Monday, May 4, 2015

Ruth Rendell, crime novelist and politician, 1930-2015

By: Barry Forshaw

Ruth Rendell With the death of Ruth Rendell at the age of 85, five months after her friend and fellow writer PD James, each of the women who in collegiate fashion shared the title of Britain’s queen of crime fiction is now gone. But of the two, both members of the House of Lords, Rendell was the edgier, more astringent novelist, more prepared to take the reader into truly Stygian territory.

The era when women writers furnished unchallenging Home Counties mysteries, while male writers handled the more violent, disturbing fare, is fading. These days, female crime novelists leap in to examine the darkest recesses of the human psyche. The progenitor of this sea change in the UK was Rendell, who incorporated layers of psychological realism into her crime fiction.
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