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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375704949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375704949
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
I knew from Rendell's past books that this would end in chaos. There some tense moments, but Stanley ends up getting .... It moves right along and is hard to put down.
It's a good story about people waiting for someone to die so they can inherit money and how easily it can go wrong.
Vera, Stanley's wife, is a docile, meek character at the beginning.... ....Having nosy neighbors was ...downfall.
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By "donatdeux" on Aug. 20 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
smooth, if inconsequential narrative. economical with word and psychologically insightful. reminiscent of hitchcock's black and white t.v. tales.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 16 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Early suspense from a master storyteller Nov. 6 2006
By Phillip O. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of Ruth Rendell's early novels (first published in 1971), a bleak foray into greed and despair. Stanly and Vera live in a North London suburd along with Vera's mother, the caustic Maud, who hates her deadbeat son-in-law with a passion. The feelings are mutual from Stanley, who is constantly planning Maud's demise when he is not obsessed with his favorite hobby - crossword puzzles. As in most Rendell novels, there are few likable characters here with the exception of Vera, the long-suffering wife. In a way, each character gets what they want, but the hands of fate have ways of playing them out in unexpected ways. There is a pervailing atmosphere of doom and gloom that gets darker as the novel progresses and Rendell may get the reader to gain a little sympathy toward Stanley, which is quite an accomplishment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I read this book for the first time many years ago Feb. 10 2014
By Caroline Spencer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
and have read it every five years or so since then. It's wonderful every time. Ruth Rendell is a master of mystery and suspense.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Really good! Nov. 19 2013
By Linda Roujon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is on of the first Ruth Rendell suspense novels that I read. I have read it again twice since. Think it's extremely well written and interesting. Found this book especially easy to read. In fact, I couldn't put it down, even the second and third times. Great suspense novel, very interesting characters…
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
GOOD CHARACTERS July 24 2013
By Billie Jean - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's nice to see the villian have the end he deserves. The wife was certainly long suffering - maybe a little too much so. The mother/mother-in-law was amusing. All in all it was a good book.
What Is A Six Letter Synonym For Murderer? Aug. 2 2014
By M. Newman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stanley Manning is a lazy good-for-nothing with a shady past, who can’t hold on to a job and whose only interest is crossword puzzles and whose dream is to get rich. He lives with his downtrodden wife, Vera and her wealthy mother, Maud, a recent stroke victim who despises Stanley as much as he does her.
After Stanley realizes that his wife stands to inherit a large sum of money when Maud dies, the wheels begin to turn in his nasty little mind.
This often humorous novel is, as is typical of Rendell’s work, a suspenseful psychological study, replete with her trademark ironies.

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