December 9th, 2007



I am reading The Water's Lovely, by Ruth Rendell. I have read other books by Rendell, so when I saw that this book was on one of the "notable books" lists for 2007 I was on it. I got my copy from a fellow bookcrosser, trading for another that I was happy to give up.

The book is so good I am reluctant to finish the last few pages, even while I have trouble setting it down. I put it down, tell myself I must change the sheets on the bed, then I can read. I set it down, clean the kitchen sink, fix something to eat, then I read. I set it aside, take a shower, wash my hair, start a load of laundry, then I pick it up again and read. I am so close to the end now that the next time I pick it up I will finish it.

Enough to say that Rendell creates some characters that are in a strange psychological class by themselves. These are not the tried-and-true crazies that commit serial murders (although they do often commit murders and sometimes more than one), not the type you find in typical crime novels. Instead, they are often women, women who have been dealt some interesting hands and for whom I find myself wanting the best, or at least I hope they will get away with it. There are no guarantees that readers will fully understand or like the main characters. The supporting cast is often just as interesting, even though not always as fully drawn.

In this particular book the cast of characters is just delicious. There are the good, the bad, the psychopathic, the merely greedy, the narcissistic, the is a full dinner, with every dish cooked perfectly. I know some of these characters, in fact, and I am some of these characters, or parts of them. Only trouble is that I want seconds.