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Books

Curtain call for Ruth Rendell

Dark Corners, her final novel of murder and blackmail, feels rough around the edges — but her legacy will live

17 October 2015

8:00 AM

17 October 2015

8:00 AM

Dark Corners Ruth Rendell

Hutchinson, pp.279, £18.99, ISBN: 9780091959241

Ruth Rendell’s final novel, Dark Corners, is about how psychological necessity can drive perfectly ordinary people either to terrible deeds or to unwitting acts of great courage — and extraordinary things can happen quite by chance to anyone.

Carl, the central character, is a young man pleased with his life. He has written a novel that has been published, inherited his father’s small mews house in Maida Vale with its furniture and, significantly, a large supply of alternative remedies in the bathroom cabinet, and has a beautiful, kindly girlfriend called Nicola.

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