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The Keys To The Street


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This time she has surpassed herself' Antonia Fraser, Sunday Telegraph

About the Author

Ruth Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, and will be remembered as a legend in her own lifetime. Her groundbreaking debut novel, From Doon With Death, was first published in 1964 and introduced the reader to her enduring and popular detective, Inspector Reginald Wexford, who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels. With worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, Rendell was a regular Sunday Times bestseller. Her sixty bestselling novels include police procedurals, some of which have been successfully adapted for TV, stand-alone psychological mysteries, and a third strand of crime novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. Very much abreast of her times, the Wexford books in particular often engaged with social or political issues close to her heart. Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer. Ruth Rendell died in May 2015. Her final novel, Dark Corners, is scheduled for publication in October 2015


Someone is murdering the homeless of Regents Park by impalement, so why is Mary seeking solace in their company?

In a story that commands‘and fully rewards‘intense engagement from its readers, Rendell (The Crocodile Bird; Simisola) once again proves an astute, intense observer of physical and psychological detail, demonstrating that we are surrounded by people we don't see and fail to appreciate the ways in which intimates and strangers are connected to us. Housesitting in a posh home near London's Regent's Park lets Mary Jago separate from her abusive and persistent lover, whose behavior has worsened since she decided to donate bone marrow to save the life of an anonymous recipient. When she meets Leo Nash, the marrow recipient, she enters a heady courtship with the stranger whose very being is now linked to hers. While she does notice Bean, the strange little man who works as a dog walker and behaves like a ``superior upper servant'' in an old film, and she cheerfully finds kind words for Roman Ashton, one of the area's many ``dossers,'' or street people, Mary little suspects how complex their histories are, what their fears and schemes might be or what they notice in return. Likewise, she is sheltered from the fears of the area's homeless as one after another is killed and then impaled on the spikes of park railings. When a crack is exposed in the edifice of Mary's new and happy life, the death lurking beneath it may be something else she never fully comprehends. With this meticulously crafted work, Rendell reminds us how complex, interconnected and fragile modern life is. (Sept.)

YA‘Rendell is again in top form in this suspenseful tale of a 30-year-old woman housesitting in a posh section of London. Mary Jago is unassuming, quiet, loath to speak up or out even in her own defense‘almost mousy. She has finally worked up the courage to break up with the abusive boyfriend with whom she lives and is about to make contact with the young man to whom she donated bone marrow some months earlier. While this plot is developing, readers meet some less savory characters inhabiting the neighborhood, including a crack addict and some of his contacts and a homeless man whose mysterious past is only gradually made apparent. Mary falls in love with the bone-marrow recipient and seems to be living in an almost dreamlike state until her grandmother dies and leaves her a great deal of money, thus changing her life in ways Mary could not have dreamed. The well-drawn psychological profiles of a rather large cast and the ways in which their lives converge almost overshadow the riddle of the bodies of homeless men periodically found impaled on the fence railings of a grand park in the area. Rendell's themes, that things are seldom what they seem, and that we all go through life with blinders on, hardly understanding or even seeing what is going on around us, are extremely well executed.‘Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA

"The book's plotting is in the grand-master class, its suspense breathless, its denouement shattering" * Sunday Times *
"This time she has surpassed herself" -- Antonia Fraser * Sunday Telegraph *
"There's a manipulative plotter at work in The Keys to the Street, and it's the author" * John Mullan, The Guardian *
"Psychologically acute and extremely disturbing, Ruth Rendell's work is outstanding" * The Times *
"There are quite a few Ruth Rendells: the doyenne of the traditional English detective novel; the queen of the psychological thriller; the celebrated author of the literary thriller" * Mail on Sunday *

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