Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Chimney Sweeper's Boy - Barbara Vine

Ruth Rendell is the greatest of contemporary female crime writers and is never better than when she writes as Barbara Vine.  This, however, is by no means Vine at her best.  The writing is beautiful, the characterisation and back story deep and immersive.  There is clever play with the levels of storytelling, which I particularly liked.  But the mystery upon which all this is hung is no mystery at all.  I'm afraid I figured it out from the get-go and I am usually hopeless.  So it was an enjoyable read but ultimately failed to satisfy on the key trope of its genre.

One of the blurbs on the back of the paperback describes it as frightening.  A conclusion I find inexplicable.

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