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Adam and Eve & Pinch ME [Paperback]

Ruth Rendell
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Aug 2001
Minty’s boyfriend, Jock, was killed in the disastrous train wreck at Paddington, shortly after he borrowed all her savings. Now he has come back to haunt her. Zillah lost her estranged husband, Jerry, in that same accident. She is not convinced he is actually dead, but for reasons of her own decides not to pursue the matter. Fiona’s fiancé, Jeff, has simply disappeared–quite inexplicably since she was supporting him in style.

In her ingeniously unnerving new novel, Ruth Rendell deftly traces the connections among these women–and between them a series of vicious stabbings terrifying London. Adam and Eve and Pinch Me is a masterpiece of malice and psychological suspense.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (30 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091794390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091794392
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,605,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Rendell has won many awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View; a second Edgar in 1984 from the Mystery Writers of America for the best short story, 'The New Girl Friend'; and a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986. She was also the winner of the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, as well as the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

Product Description

Amazon Review

In Adam and Eve and Pinch Me, Ruth Rendell once again tackles the dark and dangerous side of human psychology. It is this quality that defines her as a writer and distinguishes her from the other British Queens of Crime: PD James and Minette Walters (although some would argue that Val McDermid is now in that category). She take the reader into a more sinister and threatening world than any of her contemporaries, and there is a reason why she remains non-pareil in this territory: a reason demonstrated with disturbing impact in Adam and Eve and Pinch Me.

Rendell's speciality is her ability to enter the psychopathology of her characters and make us not only understand their often murderous behaviour, but also vicariously participate. It's a skill that Hitchcock made his own in the cinema, but he rarely moved into such black waters as Rendell. This new book continues a trend initiated in earlier work by Rendell: the grafting of supernatural elements into a typical Rendellian tale of menace. And what makes the ghost in the new book so disturbing is the total avoidance of cliché: no grey, wispy phantom, this--it is disturbingly corporeal.

Jock Lewis died in the Paddington train crash. Or did he? His fiancée Minty is coming to terms with both his loss and the loss of all her savings, which Jock vanished with. And there is Zilla, who had been married to a man called Jerry Leach. She also received a letter from the railway company telling her that her husband is dead. Other women, too, who do not know each other, have all had relationships with a dark-haired man who disappears from their lives. And when Jock's ghost reappears to Minty at her home and at her work, she begins to carry a knife... but if she stabs him, will he bleed?

