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Fatal Inversion Hardcover – Apr 14 1987

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Apr 14 1987
CDN$ 168.28 CDN$ 0.60

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Canada (AHC) (April 14 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670809772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670809776
  • Product Dimensions: 26.6 x 2.8 x 14.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,298,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When nineteen-year-old Adam Verne-Smith inherits his great uncle’s estate, Wyvis Hall, he decides to spend the summer there with his best friend Rufus. Ideas of turning what he now calls Ecalpemos into a commune take hold and before long three more people join them. It’s the summer of 1976 and the hot, lazy days are filled with drugs, drinking, sex, and, inevitably conflict. One incident in particular turns deadly.

Although I’ve been a Ruth Rendell fan for years, this is the first book I’ve read under her Barbara Vine pen name. The writing is a wonderful example of the methodical pacing and detail rarely seen in crime fiction these days. Rendell delves so deeply into her characters that we know most of them intimately. It’s this dissection that made me dislike their pretentious, selfish, and narcissistic behavior.

The book isn’t a police procedural or an amateur sleuth novel, but an incredible portrayal of bad decisions or maybe just bad karma. When events from that summer result in a criminal investigation ten years later, Adam is forced to face things he’d hoped to forget. Much of the book is told through backstory from different points of view. Certainly, scenes jump to the present tense but the real story is focused on what happened that summer. This is what kept me eagerly turning the pages as foreshadowing, hints, and clues are carefully revealed. The ending wasn’t particularly satisfying, but other readers might think differently. It is vintage Rendell after all. If you enjoy dark, introspective storytelling, then this book is well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
In "A Fatal Inversion," by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine, we meet a group of young people in Suffolk in the very hot summer of 1976. There is Adam, who has inherited a large home from his great-uncle; Zosie, a waif of a woman for whom Adam and his home is a refuge from the world; Rufus, the handsome medical student who just wants to spend some time drinking and smoking pot; Shiva, a transplanted Indian with self-esteem problems; and Vivien, who is searching for the perfect commune in which to grow. These five young people spend their summer lazily, but ten years later, the bodies of a woman and an infant are discovered in an animal cemetery attached to the house. Who are those corpses, and what do the five young people have to do with them?.... I always enjoy “Barbara Vine” novels, as they tend to be more in the line of psychological portraits of interesting individuals than mysteries per se, and of course Ruth Rendell is always a treat to read under any pen name! I liked the way this novel evoked a particular place and time, quite far removed from us now but still resonating with the way people in their late teens and early 20s regard life. Recommended!
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Format: Paperback
*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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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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Format: Paperback
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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