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Publisher's Summary

Philip Wardman had more than just the ordinary squeamishness where death was concerned. Yet he could hardly avoid the suspicious disappearance of his sister's friend Rebecca Neave, especially when everyone was ascribing the cause to murder. Philip's feminine ideal is the statue of the Roman goddess Flora in his mother's garden. His marble Flora doesn't fade, doesn't alter, and doesn’t die. But then he meets Senta Pelham, a beautiful, sensual, childlike actress who flagrantly disdains the morals of society and passionately desires the elusive Philip who thinks he has found true love. But darker forces are at work, and Senta is led to propose that Philip prove his love by committing murder.
©1989 Kingsmarkham Enterprises Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Vintage Rendell. Shrewd psychological insight, irresistible narrative force...a true member of that small family of great living authors." (Scott Turow)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Susan on 04-23-13

Very scary and shocking!

Outstanding story, one of Ruth Rendell's best. Enjoyed William Gaminara's narration (I usually prefer women narrating but his voice is somehow just right for the story.)



Philip is a very likable young man who falls for Senta, his sister's bridesmaid. You sense almost from the beginning that there is something 'not quite right' about her, and as the story develops this becomes more and more clear!





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By SilentSinger on 07-26-15

Rendell at her finest

Once again the genius which was Rendell has produced a other gripping tale of suspense which will entrall all fans of the psychological thriller genre. The novel centres around Philip, a man in his early 20s who lives in Cricklewood, London, with his widowed mother and two sisters. When one of his siblings, Fee, marries, he becomes obsessed by one of her bridesmaids, the beautiful, albeit mysterious Senta. There is also an ongoing case of a missing local girl.

I loved the story and the narrator, William Gaminara was truly excellent, with clear diction and a good grasp of emotion.

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