Writing as Barbara Vine, Britain's preeminent mystery novelist Ruth Rendell crafts literary suspense of the highest order. With this richly textured and utterly absorbing page-tumer, Vine adds to her growing reputation as one of the great writers of our time.Bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Gerald Candless dies suddenly, and leaves behind a wife and two doting daughters. To sort through her grief, his daughter Sarah puts aside her university studies and agrees to write a biography of her famous father. But as she begins her research and pulls back the veil of his past, her life is slowly torn apart: a terrible logic begins to unfold that explains her mother's remoteness, her father's need to continually reinvent himself -- and sheds shocking light on a long-forgotten London murder.
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Writing as Ruth Rendell, Barbara Vine has earned the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement. In The Chimney Sweeper's Boy, Vine proves herself the equal of her alter ego and a master of the psychological thriller--as well as the police procedural--in this riveting novel. Why bestselling novelist Gerald Candless assumed a new identity years before his marriage and the birth of his two daughters isn't revealed until the penultimate chapter of the book, but the effect of his deception on his family drives Vine's deft character studies. In Gerald's wife, Ursula, and his daughters, Hope and Sarah, Vine has created three complex women in the thrall of an equally complicated and compelling man. As Sarah unravels the mystery of her father's deception, Gerald gradually becomes a more sympathetic figure. But Ursula, whose strange marital bargain with Gerald and whose distant relationship with her daughters tug at the heart, stays with the reader long after this distinguished, literary mystery is finished. --Jane AdamsFrom the Back Cover:
Ruth Rendell Writing as Barbara Vine
"Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine has transcended her genre by her remarkable imaginative power to explore and illuminate the dark corners of the human psyche." --P. D. James
"When Ruth Rendell, already the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world, launched a second byline, Barbara Vine, she actually stepped up her writing level." --Time
"This gifted author's ability to draw us so completely into her vividly realized, guilt-ridden worlds that they seem to meld, seamlessly, with our own is what makes her one of the finest practitioners of her craft in the English-speaking world." --Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review
"Unequivocally the most brilliant mystery novelist of our times. Her stories are a lesson in a human nature as capable of the most exotic love as it is of the cruelest murder. She does not avert her gaze . . . she magnificently triumphs in a style that is uniquely hers and mesmerizing." --Patricia Cornwell
"Much honored around the world, but less well known here, she is a writer whose work should be read by anyone who enjoys brilliant mystery--or distinguished literature." --Scott Turow
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