Live Flesh Paperback – Jun 27 2000
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"Powerfully claustrophobic" Guardian "Ruth Rendell shows an unparalleled understanding of human evil." -- John Mortimer Sunday Times "Compelling, disturbing and masterfully written." The Times "Rendell knows how to make your hair stand up straight on your head" Maeve Binchy "There are quite a few Ruth Rendells: the doyenne of the traditional English detective novel; the queen of the psychological thriller; the celebrated author of the literary thriller" Mail on Sunday
About the Author
Ruth Rendell is the Queen of British crime writing. The author of over 50 novels, she has won many significant crime fiction awards. Her first novel, From Doon With Death, appeared in 1964, and since then her reputation and readership have grown steadily with each new book. She has received major awards for her work; three Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America; the Crime Writers' Gold Dagger Award for 1976's best crime novel, A Demon in My View; the Arts Council National Book Award for Genre Fiction in 1981 for The Lake of Darkness; the Crime Writer's Gold Dagger Award for 1986's best crime book for Live Flesh; in 1987 the Crime Writer's Gold Dagger Award for A Fatal Inversion and in 1991 the same award for King Solomon's Carpet, both written under the pseudonym Barbara Vine; the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990; and in 1991 the Crime Writer's Cartier Diamond Award for outstanding contribution to the crime fiction genre. Her books are translated into 21 languages. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.
Top Customer Reviews
Victor has just been released from prison for shooting and crippling a young policeman. Coping with the changed world without and terrifying rages and phobias within, Victor is resentful, totally amoral, and feels he is entitled to whatever he can get - or take. Unbeknowst to the police, he is also guilty of a number of violent rapes, for which he has never been charged. The 'normal' side he can present to his social workers and employers is countered by the crashing and tortured screaming that others hear coming from his room, and he hears within his head.
Envious of the public admiration for his victim David, whose stoic acceptance of his paralysis has won him high regard and accolades, Victor can't stop himself making contact. To his surprise, David and his girlfriend Clare welcome him, assuming his motives are benign - that he, also, is trying to make sense of how the incident has affected his life. Victor manages to act normally long enough for them to become 'friends', but the tension of his scheming, David's skepticism and Clare's naive belief in Victor make you feel something awful is just around the corner. Away from his friends, all sorts of things in Victor's mind are starting to surface, and go out of control...
Ruth Rendell never writes a bad book, and this is one of her more original plots, no normal whodunnit. From the first pages Victor's incipient violence is so well portrayed, yet what happens is still a complete surprise.Read more ›
I thought the book was well read and all the characters were convincing. My favorite was David Fleetwood. I felt I knew him very well, even though only one chapter was from his perspective.
Rendell has written many wonderful books, and this is one of the best. I highly recommend it.
Highly recommended. Also read Judgement in Stone, possibly her best and most brilliant!
Most recent customer reviews
This has got to be the most boring book I have ever, ever read. Just look at the pages with solid text - nothing but tell, tell, tell - how about a bit of showing to make the story... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2011 by Geta
Rendell is always touted as the best living mystery writer. She's one of the best writers, period. An amazing display of getting into the delusionary mind of a criminal and making... Read morePublished on March 13 2000 by Dave Goldberg
If you've never read Rendell, this is as good a place to start as any. No writer I know of can surpass Ruth Rendell in consistently pulling the rug out from under the reader. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 1999