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From crime fiction''s reigning queen comes a diabolically intricate tale that weaves together the lives of very different people in a vibrant part of London known as Portobello. Walking to the shops of Notting Hill one day, fifty-year-old art gallery owner Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. Instead of going to the police or keeping the money for himself, Wren hatches a plan to find the money''s rightful owner. He composes a notice and posts it on a lamppost near his home. This seemingly harmless act creates a chain of events that links Wren to some unsavory characters, upsetting not only his life but that of his fiancee -- and it delivers consequences that will change them all.
Born Ruth Barbara Grasemann, Ruth Rendell began writing at an early age and finished her first novel at age 15. However, it took nearly 20 years before she published her first novel, "From Doon with Death", in 1964. This novel introduced the main character in what would become a series of mystery novels set in Sussex, England. These books star Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford of Scotland Yard, who uses keen psychological insight to ferret out the perpetrator of each crime he investigates. In recognition of her talent as one of England's most renowned and prolific crime writers, Rendell was named Baroness Rendell of Babergh and became a member of the House of Lords in 1997.
"[A] superlative suspense novel....Rendell...is particularly adept at portraying young people just a dole check away from homelessness as well as the carelessness and callousness of the book's upper-middle-class characters. Her style has become ever more spare while retaining its subtle psychology and vivid sense of place." (starred review)
"Applying her formidable skills as a puppeteer, Rendell encourages the members of this cast to indulge their various obsessions in a plot that unfolds with the bleak gravity of Greek drama while following the insane logic of French farce."
From the Publisher
The Portobello of Ruth Rendell's title of this psychological thriller is London's Portobello Street market, a major antiques fair. Rendell weaves a gripping story where events from the past resurface with bizarre coincidences from the present when the son of a successful art dealer finds a wallet.