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  • 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

  • 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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