matter-of-fact prose, this clear-eyed, quietly brilliant writer examines the ties that ensnare her small cast of characters — people linked in ways that are sometimes random, sometimes not.”—Adam Woog, Seattle Times
From Ruth Rendell, "reigning queen of crime fiction” (Time Out), a psychologically intense novel about a small crime and its devastating aftermath.
About the Author
Ruth Rendell (1930–2015) won three Edgar Awards, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as four Gold Daggers and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writers’ Association. Her remarkable career spanned a half century, with more than sixty books published. A member of the House of Lords, she was one of the great literary figures of our time.