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The Minotaur
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The Minotaur - a thrilling novel from the bestselling queen of crime Barbara Vine Kerstin Kvist enters crumbling Lydstep Old Hall to live with the Cosways and to act as nurse to John: a grown man fed drugs by his family to control his lunatic episodes. But John's strangeness is grotesquely mirrored in that of his four sisters who roam the dark, mazy Essex country house under the strict gaze of eighty-year-old Mrs Cosway. Despite being treated as an outsider, Kerstin is nevertheless determined to help John. But she soon discovers that there are others in the family who are equally as determined that John remain isolated, for sinister reasons of their own ... 'The reader is kept in suspense throughout . . . vintage wine from the Rendell vine' Independent 'The Cosway family is a mesmerizing creation... I rushed through the last pages' Penelope Lively, Sunday Times 'Stealthy, credible, ingenious and addictive' Literary Review 'The Rendell/ Vine partnership has for years been producing consistently better work than most Booker winners put together' Ian Rankin The Minotaur is a modern masterpiece of the crime genre and will leave you gripped from the first page to the last. If you enjoy the novels of P.D. James, Ian Rankin and Scott Turow, you will love this book. Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. She has written fifteen novels using this pseudonym, including A Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet which both won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Her other books include: A Dark Adapted Eye; The House of Stairs; Gallowglass; Asta's Book; No Night Is Too Long; In the Time of His Prosperity; The Brimstone Wedding; The Chimney Sweeper's Boy; Grasshopper; The Blood Doctor; The Minotaur; The Birthday Present and The Child's Child.
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About the Author

Barbara Vine was the pen-name of Ruth Rendell, and Viking published all of her books under that name. Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, with worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, and regular Sunday Times bestsellers. 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.

Reviews

Once again writing as Vine (The Blood Doctor), acclaimed mystery writer Ruth Rendell hones in on the mysteries of the psyche. In this novel, set in the late 1960s, an autistic man, a dysfunctional family, and an innocent young woman become entangled in a web of deceit. Swedish nursing student Kerstin Kvist comes to Essex, England, to care for 39-year-old John Cosway, who is being heavily sedated for a mental illness he doesn't actually have. John's mother and sisters live with him on a drafty estate at the mercy of a trust. Naturally inquisitive, Kerstin wants to explore the bizarre, labyrinthine library built on the estate but ends up coming across secrets best left hidden. When John quits his medication (with Kerstin's approval), it means trouble for all involved. A layered, intriguing tale with odd, almost caricatured characters and subtle twists, Vine's latest book rambles a bit toward an ending that's not particularly suspenseful. Still, fans will want to read it. For most public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/05.]-Rebecca Vnuk, River Forest P.L., IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

'The reader is kept in suspense throughout... vintage wine from the Rendell vine' Independent 'The Cosway family is a mesmerizing creation... I rushed through the last pages' - Penelope Lively, Sunday Times 'Stealthy, credible, ingenious and addictive' Literary Review

British master Vine (aka Ruth Rendell) explores life among the Cosways, a country gentry clan that makes the Wuthering Heights crowd look wholesome. Kerstin Kvist, a young Swedish nurse, takes a job at Lydstep Old Hall caring for John Cosway, a mathematical prodigy now labeled by his family as schizophrenic. In addition to John, there are four obsessive sisters ruled by their scarecrow-like matriarch. Gradually, Kerstin suspects that John is being drugged so that his mother and sisters can remain in their estate under the terms of a disputed trust. Vine creates a family and village, Windrose, so vivid you're tempted to book a B and B and investigate things yourself. Some scenes involving John's behavior-his fits and his family's reactions-seem abrupt to the point of being bizarre, but Vine is describing a man hijacked from rationality, through a narrator whose first language isn't English. When murder finally happens, it's simultaneously shocking yet inevitable. Though less elegantly written than 2002's The Blood Doctor, this delivers a more palpable, and thus satisfying, crime. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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