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Ellinor's Litventures

This blog is about my literary adventures in different genres. I like variety in my reading and will read books from most genres but particulary book with some literary merit.

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell

The Girl Next Door - Ruth Rendell

The bones from a crime committed towards the end of the second World War which were burried in a secret tunnel system are found when a house is built some 70 years later. The story then tells how a group of friends who used to play in these tunnels now start questioning their past and their friendships.

I really liked how the book started: you see how the crime is committed through the eyes of the killer. This sounded very promising. But then the book started to get boring. When the friends hear about the discovery of the bones they think back on their lives. They re-consider their friendships and start questioning many things they thought were true. My problem was that there were too many different personalities but none of them enough elaborated for me to really get to know them. They just stayed names and whenever a character made a second appearance I had trouble remembering who he/she was. The whole book just seemed to drag on and on.

Ruth Rendell writes two types of mysteries: There are the Insepctor Wexford novels, which are classic murder mysteries. And then there are the stand-alone novels (like The Girl Next Door). Books from first category I really enjoy reading. But books from the latter category never seem to appeal to me. I usually find them quite boring. This is quite surprising as I'm really a fan of the books Ruth Rendell writes under her pseudonym, Barbara Vine: those are psychological thrillers too. I can usually guess what's going to happen or what happened. But the difference is that when I read a Barbara Vine book I always think "No, what I think can't be true, nobody could be that mean." When I read a Ruth Rendell stand-alone book it's more like, "Well, I knew that was about to happen, it was quite obvious." It's actually a pity that Ms Rendell couldn't entertain me more with this book as she is actually a really good writer.

2 to 2.5 stars.

(I received a free digital copy via Netgalley. Thanks for the opportunity!)