Adam and Eve and Pinch Me

Ruth Rendell

Random House 2001
A book review by Danny Yee © 2001
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.

October 2001

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%T Adam and Eve and Pinch Me
%A Rendell, Ruth
%I Random House
%D 2001
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0091794145
%P 375pp