Ruth Rendell entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Ruth Rendell established herself as a leading crime novelist of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To the intricacies of plot characteristic of the genre, she adds a capacity to scare her readers, and a sophisticated focus on the psychological and emotional aspects of criminal minds and the minds of those committed to the notion of justice. She is also attentive to contemporary English life and keenly interested in books and language, which feature importantly in her fictional worlds. She published sixty novels and was translated into twenty-five languages.
Working with the deceptive potential of the everyday, Ruth Rendell presents a world filled with irony where evil lurks in unexpected places and violence erupts without warning in the midst of happiness. Critics comment that her novels are unnerving, yet satisfying, leading one commentator to remark that the secret of her success might be her recognition that readers love to be disturbed. Bibliographic Citation link.
17 February 1930 Ruth Barbara Grasemann (later RR) was born in Leyton in East London. Bibliographic Citation link.
October 1964 RR published her first novel, From Doon with Death, featuring the character Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford; she had written at least six novels before her first acceptance. Bibliographic Citation link.
By September 1993 RR published The Crocodile Bird, a novel portraying a murderess who is simultaneously a loving mother. Bibliographic Citation link.
2 May 2015 RR died. She had suffered a stroke in January, "[s]uddenly incapacitated" Bibliographic Citation link. soon after she finished work on her final book, Dark Corners. Bibliographic Citation link.
22 October 2015 RR's final book, the psychological thriller Dark Corners, reached print less than six months after her death.
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