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Summary

Mary Jago had donated her own bone marrow to save the life of someone she didn’t know. And this generous act led directly to the bitter break-up of her affair with Alistair. For him, it was as though her beauty had been plundered.

But the man whose life she had saved would change Mary’s life in a way she could never have imagined.

©1996 Kingsmarkham Enterprises (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Keys to the Street

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Perfect Match

From the very start I was riveted by this reading - Simon Russell Beale makes a wonderful job of an excellent book. No mispronunciations or hesitations, no moments when you suddenly realise that the narrator hasn't actually read the story until this very moment - this is a masterly piece of work. Somehow the voice and story are so well matched that at the end you find it hard to separate them, but I suppose that's what being an actor is all about. This forms a link to the plot in a thoroughly bizarre twist. Thoroughly recommended.

15 people found this helpful

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The Keys To The Street

A number of Londoners lives converge around the mixed neighbourhood of NW1. Mary Jago, a museum curator provides a life-saving act to save the life of Lieukemia sufferer, Leo Nash, whilst escaping a violent relationship. Dog walker Leslie Bean has a strange past combined with an avaricious nature; drug addict Hob will do anything for his latest fix and finally, the cultured Roman takes to the streets after a major tragedy blights his life.

This Audiobook was truly sublime. Rendell's talent for telling the stories of a group of diverse people is amazing and I adored the twisty nature of the plot.

The narrator, Simon Russell-Beale was brilliant too. Truly a 5* listen.

12 people found this helpful

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meandering.

I loved this book especially the soothing voice of the reader. A slow build.up but so beautifully written. Living in London I could picture it so clearly.
if you want hard hitting violence this isn't for you. it takes it's time to reveal the shock!

5 people found this helpful

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The Keys to the Street

Another great listen by Ruth Rendell. Well read and thought provoking story. I love the way she gets inside the character’s head. Most enjoyable.

5 people found this helpful

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Another Rendell Classic

A complex cast of loosely linked characters could make this a little tricky to follow but an excellent overall performance.

4 people found this helpful

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Compelling

This story is beautifully crafted and narrated. The writer transports you to London's atmosphere and secret places , combining a gripping tale and characters as only she can.

3 people found this helpful

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The Keys to the Street

Ruth Rendell creates the most interesting Characters. This story describes parts of London in great detail. Rendell always has a great sense of place. It is narrated superbly by Simon Russell Beale. in all Rendell's writing she is very funny a
particularly interesting bleak humour.

2 people found this helpful

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Decent

Enjoyed the lives of the people involved and the way each took me on a journey.

2 people found this helpful

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Tightly plotted and atmospheric

This novel has a concealed plan which having read it, is difficult to avoid revealing in review.

Mary and Roman are characters that we warm to. Leo who entangles Mary in romance has a secret. There are comic and savage portraits of minor figures, dog owners, rough sleepers, drug dealers and addicts. The light in the London park is beautifully drawn . There is a series of murders, of men who live on the streets. The final chapter reveals the killer, but this isn’t rally a detective story., more about personal tragedy and secrets. Very enjoyable and humane.

1 person found this helpful

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Definitely her best book

I haven’t read Ruth Randell for years.
Saw this in the included list. What a treat. I haven’t been able to stop listening.
Simon Russel Beale was totally brilliant and made the whole experience a total treat. His voices and accents were absolutely spot on.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ida Hagman
  • 02-10-12

Mystery with humor and insight

A great mix of mystery, humor and insight. I also enjoyed the setting -- near London's Hyde Park.

4 people found this helpful

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  • nina
  • 18-01-16

Another enjoyable story, great characters

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Ruth Rendall creates characters you enjoy meeting, if only because of their quirky natures. This is another that pulls you into the story of their lives, and makes you want to find out what happens to them next.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Roman, the homeless man, who suffered such an incredible loss, but maintained his humanity, even on the streets. I enjoyed reading to find out what he would make of himself.

What about Simon Russell Beale’s performance did you like?

He has a good voice for the characters, but I had to keep adjusting the volume because he would occasionally read more softly.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cathy J Hunter
  • 21-06-17

Genius narrative

Lovely story with real characters and lots of nice twists and turns. I feel like I get a sense of each character and they are just a bunch of names that are thrown at me..true Rendell at her best

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Marlène
  • 12-03-13

Good and clever, as they say a page turner

Would you try another book from Ruth Rendell and/or Simon Russell Beale?

Ruth Rendell yes I remember I read some younger but there are so many good writers.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Keys to the Street?

The way the author handles the abused person and the bully.

What three words best describe Simon Russell Beale’s voice?

pleasant in character

Do you think The Keys to the Street needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

not necessarily, I think the main character has had enough adventure.

Any additional comments?

Compared to lots of others the sound was bad. As if copied from tape. Somehow muffled.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jill
  • 03-09-12

Rendell is always good

What did you love best about The Keys to the Street?

The story involves the setting and makes you live in the park

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

You know something is wrong but you can not guess what

Which scene was your favorite?

Return to the park by Mary with dog

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Rendell manages to weave current issues into her stories, here organ donation. Keeps her writing current and fresh

1 person found this helpful

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  • MelissaF
  • 18-06-21

Brilliant

My first ruth rendell and i think im set now to go through all of her books. Beautifully written , evocative language, fascinating characters - and a wonderful story - to say nothing of the amazing Simon RusselBeale- perfection!!!