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Publisher's Summary

A spectacularly compelling story of blackmail, accidental murders, and of one life's fateful unraveling from Ruth Rendell - "one of the most remarkable novelists of her generation" (People) - writing at her absolute best.

When his father dies, Carl Martin, a philosophy graduate and struggling novelist, inherits a house in a trendy London neighborhood. Carl needs cash, however, so he rents the upstairs room and kitchen to the first person he interviews, Dermot McKinnon. That was colossal mistake number one. Mistake number two was keeping his father's bizarre collection of homeopathic "cures" that he found in the medicine cabinet, including a stash of controversial diet pills. Mistake number three was selling 50 of those diet pills to a friend, who is then found dead. Now Dermot seizes a nefarious opportunity and begins to blackmail Carl, followed by his refusal to pay rent and a truly creepy invasion of Carl's space.

Ingeniously weaving together two storylines that finally merge in one shocking turn, Ruth Rendell describes one man's spiral into darkness - and murder - as he falls victim to a diabolical foe he cannot escape.

This is masterful storytelling that gets under your skin, brilliant psychological suspense from Ruth Rendell.

©2015 Kingsmarkham Enterprises Limited (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Boring

Would you try another book from Ruth Rendell and/or Ric Jerrom?

Not soon

What was most disappointing about Ruth Rendell’s story?

It was boring, main characters were people who did nothing and when they did, it wasn't believable. Went on way too long.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Narration was fine. What could the narrator do with such a dull and unrealistic plot?

What character would you cut from Dark Corners?

Everyone but Nicola.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book! Love Ruth Rendell

This is another great book by Ruth Rendell. A psychologically interesing listen (not scary) with lots of quirky characters (the best kind!). Ruth Rendell does it again. Check out some of her other books if you haven't already.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Rendell's Usual Mastery Absent

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

After finishing the book, I got the impression that the usually crafty and perceptive Rendell was "off her game"—especially in multiple plot integration, something that she usually handles brilliantly.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The plot begins with two focal characters, each with a storyline that emphasizes certain similarities, especially weaknesses of ethical fortitude. Each is faced with ethical choices that will determine their futures. I expected these storylines to develop in contrast throughout the novel, or that these two characters' stories would become intertwined. In fact, neither of these things happened. The author seems to lose interest in one of the characters and drops her for most of the last half of the novel; as structured, this initially important character fades away.

What does Ric Jerrom bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator does a fine job of keeping the book moving at an enjoyable pace, but isn't given much chance to underscore changes in mood or tone, or to emphasize a climax because there isn't one.

Do you think Dark Corners needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I can't think of a good reason for a follow-up book. The central character is not interesting enough to merit another eight hours of listening time.

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Save your credit

The characters are not likable and the plot was slow. There are so many great books to listen to, don't waste time/credit on this one.

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Love Rendell's psychopaths!

What did you like best about this story?

This is another great Rendell, and actually got a bit surprising, as I did not think there would be more than one crazed person, but there were actually a handful. The character of Lizzie got lost somehow towards the end, and that's the flaw in the book for me; the one who was so amoral and weird in the beginning seems to have faded from sight at the end. That loose end needed some tying up--how did she deserve a decent boyfriend when even her FATHER knew she was a sneak and a liar? Oh well, still an interesting read! And wish there were going to be more Rendells--just ONE more Wexford?

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Ruth Rendell never fails

This was not Ruth Rendell's best novel for me - I prefer the Wexford series - but it was a thoroughly enjoyable "listen" and the narrator did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life.

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  • Ellen
  • Petersham, MA, United States
  • 12-11-15

Ave et Vale

I think that means 'hail and farewell.'
How wonderful that Ms Rendell was still at the height of her powers at the end of her life!