I ordered The Water's Lovely from Canada because it is unavailable still in the U.S. It is a pleasure to read the intelligent reviews of Rachel Walker and M.D. Smart on this page - I wish I knew people who appreciated Ruth Rendell as they obviously do. As for the novel - well, as M.D. Smart said, I tried to read it slowly to make the pleasure last, but midway through I was gripped and abandoned myself to a pell-mell pace, eager to learn what would next unfold. This is a wrenching and poignant and funny book. Marion Melville is my absolute favorite character, an often blundering but eventually triumphant manipulator. She dances through the storyline, alighting on each character for a pas de deux, then skittering away, always with a new plot and ploy. No one mentioned what I see as the theme of these intermingled tales (and tales they are - disparate lives that intertwine) - and that is home. So many of the characters are motivated by seeking a place to live. Their living situations define them. From the homeless beggar who keeps returning to his sister's flat to the duplex where Ismay and Heather live, so many of the plot twists turn on living circumstances and the search for home. I too felt there was a lot of coincidence here, but I do find that our lives are full of coincidences, and maybe they are not just coincidence but fate. Rendell is brilliant as ever, she must be diabolical. Once again as in Thirteen Steps Down, she leaves the zinger for the last paragraph. Don't look!