Fiction Rendell, Ruth Portobello

ISBN 13: 9780099538639

Portobello

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9780099538639: Portobello

The Portobello area of West London has a rich personality - vibrant, brilliant in colour, noisy, with graffiti that approach art, bizarre and splendid. An indefinable edge to it adds a spice of danger. There is nothing safe about Portobello...

Eugene Wren inherited an art gallery from his father near an arcade that now sells cashmere, handmade soaps and children's clothes. But he decided to move to a more upmarket site in Kensington Church Street. Eugene is fifty, with prematurely white hair. He is, perhaps, too secretive for his own good. He also has an addictive personality. But he has cut back radically on his alcohol consumption and has given up cigarettes. Which is just as well, considering he is going out with a doctor. For all his good intentions, though, there is something he doesn't want her to know about...

Eugene's secret links the lives of a number of very different people - each with their own obsessions, problems, dreams and despairs. And through it all the hectic life of Portobello bustles on...

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Review:

As well as Ruth Rendell’s customary expertise with the narrative demands of crime fiction, Portobello provides a colourful and eccentric portrait of one of the most distinctive areas of the capital, the Portobello district of West London. To both Londoners and visitors, the areas is lively and exciting, but there is a level of criminality here which Rendell handles as adroitly as ever. The book is something of departure for the author, less plot-led than customarily.

Eugene Wrenn, who lives modestly despite his wealth, has inherited an art gallery from his father. But Eugene moves to a more upmarket location in Kensington Church Street. He is 50, but looks older than his age, and is plagued by an addictive personality (currently, he finds himself unable to give up an addiction to low-calorie sweets). Despite this, he has a reasonably happy relationship with a GP, Ella, who finds herself able to put up with these quirks -- at least, those she knows about. Eugene discovers an envelope containing money, which he picks up in the street. But instead of doing the logical thing and taking it to the police, he sticks a note on a lamppost near his house, asking whoever lost it to claim the money (but withholding information only known to the real owner) The first to apply is a small-time criminal, Lance (recently thrown out of his house for domestic violence), who is thinking of casing the house of his benefactor -- even if he is initially unable to get the money. But the genuine owner of the money is the disturbed Joel, who lives in a self-induced darkness and shares his life with a phantom companion.

Utilising this disparate and eccentric cast of characters, Rendell forges a discursive but compelling novel that (as always with her work) keeps us reading inexorably. Some may find the characterisation broader than they are used to with Rendell, but this is still seductive fare. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

"With this captivating novel, the reigning queen of crime fiction establishes that an unsolved murder is not a necessary ingredient of a suspense-filled mystery ... Her deft sculpturing of characters' idiosyncratic obsessions and foibles betrays a shrewdness of perception of which even the absent Wexford would be proud." ( Time Out)

"A roundabout of characters is set whirling along in an irresistibly readable, tragi-comic carnival. Dr Johnson's dictum could be amended here: the reader who is tired of Ruth Rendell's novel of London is tired of life" ( Independent)

"Impossible to put down ... Rendell, at her most sardonic here, may view all her characters as creatures who live under stones but it is her sense of place that counts. She makes you smell the excitement and desperation. Portobello is as brilliant as anything she has ever written" ( Evening Standard)

"Ruth Rendell is marvellous at psychological tension ... Rendell is too clever and too accomplished to serve up the expected. She supplies a satisfying, rather low-key ending in which she knits all the threads together with a casual flourish that shows veteran expertise" ( Sunday Times)

"A thriller steeped in psychological intrigue ... Rendell's prose style is as succinct and accessible as ever" ( Daily Mirror)

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Portobello area of West London has a rich personality - vibrant, brilliant in colour, noisy, with graffiti that approach art, bizarre and splendid. An indefinable edge to it adds a spice of danger. There is nothing safe about Portobello.Eugene Wren inherited an art gallery from his father near an arcade that now sells cashmere, handmade soaps and children s clothes. But he decided to move to a more upmarket site in Kensington Church Street. Eugene is fifty, with prematurely white hair. He is, perhaps, too secretive for his own good. He also has an addictive personality. But he has cut back radically on his alcohol consumption and has given up cigarettes. Which is just as well, considering he is going out with a doctor. For all his good intentions, though, there is something he doesn t want her to know about.Eugene s secret links the lives of a number of very different people - each with their own obsessions, problems, dreams and despairs. And through it all the hectic life of Portobello bustles on. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099538639

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Portobello area of West London has a rich personality - vibrant, brilliant in colour, noisy, with graffiti that approach art, bizarre and splendid. An indefinable edge to it adds a spice of danger. There is nothing safe about Portobello.Eugene Wren inherited an art gallery from his father near an arcade that now sells cashmere, handmade soaps and children s clothes. But he decided to move to a more upmarket site in Kensington Church Street. Eugene is fifty, with prematurely white hair. He is, perhaps, too secretive for his own good. He also has an addictive personality. But he has cut back radically on his alcohol consumption and has given up cigarettes. Which is just as well, considering he is going out with a doctor. For all his good intentions, though, there is something he doesn t want her to know about.Eugene s secret links the lives of a number of very different people - each with their own obsessions, problems, dreams and despairs. And through it all the hectic life of Portobello bustles on. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099538639

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Book Description 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198mm x 129mm x 27mm. Paperback. The Portobello area of West London has a rich personality - vibrant, brilliant in colour, noisy, with graffiti that approach art, bizarre and splendid. An indefinable edge to it adds a spi.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 384 pages. 0.274. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099538639

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