Weeks went by when Ismay never thought of it at all. Then, something would bring it back or it would return in a dream. The dream began in the same way. She and her mother would be climbing the stairs, following Heather's lead through the bedroom to what was on the other side, not a bathroom in the dream but a chamber floored and walled in marble. ...
Weeks went by when Ismay never thought of it at all. Then, something would bring it back or it would return in a dream. The dream began in the same way. She and her mother would be climbing the stairs, following Heather's lead through the bedroom to what was on the other side, not a bathroom in the dream but a chamber floored and walled in marble. In the middle of it was a glassy lake. The white thing in the water floated towards her, its face submerged, and her mother said, absurdly, "Don't look!"' The dead man was Ismay's stepfather, Guy. Now, nine years on, she and her sister, Heather, still lived in the same house in Clapham. But it had been divided into two self-contained flats. Their mother lived upstairs with her sister, Pamela. And the bathroom, where Guy had drowned, had disappeared. Ismay worked in public relations, and Heather in catering. They got on well. They always had. They never discussed the changes to the house, still less what had happened that August day...But even lives as private as these, where secrets hang in the air like dust, intertwine with other worlds and other individuals. And, with painful inevitability, the truth will emerge.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-05-14 Three-time Edgar Award-winner Rendell (13 Steps Down) often creates fragile characters, trembling on the edge of losing a lover, child, job, solvency or sanity. Slashing through their world is a "wild card," an obsessive or a sociopath too focused on personal gain to be concerned with damage to others. The vulnerable people at the heart of this taut and enticing stand-alone are the Sealand family, particularly Heather, who's assumed to have drowned her unsavory stepfather, Guy, in the bath while he was weak with illness. A veritable pack of wild cards-including Marion Melville, who cozies up to the lonely and aged in hopes of inheriting their estates after she's poisoned them, and Marion's Dumpster-diving brother, Fowler-keeps everyone off guard. Rendell enlivens the tale with subplots involving various romances-ardent and desperate-and a killer who lurks in London's parks, as well as with pithy comments about class, technology, generational conflict, food and aesthetics. The plot twists in this electrifying read reach all the way to the last page. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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