Dark Corners: A Novel

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“A spectacularly creepy and macabre tale” (Entertainment Weekly) of blackmail, murders both accidental and opportunistic, and of one life’s fateful unraveling—from Ruth Rendell, “one of the most remarkable novelists of her generation” (People), writing at her most mesmerizing. Rendell completed Dark Corners shortly before her death in 2015.

When his father dies, Carl Martin inherits a house in an increasingly rich and trendy London neighborhood. Cash poor, Carl rents the upstairs room and kitchen to the first person he interviews, Dermot McKinnon. That is mistake number one. Mistake number two is keeping the bizarre collection of homeopathic and alternative “cures” that his father left in the medicine cabinet, including a stash of controversial diet pills. Mistake number three is selling fifty of those diet pills to a friend, who is then found dead.

Dermot seizes a nefarious opportunity and begins to blackmail Carl, refusing to pay rent, and creepily invading Carl’s space. Ingeniously weaving together two storylines that finally merge in a shocking turn, Ruth Rendell describes one man’s spiral into darkness—and murder—as he falls victim to a diabolical foe he cannot escape.

This is brilliant psychological suspense that gets under your skin. As Stephen King says, “No one surpasses Ruth Rendell when it comes to stories of obsession, instability, and malignant coincidence.” Dark Corners, her last book, “ranks among her best” (The Washington Post).
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More by Ruth Rendell

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Edgar Award Finalist: In London, a missing child unites three mothers in grief, madness, and murder.
 
When Benet Archdale was a young girl in North London, her mother, Mopsa, made her nervous. The woman was unsound, and posed ever-present dangers. Yet Benet understood her sickness and forgave her threats. In pursuit of a relatively sane life as a novelist and loving single parent, Benet has since kept Mopsa at a distance. But it’s not only the sudden death of Benet’s two-year-old son that shakes her safe world. It’s the past. Mopsa has returned to be at her inconsolable daughter’s side. Nurturing, rational, and seemingly cured, Mopsa is going to do everything she can to ease Benet’s grief.
 
Then, on the other side of town, the child of a barmaid has gone missing. Authorities fear the search can’t end well. As Benet and Mopsa are drawn into the disappearance, the secrets, lies, and desperation of three mothers will converge—by chance and by design. For them, it’s a crime that is at once a delusion, an escape, and a nightmare.
 
“No one surpasses Ruth Rendell when it comes to stories of obsession, instability, and malignant coincidence,” says Stephen King of this New York Times–bestselling author, and all three come into play in this novel, a winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger Award. A classic of psychological suspense, The Tree of Hands was adapted twice for the screen: first in 1989, as Innocent Victim starring Lauren Bacall and Helen Shaver; then again in 2001, for the French film Alias Betty.
3.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 27, 2015
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781501119446
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Recommended by Graham Norton on The Graham Norton Show
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He'll do anything to protect his secrets. She'll stop at nothing to expose the truth.

It only takes one person to break the silence.

When solicitor Finn Fitzpatrick is approached by a man to investigate the death of his daughter, her first instinct is to refuse.

The father is grieving, and unable to accept that his daughter committed suicide. And yet something about the man’s story chimes with Finn.

Why did a bright, confident, beautiful young girl suddenly drop out of school? Could the answer lie in her relationship with Ireland's most famous film director?

The deeper Finn goes into the case, the more dark, twisted and dangerous the picture becomes.

Because these are powerful people she is trying to expose. And they're willing to do anything to keep the truth hidden.
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'Just finished Darkest Truth by Catherine Kirwan. It's brilliant! A heroine flawed but not in the normal whisky-soaked-my-wife-has-left me way - that takes you on an evocative crime journey through the cut-throughs and cobbles of Cork City. A fabulous sleep thief and great read.' OWEN McDONNELL, Killing Eve

'A clever twist on the genre.' ARAMINTA HALL, author of Our Kind of Cruelty

'A gripping, twisting novel of mounting suspense. It couldn't be more relevant.' AMY LLOYD, author of The Innocent Wife

'A fast-paced and twisty thriller, with a gutsy protagonist you can't help but root for. It left me breathless.' CLAIRE ASKEW, author of All The Hidden Truths

'The story is told at a propulsive rate, the legal details are persuasive and the dialogue is excellent.' IRISH TIMES

'This is a wonderfully assured debut. While the plot of Darkest Truth may have been suggested by the recent worldwide #MeToo movement, there is little of the 'me too' in its writing because Kirwan delivers her cracking tale in her own distinctive voice. In Finn Fitzpatrick, she has created an immensely likeable, feisty and individual character, and the supporting cast in this intriguing mystery are equally well drawn.' IRISH INDEPENDENT

'Her quest to expose Gill is dark and twisted, but the believability of the characters is undeniable. Powerful writing’ WOMAN

INCLUDES AN EXCERPT OF RENDELL’S FINAL NOVEL, DARK CORNERS

From “one of the most remarkable novelists of her generation” (People) a “refined, probing, and intelligent” (USA TODAY) mystery in the masterful Inspector Wexford series…more enthralling than ever after fifty years.

A female vicar named Sarah Hussein is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussein was working in a male-dominated profession. Moreover, she was of mixed race and wanted to modernize the church. Could racism or sexism have played a factor in her murder?

Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who discovered the body, happens to also be in the employ of retired Chief Inspector Wexford and his wife. Wexford is intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, and when he is invited by his old deputy to tag along with the investigators, he leaps at the chance.

As Wexford searches the Vicar’s house, he sees a book on her bedside table. Inside the book is a letter serving as a bookmark. Without thinking much, Wexford puts it into his pocket. Wexford soon realizes he has made a grave error in removing a piece of valuable evidence from the scene without telling anybody. Yet what he finds inside begins to illuminate the murky past of Sarah Hussein. Is there more to her than meets the eye?

No Man’s Nightingale is Ruth Rendell’s masterful twenty-fourth installment in one of the great crime series of all time, an “absorbing and rewarding” (Seattle Times) mystery that explores issues of sexism, class, and racism. As Stephen King said: “No one surpasses Ruth Rendell.”
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