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The Lake of Darkness (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) [Paperback]

Ruth Rendell
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 2001 Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Martin Urban is a quiet bachelor with a comfortable life, free of worry and distractions. When he unexpectedly comes into a small fortune, he decides to use his newfound wealth to help out those in need. Finn also leads a quiet life, and comes into a little money of his own. Normally, their paths would never have crossed. But Martin’s ideas about who should benefit from his charitable impulses yield some unexpected results, and soon the good intentions of the one become fatally entangled with the mercenary nature of the other. In the Lake of Darkness, Ruth Rendell takes the old adage that no good deed goes unpunished to a startling, haunting conclusion.


Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books; First Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Edition edition (Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375704973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375704970
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.1 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,932,688 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

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. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY... 6 Sep 2003
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Ruth Rendell is a fabulous British author who has churned out mystery after mystery filled with dark, demented twists. This is another tautly plotted, well crafted mystery with characters that, though seemingly normal, are just a tad off the beaten path.
This book features Martin Urban, a staid and somewhat stuffy young man who would have felt at home in Victorian England. Martin wins a very large sum of money in a football pool with a little help from Tim Sage, an old friend of his. Altruistic and given to some rather god-like pronouncements, Martin wishes to give the money away to the deserving poor, in order to enable them to buy a home. Poor Martin, there are none so blind, as those who will not see.
Beset by subliminal homo-erotic thoughts regarding Tim Sage, he meets a mysterious young woman named Francesca, who is as demure and submissive as a Victorian maiden and captures his heart. Unfortunately, she is bound to another. All, however, is not as Martin thinks that it is.
Enter Finn, the twisted son of Lena, former cleaning lady to Martin's mother. When Finn's path crosses that of Martin's, during one of Martin's fumbling attempts to give some of his winnings away, a very clever dialogue ensues between these two with some unexpected, deadly results.
Fans of Ms. Rendell will not be disappointed by this book. It is filled with the slightly off-beat characters for which she is known, some of whom harbor dark twisted thoughts, while others are entirely socio-pathic. Well-written is spare, clear prose and filled with enough twists and turns to satisfy the most discerning of readers, this is another gem in Ms. Rendell's treasure trove of mysteries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just watch the tragedy unfold... 2 Jan 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I stumbled upon Ruth Rendell in my teens and, with the exception of Rendell's Inspector Wexford series, I have persistently returned to her novels. To me, Rendell is a genius! Judging by the synopses on the covers of her books, most of her plots seem a trifle bland, not to say boring. However, once you give it a go, you get sucked into her stories.

All her psychological novels have got one decisive feature: She creates protagonists that on the surface have got absolutely nothing in common with each other. As her stories unravel, the author creates a web of fateful connections between her protagonists, and in the end all are entangled in a web of (often) unintended and horrific consequences. The "Lake of Darkness" is a case in point.

Following guidance from his erstwhile university friend Tim Sage, Martin, a young accountant from a well to-do family, wins a fortune in the football pools. Due to philanthropic impulses, Martin decides to put his wealth to good use and draws up a list of deserving people, who he considers to be in need of financial help. Amongst the beneficiaries is Lena, the family's former, mentally - ill cleaner, who lives together with her son, Finn, in a shabby London bed-sit. Finn is a sociopath, who not only works as a handyman, but also as a contract killer. When Martin contacts Finn with the good news, Finn completely misunderstands Martin's philanthropic motive and assumes that Martin's "gift" is intended to pay for his services as a killer. Meanwhile, all the reader can do is follow the tragedy unfold as the two worlds collide.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 9 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another great book from Ruth Rendell,I have never read a bad one yet!
Look forward to the next one.
A Big Fan.!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Sad Case Of Miss Understanding. 11 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

it is a sad out come for somebody who tried to help people in need.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book 23 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
never been let down by a ruthe rendell book yet as i wasnt this time page turner as always. Wish she would bring a new book out
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not one of her best 9 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like Ruth Rendell on the whole, particularly those books first published under the name of Barbara Vine as this one. I have to say that 'The Lake of Darkness' was a little disappointing, some of the characters were rather unbelievable and there was absolutely noone with whom one could sympathise or even marginally like; I always find this somewhat alienating in a book. The ending was good.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A WEB WE WEAVE... 22 Nov 2003
By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Ruth Rendell is a fabulous British author who has churned out mystery after mystery filled with dark, demented twists. This is another tautly plotted, well crafted mystery with characters that, though seemingly normal, are just a tad off the beaten path.
This book features Martin Urban, a staid and somewhat stuffy young man who would have felt at home in Victorian England. Martin wins a very large sum of money in a football pool with a little help from Tim Sage, an old friend of his. Altruistic and given to some rather god-like pronouncements, Martin wishes to give the money away to the deserving poor, in order to enable them to buy a home. Poor Martin, there are none so blind, as those who will not see.
Beset by subliminal homo-erotic thoughts regarding Tim Sage, he meets a mysterious young woman named Francesca, who is as demure and submissive as a Victorian maiden and captures his heart. Unfortunately, she is bound to another. All, however, is not as Martin thinks that it is.
Enter Finn, the twisted son of Lena, former cleaning lady to Martin's mother. When Finn's path crosses that of Martin's, during one of Martin's fumbling attempts to give some of his winnings away, a very clever dialogue ensues between these two with some unexpected, deadly results.
Fans of Ms. Rendell will not be disappointed by this book. It is filled with the slightly off-beat characters for which she is known, some of whom harbor dark twisted thoughts, while others are entirely socio-pathic. Well-written is spare, clear prose and filled with enough twists and turns to satisfy the most discerning of readers, this is another gem in Ms. Rendell's treasure trove of mysteries.
Comment | 
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