Writing as Barbara Vine, award-winning mystery author Ruth Rendell outshines even her own brilliant reputation for psychological intrigue. The Chimney Sweeper’s Boy is mesmerizing as it probes the dark recesses of the psyche. Vine lures you, clue by clue, into a labyrinth of sexuality, love, and shame. When literary celebrity Gerald Candless suddenly dies, the beautiful façade he has carefully created begins to crumble. Behind the vision of the happy family on the English seashore lie Candless’ inexplicable cruelty toward his wife, his manic devotion to his daughters, and the mysterious sources of his fiction. To assuage her grief, his loving daughter Sarah begins a memoir project. But it soon becomes an obsessive search for identity. As Sarah digs deeper and deeper into her father’s secret past, the startling logic of his puzzling behavior is revealed. Narrator Sterlin, with her soft British accent and perfect pacing, coaxes out all the novel’s haunting nuances.
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One of my Top 20 books
- Michael Lee