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Adam and Eve & Pinch ME Paperback – 30 Aug 2001

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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 (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,491,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, and will be remembered as a legend in her own lifetime. Her groundbreaking debut novel, From Doon With Death, was first published in 1964 and introduced the reader to her enduring and popular detective, Inspector Reginald Wexford, who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels.

With worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, Rendell was a regular Sunday Times bestseller. Her sixty bestselling novels include police procedurals, some of which have been successfully adapted for TV, stand-alone psychological mysteries, and a third strand of crime novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. Very much abreast of her times, the Wexford books in particular often engaged with social or political issues close to her heart.

Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

Ruth Rendell died in May 2015. Her final novel, Dark Corners, is scheduled for publication in October 2015.

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.

Review

'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

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Oct. 2001
Format: Hardcover
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 By G. L. Smerdon on 11 Sept. 2001
Format: Hardcover
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 By Amazon Customer on 4 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
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 By MissC on 23 Nov. 2001
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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Format: Paperback
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 to take out fresh mortgages on their homes) and then dumps them to disappear with his next conquest. In the background are the wife and two kids he's also abandoned, but who he does drift back occasionally to see - even if he offers nothing in the way of support. His is a complex and difficult to follow life, which touches many others and leaves a lot of bad feeling and grudges. So that when he's murdered in the Odeon Marble Arch one afternoon (at a showing of The House on Haunted Hill) there are a lot of avenues for the police to explore.

One of the best things about this highly entertaining tale of deceit and murder, is how unpredictable it all is. The normal crime novel will have a brief introduction of the characters, a dreadful murder will take place, there will be red herrings and possibly other deaths, until the least likely suspect will be revealed as the killer. `Adam and Eve and Pinch Me' differs from all of that. It actually starts out as a ghost story, as we meet poor Anaminta Knox, or Minty - whose sheltered life and repressed emotions are manifesting themselves in extreme cleanliness. She thinks she sees the ghost of her dead fiancée, and although at first glance she'd appear to be just a strange little thing in a strange old house, tragic events arise from those visions.

I do enjoy a book which takes its own path, where it's impossible to predict what will happen next. I also like a book which populates itself with an array of interesting characters, who are built up over the course of the plot so that they are more than just a sum of their flaws and neuroses.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tiresias on 22 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
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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