A brilliantly dark and sinister novel of psychological suspense by Ruth Rendell, ‘unequivocally the most brilliant crime-writer of our time’ (Patricia Cornwell).
A tragic accident. A blackmail plot. A house of cards.
In his late father's house, Carl finds a hoard of pills, 'wonder drugs' and herbal remedies. He sells a box of slimming pills to his close friend Stacey.
And Carl's new tenant is now scheming to blackmail him, imposing more and more demands on an increasingly unstable Carl, pushing him to the point of no return...
Ruth Rendell's final novel is a dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense, full of mistaken identity, kidnap, blackmail, and a cast of normal people driven to do abnormal things. Infused with her distinctive blend of wry humour, acute observation and deep humanity, this is Rendell at her most memorable and best.
“Her absence is keenly felt. But we do have this mesmeric book . . . It’s a felicitous last hurrah for Rendell”
Barry Forshaw, Independent, Books of the Year
“It enjoyably and honourably concludes Rendell's six decades of exploring the death force that, as her last book demonstrates, may be triggered in unexpected people and places. - Mark Lawson”
Guardian, Books of the Year
“Dark Corners is written in a deceptively simple manner, and at times it reads like a twisted fairytale. It leaves an uneasiness behind like a dark stain on the consciousness . . . The violence of Dark Corners is the violence that stems from the mundane and the ordinary, and it is all the more frightening because of that.”
“Everything that makes Rendell's work so memorable - gothic but believable people and plots, simple yet vivid prose, peerlessly rendered settings, and fear and despair as the twin ‘parents’ of violence - is in evidence here.”
“Another of Rendell’s penetrating studies of ordinary people trapped in extraordinary circumstances . . . her countless admirers will seize on it with delight.”
“Cunningly wrought . . . a triumph . . . the ending is perfect – a fitting full stop at the end of a great career.”
Mail on Sunday
“From the impressive variety of tones and styles to which she had access as a writer, Rendell chose for Dark Corners black comedy that echoes Muriel Spark . . . [Dark Corners] enjoyably and honourably concludes Rendell's six decades of exploring the death force that, as her last book demonstrates, may be triggered in unexpected people and places.”
“The late Ruth Rendell put a permanent stamp on crime fiction with 65 novels of screw-twisting suspense, written under both her own name and the pseudonym Barbara Vine. The posthumously published DARK CORNERS is a worthy final entry in her body of work”
The Wall Street Journal
“It’s a Rendell ‘stand-alone’ – a pitch-black thriller.”
“A gripping story . . . You will feel the authentic Rendell prickle of fear as you realise how easily a mis-step could plunge you into a situation like [the protagonist’s].”
“Dark Corners is compulsively readable and involving . . . [Rendell] had a superb gift for understanding and unsettling her legion of fans with her spare, elegant prose.”
“Not once does Rendell let up on the tension. This, her last book, is a triumph”
“As hard-edged as ever. A brooding, claustrophobic mystery”
“This is the innocent-seeming start of a journey into the very darkest recesses of the human mind; for such a nice woman, Rendell had an amazing empathy with psychotic killers. Dark Corners is Rendell at her incomparable best; talk about going out in style!”
Saga Magazine - Book of the Month
“Rendell was a prolific and hugely popular writer of intricately plotted mystery novels that combined psychological insight, social conscience and, not infrequently, teeth-chattering terror.”
New York Times
“Rendell was unequivocally the most brilliant mystery writer of our time.”
“When many of the literary novelists of our time are forgotten, Ruth Rendell’s books will remain, and future generations will see that not only did she keep her readers on tenterhooks with every book, she also wrote stories which held up a mirror to her times.”
“Rendell’s work, mapping the manic and malevolent extremes of human behaviour, was distinguished by terse yet elegant prose and sharp psychological insights.”
“Rendell’s novels have been a major force in lifting crime writing out of genre fiction and into both cutting-edge and mainstream literature.”
“Ruth Rendell: one of the all-time greats.”
“Every aspect of Ruth Rendell’s dark art is splendidly showcased in Dark Corners. One can’t say she saved the best for last, because a great many books by Ms Rendell and her alter ego Barbara Vine are so splendid, but it’s among the best. You won’t put it down. I loved it.”
“Rendell set an extraordinarily high benchmark in crime fiction that continued throughout her long career. She is revered by all who came after her.”
“Rendell transformed what had become a staid and formulaic genre into a different kind of crime novel. She turned it into a prism for examining the world around her with a critical eye.”