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A Dark-Adapted Eye | [Barbara Vine]

A Dark-Adapted Eye

Like most families, they had their secrets...and they hid them under a genteelly respectable veneer. No onlooker would guess that prim Vera Hillyard and her beautiful, adored younger sister, Eden, were locked in a dark and bitter combat over one of those secrets. England in the '50s was not kind to women who erred, so they had to use every means necessary to keep the truth hidden behind closed doors - even murder.
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Publisher's Summary

Like most families, they had their secrets...

...and they hid them under a genteelly respectable veneer. No onlooker would guess that prim Vera Hillyard and her beautiful, adored younger sister, Eden, were locked in a dark and bitter combat over one of those secrets. England in the '50s was not kind to women who erred, so they had to use every means necessary to keep the truth hidden behind closed doors - even murder.

©1986 Kingsmarkham Enterprises Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (103 )
5 star
 (39)
4 star
 (38)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (83 )
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Story
4.5 (84 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-20-11
    Jennifer Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 08-20-11 Member Since 2011

    Jennifer B.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
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    33
    31
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    4
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    Story
    "Even better in audio form"

    This has long been one of my favorite books. I've read it many times and recommended it to many other people. But it has been a few years since I last read it, and the narration, which I listened to while driving to and from NYC is wonderfully excellent.

    This book requires a lot of thought, and is a perfect match for the audio format. Having the extra time to really appreciate the subtleties, mysteries, and deep character development is the strength of this format. You'd miss much of this when only reading. The narrator is top knotch, nailing the nuances and exploring the maturation of the main character over time. I can't recommend this one enough.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonny 02-08-15
    Bonny 02-08-15

    Addicted to books, both print and audio-.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    568
    ratings
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    97
    66
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    79
    13
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    Story
    "Well-written, absorbing psychological mystery"

    I bought this on the basis of audible reviews and was not disappointed. This is not an edge-of-your-seat mystery. It unfolds slowly and moves deeper and deeper into the characters, their histories and their motivations. It is beautifully narrated by Harriet Walter. If you're looking for something to lose yourself in and spend some time with, I recommend it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith 07-07-15
    Judith 07-07-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    Story
    "Great story, fabulous narration!"

    I wasn't sure about this story for the first couple of chapters but any book narrated by Harriet Walter's is worth a listen so I carried on and I'm so glad I did. This mystery is so cleverly written and the characters are brought to life so perfectly by the narrator. This is my first Barbara Vine novel but it certainly won't be my last.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-21-15
    05-21-15 Member Since 2015

    re_24

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Performance Outshines the Story"

    Story is drawn out and the mystery or twist is easy to surmise. Overly detailed at times, especially when describing clothes or interior design elements. If Jane Austen had written a politely "shocking" novel, it would be this one.

    However, it is well read and performed. The performance was the only thing that kept me listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope 05-21-15
    Calliope 05-21-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    214
    209
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    9
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    Story
    "fascinating family intrigue"

    This is more an interesting and complicated look at the psychological workings of a family divided than it is a mystery.......though there are and remain several mysterious parts to the whole. It takes a while to get into the story, but as it continually unrolls it is more and more intriguing, drawing the listener deeper and deeper into the family machinations. The continuing family revelations experienced by the protagonist make sense of the title....A "Dark Adapted Eye" can see things that were formerly hidden in the darkness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. dePaula 04-29-15
    L. dePaula 04-29-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Psychological obervations"

    of repressed women, different generations. Every family has a secret (if not several) that is not completely known by all members within the family. I liked this story because it reads very true to life, in that things are not at all what they appear to be--that sometimes it's easier to fool someone you love than a stranger.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tana Princeton, MN, United States 03-25-15
    Tana Princeton, MN, United States 03-25-15 Member Since 2013

    Crazy about mysteries.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    25
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    "Winding story."


    Love the title. Convoluted. Enticing. Puzzle of characters and events wrought to a final twist.

    Wonderful, rich voice of narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • J
    Brighton, United Kingdom
    8/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant!"
    If you could sum up A Dark-Adapted Eye in three words, what would they be?

    This book is often rated as Ruth Rendell's best, and I agree. It's so much more than a crime novel; and Ruth Rendell is so much more than a crime writer. It's not for nothing Jeanette Winterson calls her mother.
    Having read the preview, I did hesitate, as I wondered whether it would be too unsettling at night going to sleep listening to the 'voice' of a victim/ criminal without Inspector Wexford as a sane, down-to-earth intermediary, but it wasn't the case at all. The narrator of the story is an ingenue, and it was performed wonderfully by Harriet Walter.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    7/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling exposure of a family’s secrets"

    The author’s forte is in her depiction of human relationships whether writing detective fiction as Ruth Rendell or in her more psychological novels as Barbara Vine. This book is not a detective story and from the beginning we know that Vera has killed her sister Eden. The whole book is a detailed unravelling of why this occurred through the voice of Faith: the niece of the victim and perpetrator. Most of the characters are flawed and not particularly likeable but the narrative is utterly compelling and I was drawn into a hot-house of emotions among family members and their their dysfunctional relationships.

    This is justifiably rated as one of the author’s best books and made a great listen.

    Harriet Walter is an accomplished narrator and skilfully portrayed both young and old, male and female.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lee
    Frampton Cotterell, United Kingdom
    9/3/11
    Overall
    "Descriptive"

    Lots of descriptions, not much happening. I fell asleep after about 10 minutes of listening to this.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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