- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 4 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 14 Aug. 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00MN23SEI
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Girl Next Door Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Curiously, Rendell's latest `Barbara Vine' did not quite `bite' with me the way she usually does.
This latest Rendell is also not quite expected Rendell. For those expecting a crime, and an investigation to unmask the perpetrator it will come as a bit of a surprise to find the crime, and the perpetrator, and indeed the motive, are all explained in the blurb.
In the 40s, a man murders his wife and her lover, does a bit of dismemberment and buries their hands in a biscuit tin. (he saw them holding hands, when he came home unexpectedly, which alerted him to what was going on). Local children, including his son, play in the tunnels in semi-rural Loughton (as it was then) The tunnels will serve as a hiding place for the hands
Jumping forward more than 60 years the community of children have gone their ways, though some have kept in contact. Their lives begin to connect again when building development work uncovers the hands and the tin, and a half-hearted cold cases enquiry begins. Half-hearted as it is pretty obvious that whoever did the deed, and on whom, is most likely to be dead. The children who played in the tunnels are either themselves dead or in their seventies and more.Read more ›
It is very daring to begin a novel with an unlikeable protagonist. We are lead to believe that this terrible person is to be the main character, and most readers prefer to be able to identify to some extent with the protagonist.
Luckily this psychopatic person leaves the scene, and keeps in the background from then on.
It is a geriatric novel, no doubt about it. All the characters from the first chapters are suddenly old, and in their twilight years.
As often is the case in crime fiction, the solving of a crime has more implications for a wider circle of people, and even between these old folks, feelings and emotions are stirred, and shaken.
After the unraveling of the crime which took place during ww||, the lives of the now very old group of people will not be the same again.
Ruth Rendell has done it again with the enthusiasm we have become used to expect from her.
People may look old on the outside, but the inside may still react in an unexpected and surprising way.
Bodil Marie - Keeping her Wits about Her.
The story almost appears to change genre with the discovery as we meet the now elderly characters who at the time of the murder were young children living in the area. These children had played in foundations of an unbuilt house inventing games under the ground. The story then concentrates on these characters as some of them meet after many years apart to help the police investigating (unwillingly) the provenance of the hands. These meetings have consequences that couldn’t have been foreseen as in the last years of their lives each of the characters have different challenges to face.
Ruth Rendell does what she does best, she examines the motives of these people making the subtle point that even in old age, people make mistakes, they still learn things about themselves and they can change the way they behave. There are some lovely people including the dear Mrs Moss who used to clean for the murderer as well as the misguided and the downright rotten.
The descriptions of Loughton bought the place to life and the plot was well executed although I found that in parts the looking back at how people said things a little repetitive at times but it did underline the enormous changes that someone in their late seventies would have seen over their lifetime.
I enjoyed this book although it wasn’t quite what I expected but it was less entertaining for that.
I’d like to thank the publishers, Random House, who gave me a copy of this book to review ahead of the publication date of 14 August 2014
She’s famous for her Sussex-based Inspector Wexford stories, which started her career, but this book’s set in Essex, close to her actual childhood stomping ground.
It kicks off in wartime with kids larking about in tunnels under a house. These are important. It’s where a complete and utter psycho places a biscuit tin containing the hands of his wife and her fancy man after he’s topped them. He sets about burning all the rest of the evidence but he’s spotted by one of the kids – who keeps what she’s seen to herself for 70-odd years.
Here in the present day builders come across the tin with its grim contents and call in the rozzers. The news brings together the bunch of now OAPs who played there as kids and could now help the probe. Through them we learn a whole lot more than whodunnit. We get to know what time does to memories, to relationships, to the world around us, to our minds.
That’s because Rendell’s always been damn good at getting us inside the heads of her characters – how they think despite the way they act and look – and by extention, ourselves, if we cared to probe harder.
Given she’s in her ninth decade she’d be forgiven for churning out a bog standard mystery, yet The Girl Next Door comes across as insightful, fresh, new and terrifying as anything else around.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I used to be hooked on her books but find the recent ones a bit boring. This one had a good story to tell but I'm afraid it wasn't told very well. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Linda
excellent, easy to read, yet on the other hand full of depth of characters and the believable story, kept one reading from the first page to the last. excellent quality writing.Published 1 month ago by ms jay
An interesting tale concerning mostly characters I their 70s. Perceptive writing and a good plot.Published 2 months ago by MR K R LEIVERS
It starts slowly and takes time to pick up I didn't feel particularly engaged with any of the characters. The story was original, but just ploddedPublished 2 months ago by G. Weatherburn
Not quite sure what i have just read here.
I was expecting a bit of a murder mystery but ended up with some sort of mildly entertaining geriatric soap opera. Read more