Minty is obsessive-compulsive, washing and rewashing herself and
her clothing — and when her lover Jock Lewis disappears, taking her
savings, she starts seeing ghosts and hearing voices. Single mother
Zillah tries to escape poverty by marrying a gay Conservative MP in
danger of being outed, even though she has never actually been divorced
from absentee husband Jerry Leach. And the obese Michelle and anorexic
Matthew don't approve of their neighbour Fiona's boyfriend Jeff Leigh,
who is sponging off her. When the common man in their lives is murdered
and the police and a journalist become involved, nothing will ever be
quite the same again.
But the plot of Adam and Eve and Pinch Me, Ruth Rendell's latest
psychological thriller, is not what keeps us hooked. It is Rendell's
understanding of human psychopathology and human frailty that is at
the fore, with characters who are compelling — and with whom we can
identify even when they are mad, neurotic, or unconscionably selfish.
And although there's little mystery about what has happened and what is
happening, the psychological tension is maintained throughout, keeping us
uncertain what the effects will be on everyone when the truth comes out.
The result is vintage Rendell.
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