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The Birthday Present
  • Published: 1 June 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141923604
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

The Birthday Present




A triumphant return to form - one of Barbara Vine's best novels to date

It's late spring of 1990 and a love affair is flourishing: between Ivor Tesham, a thirty-three year old rising star of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, and Hebe Furnal, a stunning North London housewife stuck in a dull marriage. What excitement Hebe lacks at home, however, is amply compensated for by the well-bred and intensely attractive Tesham - an ardent womanizer and ambitious politican.

On the eve of her twenty-eighth birthday, Tesham decides to give Hebe a present to remember: something far more memorable than, say, the costly string of pearls he's already lavished upon her. Involving a fashionable new practice known as 'adventure sex', a man arranges for his unsuspecting but otherwise willing girlfriend to be snatched from the street, bound and gagged, and delivered to him at a mutually agreed venue ...

Set amidst an age of IRA bombings, the first Gulf War, and sleazy politics, The Birthday Present is the gripping story of a fall from grace, and of a man who carries within him all the hypocrisy, greed and self-obsession of a troubled era.

  • Published: 1 June 2009
  • ISBN: 9780141923604
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the author

Barbara Vine

Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. Viking have published her twelve previous novels, including A Dark Adapted Eye, which won the Crime Writer's association Gold Dagger Award, and more recently Grasshopper, The Blood Doctor and The Minotaur. Ruth Rendell sits in the house of Lords as a Labour peer. She lives in Maida Vale, London.

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Praise for The Birthday Present

Slick

Financial Times

Again a great read from a master of the story-telling process

Irish Times

Packed with menace and the threat of exposure. One of Rendell's most complex plots.

The Independent

Her Barbara Vine novels allow [Ruth Rendell] to retain her title as Britain's pre-eminent psychological thriller. A suspenseful and chilling tale

The Observer

Characters are intensely imagined and far from the usual uncomplicated stereotypes of victims and perpetrators. An experience that is both fearful and satisfying

The Sunday Times

A strong creation

Telegraph.co.uk

Riveting and only too plausible account of the downfall of a politician. Brilliant narrative voice. An unsurpassed portrait of a character suffering from low self-esteem, mild paranoia and gradual mental deterioration.

The Daily Mail

Oddly exhilarating and liberating. Truly, Baroness Rendell of Babergh is an original talent.

The Evening Standard

The Rendell/Vine partnership has for years been producing consistently better work than most Booker winners put together

Ian Rankin

Barbara Vine is Ruth Rendell letting rip

Daily Telegraph

A superb and original writer

Amanda Craig, Express

Slick

Financial Times

Again a great read from a master of the story-telling process

Irish Times

Packed with menace and the threat of exposure. One of Rendell's most complex plots.

The Independent

Her Barbara Vine novels allow [Ruth Rendell] to retain her title as Britain's pre-eminent psychological thriller. A suspenseful and chilling tale

The Observer

Characters are intensely imagined and far from the usual uncomplicated stereotypes of victims and perpetrators. An experience that is both fearful and satisfying

The Sunday Times

A strong creation

Telegraph.co.uk

Riveting and only too plausible account of the downfall of a politician. Brilliant narrative voice. An unsurpassed portrait of a character suffering from low self-esteem, mild paranoia and gradual mental deterioration.

The Daily Mail

Oddly exhilarating and liberating. Truly, Baroness Rendell of Babergh is an original talent.

The Evening Standard

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