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Jock Lewis died in the Paddington train crash. His fiancee Minty even received a letter from Great Western. But she never heard from the police, and Jock had left with all her savings. When a mysterious dark-haired man appears at Minty's home, at work, even in the cinema, she knows it must be Jock's ghost. But ghosts are grey and don't wear leather jackets...Five women, all unknown to each other, are the simultaneous unwilling victims of one man, a morally corrupt criminal who exploits them all and then suddenly, suspiciously, disappears. As this mystery man of shadows returns, and five women are haunted by a living nightmare, Minty begins to wonder...Can you kill a ghost?

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099426196
ISBN-10: 0099426196
Format: Paperback
(179mm x 111mm x 30mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 30-Mar-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » 'Adam and Eve and Pinch Me went down to the river to bathe. Adam and Eve were drowned. Who was saved?' The answer to this riddle is, of course, 'Pinch Me', which the riddler promptly does to produce squeals of shock from his victim. A traditional children's riddle and all fairly innocent, except in the hands of an author such as Rendell, who makes it one of the chat-up lines of Jerry/Jeff/Jock, a serial womanizer and con artist with a variety of identities and a string of duped females behind him. In this context it becomes a sinister and ironic motif, as most of Jerry's targets could do with somebody to pinch them and wake them up to the reality that the man is a scoundrel and deserves to come to a sticky end. He does, less than halfway through the book, but this is no simple 'whodunit?' for we know who the murderer is immediately. That is not the point of the book. What Rendell does - and does brilliantly - is to examine the consequences of Jerry's life, as well as death, on those who have come in contact with him, either willingly or innocently. All have their weaknesses and their obsessions, and his impact on them, even if only as passing, produces a domino effect of suspicion, greed, vanity, helplessness and insanity. Rendell has the ability to put people under a microscope and enlarge and expose all their human foibles in a way the producers of Big Brother could only dream of. Complex, fascinating and utterly gripping, this is one of Rendell's best books, and that is saying something! Review by MIKE RIPLEY (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell is the Queen of British crime writing. The author of over 50 novels, she has won many significant crime fiction awards. Her first novel, From Doon With Death, appeared in 1964, and since then her reputation and readership have grown steadily with each new book. She has received major awards for her work; three Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America; the Crime Writers' Gold Dagger Award for 1976's best crime novel, A Demon in My View; the Arts Council National Book Award for Genre Fiction in 1981 for The Lake of Darkness; the Crime Writer's Gold Dagger Award for 1986's best crime book for Live Flesh; in 1987 the Crime Writer's Gold Dagger Award for A Fatal Inversion and in 1991 the same award for King Solomon's Carpet, both written under the pseudonym Barbara Vine; the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990; and in 1991 the Crime Writer's Cartier Diamond Award for outstanding contribution to the crime fiction genre. Her books are translated into 21 languages. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

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