The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

a mesmerising mystery of murder and memory from the award-winning queen of crime, Ruth Rendell


In all her novels, multi-million copy and SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Ruth Rendell digs deep beneath the surface to investigate the secrets of the human psyche and The Girl Next Door is no exception. This compelling and captivating mystery, with its taut plotting and spine-tingling twists and turns is perfect for fans of PD James, Ann Cleeves and Donna Leon.

'This novel reminded me of the singularity of Ruth Rendell's talent, her effortless mastery of language and her uncanny genius for mapping a criminal mind.' -- The Times
'Rendell is as masterful as ever; her writing tense, brittle, and brilliant.' -- Sunday
'Couldn't put it down' -- ***** Reader review
'Fantastic book' -- ***** Reader review
'Fabulous read' -- ***** Reader review
'Love the way Ruth Rendell weaves the plot - she never disappoints me' -- ***** Reader review
'Brilliant storyline, couldn't put it down' -- ***** Reader review

Beneath the green meadows of Loughton, Essex, a dark network of tunnels has been dug. A group of children discover them. They play there. It becomes their place.

Seventy years on, the world has changed. Developers have altered the rural landscape. Friends from a half-remembered world have married, died, grown sick, moved - or disappeared.

Work on a new house called Warlock uncovers a long buried grisly secret: the bones of two severed hands are discovered in a box, and an investigation into a long-buried crime of passion begins.

The friends, who played together as children, begin to question their past. And a weary detective, more concerned with current crimes, must investigate a case of murder.


  • The Girl Next Door is vintage Rendell and a perfect celebration of her half-century. She’s so effortlessly prolific that it’s easy to take her for granted; we assume that if we miss one of her books, there’ll be another one along in a minute. This novel, however, reminded me of the singularity of Ruth Rendell’s talent, her effortless mastery of language and her uncanny genius for mapping a criminal mind.
    The Times

About the author

Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, and will be remembered as a legend in her own lifetime. Her groundbreaking debut novel, From Doon With Death, was first published in 1964 and introduced the reader to her enduring and popular detective, Inspector Reginald Wexford, who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels.

With worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, Rendell was a regular Sunday Times bestseller. Her sixty bestselling novels include police procedurals, some of which have been successfully adapted for TV, stand-alone psychological mysteries, and a third strand of crime novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. Very much abreast of her times, the Wexford books in particular often engaged with social or political issues close to her heart.

Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for 1976’s best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

Ruth Rendell died in May 2015. Her final novel, Dark Corners, was published in October 2015.
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