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Fatal Inversion [Hardcover]

Barbara Vine
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 14 1987
A tale of terror set in an East Anglian mansion.

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Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A Dark-Adapted Eyefirst novel under the pseudonym Barbara Vine by the British author Ruth Rendellwon the MBA Edgar. This is the second, a mystery like all her works, transcending the genre. Evoked in beautifully ambient writing, the setting is a rural estate, Wyvis Hall, which Adam Verne-Smith inherits at age 19. Inverting the word "someplace," Adam names his eden Ecalpemos where he revels through a summer with four companions. The months drift by until a horrible event scatters the lotus eaters, and Adam sells the property. For 10 years, the former friends live secure in the belief that they alone know their terrible secret. Then the present owners of Wyvis Hall dig a grave for their dog in the pet cemetery on the grounds and unearth human remains. Making headlines, the news stuns the Ecalpemos conspirators, long since established as proper London citizens. The author virtually defies one to pause between incidents in the exquisitely controlled developments that peak in a marvel of irony that no reader could foresee.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Vine is the pseudonym of noted mystery author Ruth Rendell, and this second Vine novel repeats the quality we've come to expect from this master writer. The story centers around a house and its young owner, 19-year-old Adam. When we meet Adam, however, he is ten years older, unhappily married and the devoted, obsessive father of a baby girl. Adam learns that two skeletons have been found at the house, which he had sold shortly after inheriting it. Slowly, Vine reveals the events of Adam's first summer in the house and what Adam and his friends did ten years before. We share Adam's anxiety as the police try to determine who the bodies are. The suspense is double-sidedwhat happened and why, and how will Adam deal with whatever materializes. There is a nifty surprise at the end, and Vine strings us (and Adam) along with consummate skill. Louise A. Merriam, L.E. Phillips Memorial P.L, Eau Claire, Wis .
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful experience Dec 7 2000
By A Customer
First, there are only two reasons I even completed the book: I wasn't going to let a bad writer get the best of a good reader, and I didn't have much other choice for books written in English at that time. Contrary to the other reviewers' opinions, I think the characters show very little development. They remain self-centered hedonists the entire time and do the things self-centered hedonists do. Ms. Vine tried to give the novel a dark and foreboding tone, but only succeeded in suffocating the reader with a wet blanket of boredom. While she could have redeemed the book with better descriptions of the settings and changes in that, she only made half-hearted attempts to do so. I have not read any other Vine/Rendell books, but my advice is to pass this one until you've read another. I hope it is just one bad book amongst some good ones.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As mysteries go, this is one of the best. June 25 1998
By A Customer
*A Fatal Inverstion* does not follow any of the formulas so common in today's mystery fiction. Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell) tells a uniquely horrifying and suspenseful story. Moving between the present and the past (ten years ago when the obligatory deaths occurred) in a very fluid and dynamic way, she makes the characters and events of this wonderful book come alive (no pun intended). I wanted to know what happened, and what was *going* to happen...and I wasn't sure I *really* wanted to know --- how horrible would it be? I could not put this book down!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A mystery that keeps you guessing April 23 2001
By Erowida
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Unless you are aware that the book itself IS a mystery, and read the crucial 2 questions on the backof the book and continually remind yourself of them, the first 3 quarters of the book seem like theyre heading in the direction you want and expect them to...but if youre not alert and pondering, the end will grab you like a string...the persn you don't expect, the person who is accused of killing the person who you didnt expect...its all baffling for a traditional mystery, but it even has a happy ending to go along with it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent story that never plays to the reader. March 16 1998
Fatal Inversion is the most intelligent and satisfying murder mystery I have ever read. Everything fits. The characters are well drawn and consistent; the mood is just right; the story addictive; and the ending a pure pleasure. I particularly love the way prejudices and societal ills are neither glossed over nor elaborated upon. In all respects, the story completely smashes the theory that we all get what we deserve. In fact, only those with a conscience ever do. Ain't that just like life?
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