Cover image for The girl next door
The girl next door
Rendell, Ruth, 1930-2015, author.
[Large print ed.]
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Maine : Center Point Large Print, 2015.

Physical Description:
367pages ; 23 cm
"The discovery of bones in a tin box sends shockwaves across a group of long-time friends"--
Format :


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LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print - Floating collection Floating Collection - Large Print
LARGE PRINT FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print

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In the waning months of the Second World War, a group of children discover an earthen tunnel in their neighborhood outside London. Throughout the summer of 1944 -- until one father forbids it -- the subterranean space becomes their "secret garden," where the friends play games and tell stories.

Author Notes

Ruth Rendell (1930-2015) Ruth Rendell was born in Essex, England on February 17, 1930. She was educated at Loughton County High School.

Rendell began her career as a journalist. She wrote six novels before sending her work in to a publisher. She writes crime novels and psychological thrillers, and is best known for her Inspector Wexford books. Rendell also writes under the pseudonym Barbara Vine.

Rendell has received many awards for her writing, including the Silver, Gold, and Cartier Diamond Daggers from the Crime Writers' Association, three Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America, The Arts Council National Book Awards, and The Sunday Times Literary Award. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Many of her titles have been made into films and made-for-tv movies.

Rendell died on May 2, 2015. She was 85 years old.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In her lengthy career (she's published more than 70 books), multiple-award-winning author Rendell has written about teenagers, the lonely, the lovelorn, the disturbed, the violated, and the just plain evil. This time she turns her keen eye on the elderly: how they manage the present, look toward the future, and, especially, remember the past. The story begins in the 1940s. After murdering his wife and her lover, a man buries their two joined hands in a tin box, deep in tunnels where his son and a group of other young children gather. There it stays for 60 years until a construction company unearths it. Such an old crime invites little interest from police until a link is discovered to an elderly man who lives in the area. As one of the children who played in the tunnels, the man volunteers to bring together the others, now mostly in their seventies, to see if anyone can help authorities. New information isn't forthcoming, but the reunion sparks old rivalries, loves, and disappointments that change the lives of everyone in the group. Using her customary spare yet decorous style and measured pace, Rendell, now in her 80s, beautifully and carefully individualizes each member of her ensemble cast, at the same time creating not a grim reminder of mortality but a picture of moribund lives renewed. A special book by a special writer. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Grand-master Rendell at her best is something to be savored by crime-fiction devotees of all ages, and this one, with the promised promotional effort, will find a large and eager audience.--Zvirin, Stephanie Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this assured novel of psychological suspense from Diamond Dagger Award-winner Rendell (The St. Zita Society), a gruesome discovery jolts a group of friends and acquaintances who grew up outside London during WWII. Two people's hands-severed and interred inside a cookie tin-are unearthed at a former construction site where they once hid and schemed. At the center of the now aged clique is the "girl next door," Daphne Jones, ever envied and admired. John "Woody" Winwood, a man whose wife went missing with her lover during the turmoil of the blitzkrieg, is a malevolent presence, past and present, in the story. In contemporary Britain, Winwood's son, Michael, must face his nonagenerian father, who abandoned him decades before and then married into money, inheriting a fortune from his subsequent wives. Rendell keeps the plot and the home fires burning, and the most memorable characters, Daphne and Woody, cast sufficient light to brighten their somewhat dull companions. Agent: Peter Matson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Rendell's latest psychological suspense novel centers on a group of children who discover an underground tunnel and use it as their private hideaway. Sixty years later, when construction workers discover two skeletal hands in that same tunnel, the police investigation reunites the childhood friends. Each one brings plenty of personal baggage: it isn't long before two former lovers embark on an illicit affair, and another comes to believe that one of the hands belonged to a long-missing relative. Yet another questions his decision to cut his uncaring father out of his life and considers reestablishing communication. Past decisions cast their shadow over the present as the characters question both themselves and the choices they made long ago. VERDICT The three-time Edgar Award-winning author (The Water's Lovely; Portobello) creates another riveting story with her sharp characterization and keen sense of irony that will keep readers engaged from start to finish. Fans of mystery and psychological suspense, along with Rendell's loyal following, will love this complex story. [See Prepub Alert, 5/12/14.]-Linda Oliver, Colorado Springs (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.