Rhoda Comfrey's death seemed unremarkable; the real mystery was her life.
In A Sleeping Life, master mystery writer Ruth Rendell unveils an elaborate web of lies and deception painstakingly maintained by a troubled soul. A wallet found in Comfrey's handbag leads Inspector Wexford to Mr. Grenville West, a writer whose plots revel in the blood, thunder, and passion of dramas of old; whose current whereabouts are unclear; and whose curious secretary--the plain Polly Flinders--provides the Inspector... read more
Disappointing Effort, July 11, 2003 Reviewer: kscott02459 from Brighton, MA United States I'm in the midst of reading back Ruth Rendell novels because I love mysteries and I've just discovered her and loved the first one I read. I have to confess here though that even though I always appreciate her writing, humor, and her Wexford character, this story was just bottom of the barrel. Fortunately, it's more of a novella and wasted no more than 3 hours of my time. The plot follows the investigation of a woman found murdered in her home town while back visiting her sick father. Wexford knows the woman's identity but can not find a trace of her life in London where she has resided for over twenty years. Admittedly, part of the problem with this book is that it writes very dated views on men's and women's roles despite being written in the late 70's. The more important problem is that the solution to the 'mystery' is so clear so early in the novella that it's a struggle to turn the pages and watch for the 'experts' catch up. I still like Ruth Rendell the writer... but this story should have stayed asleep.