ADAM AND EVEN AND PINCH ME by Ruth Rendell will likely be one of her very best books, and one of 2002's best books in ANY genre.
I have read all but a handful of her works over the past 10 years, and she continues to amaze me at the breadth of her talent.
Once again we have a cast of characters that could be, if you lived in jolly old London, your next door neighbors or your co-workers. Rendell's greatest gift in writing is drawing out not only the foibles, but also the deepest thoughts of these people as they go through their very mundane lives.
What makes the story so intricate and involving, is that the 3 main women characters, Zillah, Fiona and Minty (Araminta), are all from very different backgrounds, but are all looking for the same thing: a steady and romantic relationship with a man. The paths they tread and the consequences of their interactions with this one man brings forth completely different outcomes. There are too many twists and turns to describe here, and it would ruin the pleasure of wending your way through Rendell's web of deceit, unrequited love, and murder.
Suffice to say I was up into the wee hours with ADAM AND EVE AND PINCH ME. Superb: you'll be recommending this to everyone you know, believe me!
Is there a BBC adaptation in the works, perhaps? Let's hope so.