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The Lake Of Darkness Paperback – 6 Oct 1994

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (6 Oct. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099255308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099255307
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 1.4 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Ruth Rendell is surely one of the greatest novelists presently at work in our language."- Scott Turow
"Rendell writes with such elegance and restraint, with such a literate voice and an insightful mind, that she transcends the mystery genre and achieves something almost sublime."- "Los Angeles Times
""Rendell's clear, shapely prose casts the mesmerizing spell of the confessional."-" The New Yorker" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Sept. 2003
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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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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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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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Nov. 2003
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.
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