Rendell has always been a writer who likes to take risks, and the danger here was that Adam and Eve and Pinch Me would end up as a smorgasbord of supernatural and crime elements, each cancelling the other out. But Rendell is far too assured a writer for this, and the balance between the different aspects of the book is always kept rigorously in place. So many writers fall into dull repetition; here, again, Rendell demonstrates that she's going from strength to strength. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Ruth Rendell is the ultimate anatomist of the human psyche' -- Val McDermid --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "states of mind are real enough" 7 Oct 2001
By A Customer
i read the book and the customer reviews. what is true: rendell IS the best, what is also true: this one is not one of her best books. but it's still so much better than a lot of stuff that finds a publisher these days.
as always in her novels (as in life)- there are characters in it you don't actually like. that's one of her specialties: you're not supposed to like them, but to understand their actions and see life through their eyes. that's rendell's greatest achievement.
as for the ghost-plot: this is definetely not a supernatural thriller. it's about what joyce carol oates describes as "states of mind are real enough". the whole book is about how one reality sometimes is not enough. the jerry-character only becomes real seen through the eyes of all his women.
there's two subplots i favoured: the one about zillah and her marriage to jims, and the couple with eating disorders. in the latter, rendell again manages to portray that what you see (and maybe consider gross) is not what you get.
appearances (and apparitions) often lead you in the wrong direction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Potential Flop 11 Sep 2001
Ruth Rendell has ruled the crime waves for decades, but her ship is sinking!
This novel, with a highly interesting premise, sustains interest well at the beginning, with shifts between one character and the next and a promising puzzle to solve. Soon, however, repetition blunts the knife, blood oozes more slowly and the story crawls to an obvious conclusion. And there is really nothing new about these ghosts or the psychological insight said to be evident. Believe the blurbs at your own risk; in any case not one cover commendation refers to this particular book, being rather general raves on the theme of Rendell.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Ruth Rendell, but not my last! 4 Aug 2002
I bought it on a whim... never having read anything by her before. I can't get enough of it! I haven't been able to put it down since I started it. It's quite a complex story, and I keep thinking I must be near the end, because it's so exciting it always seems to be reaching a climax! It is SO intriguing and i have absolutely NO idea what's going to happen. The characters are brilliant - very interesting and inventive, and the fact it's so very British makes it all the more believable for me. It can be quite confusing in places though, as the central character - the con man - is known by many different names, but that only adds to the twists and turns really. FULL MARKS! I hope any future Ruth Rendells I read will not be a disappointment after this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really great 23 Nov 2001
By MissC
Format:Audio Cassette
This is a really great book well worth the read, and to hear it in tape is even better. The plot is interesting and well thought out, however it is slightly predictable and don't be waiting for a climax ending - on the whole really good but if you want a mystery look at some of Rendells other books.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't take any notice of me 22 Feb 2004
If there is one thing you can be sure of when reading these reviews, it is that they are usless. As much as I love reading them, to guage some sense of opinion on books I've read, they are largely useless, and that is hardly more clear than in this case. As soon as you get one star reviews and five star reviews for the same book, there's no point judging a book by them. All they tell you is that some people hate it, some love it. And that your opinion will also fall between those two points. The only reasonable path left open to you is to try the book, see what your own opinion of it is. Mine is that this book is excellent. But, so many people disagree -even though others agree - that that opinion is largely pointless here.
I've read all Rendell's novels, every single one (well, apart form the elusive novella, "Heartstones", which I still pursue avidly) and they have all been of such incredible quality that I am left stunned. I felt the same here. Adam And Eve And Pinch Me is a beautiful portrait of twisted minds, a remarkable exmination of colliding worlds, with results of destruction and catastrophe. The Paddington trrain crash alluded to here is a brilliant metaphor for Rendell's own work. The lives of her characters crash; they go disastrously off the rails, and they even endanger the lives of the others around them in doing so. Kinks in the metal, the mind, send them down paths of disaster and death.
It's a book peopled with fascinting - yet not always likeable - characters that make the reading speed along. As always, the psychological pictures she paints are realistic, disturbing, unsettling, and grippingly compelling.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Stuff 12 July 2002
By A Customer
This book is reminiscent of a Victorian freak show. Almost all of the characters have something strange about them, and that is what attracts them to us. (This book also helps to show us, therefore, why such shows were so popular!)
The writing is beautiful...Rendell's always is. Her characters are interesting and superbly well drawn. the way events interweave and collide like comets is superb, done as only Ruth Rendell can. The vicious inevitability of circumstance is chilling...and the way that she demonstrates to us how close our lives come, daily, to being changed dramatically (for the worse) is masterful. She shows us, through her plots, that everything we hold most dear could be lost very easily, with as much as simply choosing to take a walk in the park at a particular time, for example, or saying hello to a certain stranger on the street, or even in your choice of what clothes to wear. Such simple, meaningless things, but to the characters in her books, they often end up spelling disaster.
Adam And Eve and Pinch me is a spectacular book. Mixing in aspects of the supernatural, Ruth rendell ups the ante, giving herself new challenges, and giving this book new dimensions. She pulls it off admirably, where a lesser writer would have failed. It serves to intensify the weirdness of innocent but damaged Minty.
Realism is boosted by mentions of real events, real people and real films and music. Emphasises the fact that these events are supposedly happening in our own world, which we recognise. And there is absolutely no reason why things such as this should not happen...which is the disquietening thing about this book.
I have read every single novel Rendell has ever written, and this is my all time favourite. Her very very very best book.
To read "Adam And Eve And Pinch Me", by Ruth rendell is to read one of todays top authors at the height of their creative powers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this book, for me it's one of Ruth Rendell's best.
Published 24 days ago by Sharon Prince
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense throughout - the "Hubris"
Ruth Rendell at her very best. Five women deceived by one conniving man. From a woman works in a dry cleaners but has inherited money and a house and trusts people to finally, a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. M. Baillie
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the mind of a nut-job
One thing Ruth Rendell always does beautifully is get inside the minds of people who are totally insane and this book is no exception - the character of Minty is wonderfully drawn. Read more
Published 8 months ago by SecondCherry
4.0 out of 5 stars A psychological treat
This is a story of a charming con-man, and the women he dupes. It is also a story of a flawed and damaged mind, a young woman living mainly beneath the radar of "normal" people,... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Avid reader
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly entertaining tale of deceit and murder
The aptly named Jeff Leach is a rogue. An immoral ladies man, he finds attractive women with their own property and moves in with them, gets them to give him `loans' (and sometimes... Read more
Published on 3 Oct 2012 by F.R. Jameson
1.0 out of 5 stars What Story!
I have always regarded Ruth Rendell as one of the best authors to have the pleasure of reading; quite what happened here I am not sure. Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2006 by jackieg1
2.0 out of 5 stars "Go Away!" she hissed. Wish I'd taken heed...
Minty should have taken her knife to this manuscript. At least half should have been cut. "A&E&PE" is a book both wandering and repetitious. Read more
Published on 21 April 2004 by M. Halpin
1.0 out of 5 stars what the ....?
The last few novels I've read by Ruth Rendell ("The Killing Doll", "The Keys To The Street", "The Tree of Hands" and "A Sight For Sore Eyes") have all been exceptional, and I can't... Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2004 by S. Hapgood
5.0 out of 5 stars Rendell certainly isn't mellowing with age!
This is another absolute winner from Ruth Rendell, my favourite novelist of all time. Of all her books, this is possibly her very very best. Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Her worst book by far
As a reader of many of Rendell's books I was looking forward to reading Rendell's new offering but this one left me feeling disappointed. Read more
Published on 20 Sep 2002
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