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The Chimney Sweeper's Boy

The Chimney Sweeper's Boy

Writing as Barbara Vine, Britain's preeminent mystery novelist Ruth Rendell crafts literary suspense of the highest order. With this richly textured and utterly absorbing page-tumer, Vine adds to her growing reputation as one of the great writers of our time.
Bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Gerald Candless dies suddenly, and leaves behind a wife and two doting daughters. To sort through her grief, his daughter Sarah puts aside her university studies and agrees to write a biography of her famous father. But as she begins her research and pulls back the veil of his past, her life is slowly torn apart: a terrible logic begins to unfold that explains her mother's remoteness, her father's need to continually reinvent himself -- and sheds shocking light on a long-forgotten London murder.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416531937 | 
  • April 2006
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
It is an error to say the eyes have expression. Eyebrows and eyelids, lips, the planes of the face, all these are indicators of emotion. The eyes are merely colored liquid in a glass.
-- A MESSENGER OF THE GODS

"Not a word to my girls," he had said on the way home from the hospital. My girls, as if they weren't also hers. She was used to it, he always said that, and in a way they were more his. "I'm not hearing this," she said.
"You're going to have major surgery and your grown-up children aren't to be told."
"'Major surgery,'" he said. "You sound like Staff Nurse Samantha in a hospital sitcom. I won't... see more

About the Author

Barbara Vine

Barbara Vine is a pseudonym for Ruth Rendell, whohas won numerous awards, including three Edgars, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, as well as three Gold Daggers, a Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writer’s Association. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London. Ruth Rendell's newest novel is No Man's Nightingale.

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