When Stuart Font decides to throw a house-warming party in his new flat, he invites all the people in his building. After some deliberation, he even includes the unpleasant caretaker and his wife. There are a few other genuine friends on the list, but he definitely does not want to include his girlfriend, as that might involve asking her husband.
The party will be one everyone remembers. But not for the right reasons. All the occupants of Lichfield House are about to experience a shocking change in their lives as Tigerlily casts her terrible spell....
©2010 Kingsmarkham Enterprises (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
I am a big fan of Ruth Rendell, and can only hope that she wrote this book with tongue firmly in cheek.
The book revolves around the residents of a block of flats, and the people living in the houses opposite.
The book is populated by bizarre characters exaggerated beyond the point of credulity, and yet painted so thinly they cast no shadow: A richkid wanabe playboy who isn't rich enough or playboyish enough, a fashion journalist who is too shallow even to be a fashion journalist, an alcoholic who has adopted alcoholism as a way of life, a people watching old man who dreams up lives for the people he watches and is always wrong, and the list goes on. Then there is Tigerlily herself, who, despite the description you'll read on this site, casts no particular spell, terrible or otherwise, apart from a mild one over the main protagonist, and is more peripheral to the book than the description would have you believe.
When the murder does occur, the police investigation proceeds remarkably smoothly and the book limps its way to an unremarkable conclusion.
I found this book predictable and iritating. The characters were single dimentional and the plot strained. The product plugs jarred. Don't bother.
Oh dear, my holiday choice was a frustrating waste of time. Poorly developed plot (was there one?) together with over eager narrator who seemed to exaggerate every sentence in an attempt to engage the listener. Like other reviewers I couldn't even see the point of Tiger Lily and fell asleep at the point where she started to get a little involved so missed it. Not one agreeable character and the ending was so flat. Was it poor writing or an overindulgent editor of a popular author? I was rather hoping that all the characters would get done in by the end in case any turned up in another book. My worst audible choice to date!
Was this really written by Ruth Rendell? It was one of those books that you keep reading just because you think it has to get better - but it doesn't!
Wife, mother, reader. Preferred genres include psychological fact and fiction, comedy and (auto)biography.
An entertaining tale of a group of residents who live in the houses and an apartment block of an obscure north London suburb. Rendell's usual mix of social commentary and crime are paramount in this novel.
I was very disappinted by the reader Nicolas Grace who, I felt, needed more direction and who failed to get to grips with each character's personality. I nearly gave up listening as I found his delivery so dreary and maddening. Never again.
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