Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Great News: A Brand New Book from Ruth Rendell: Dark Corners

I have to say that this may be the best book news I've learned of this whole year.  Get this: one last Ruth Rendell book is still to be published because according to The Guardian, Ms. Rendell had just completed a new manuscript shortly before suffering the stroke that would soon kill her. The new book is titled Dark Corners:
From the impressive variety of tones and styles to which she had access as a writer, Rendell chose for Dark Corners black comedy that echoes Muriel Spark. One homicidal character consoles himself that “what he had done had been very close to an accident”, while another keeps passing on bizarre items from newspapers, such as a warning that visitors to zoos shouldn’t wear clothes with animal-skin patterns, because they confuse the animals. Among many sharp asides in the narrative voice is a reflection on why atheists are so exercised by whether the Church of England uses the Book of Common Prayer or modern translations.
Dark Corners, although a minor work compared to Rendell titles such as Simisolaor the Vine book A Fatal Inversion, enjoyably and honourably concludes Rendell’s six decades of exploring the death force that, as her last book demonstrates, may be triggered in unexpected people and places.
Author Ruth Rendell
Almost prophetically, although Rendell could not have known how true her final words would turn out to be, the book's last sentence reads, "Now it's all over."  If that doesn't make a Ruth Rendell fan tear up just a little bit, they are tougher than I am.

The only way this news could be better (at least to me) is if the new book were  a final Inspector Wexford novel rather than the standalone that it turns out to be.  But don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  This is a gift I never expected to receive and I can't wait to open it.

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