Kate's Book Reviews

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Ruth Rendell - The New Girlfriend and other stories (Arrow)

ISBN 0-09-947030-6

First published in the UK 1985.

This is reasonably interesting reading, though I didn't find it particularly deep. I think I'm going off murder mystery short stories, anyway. The stories in this collection just seem kind of predictable - someone's probably going to be murdered, yes, but there's no time to build up any interest in the characters.

Many of the stories in this book depend on showing how an ordinary person can go a bit mad and kill someone, but I don't think this really works so well in the context of a short story - there just isn't enough time. Another well-worked theme is the idea of a murder being committed, but just one person realises that it's actually murder, or even that the victim is missing.

She goes a bit science-fictiony in the last one (The Green Road to Quephanda), and does it reasonably well; though I couldn't really help thinking - why?

In summary (sorry) - eye candy.

31 March 1998
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