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The Face Of Trespass

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  314 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Two years ago he had been a promising young novelist. Now he survived - you could hardly call it living - in a near derelict cottage with only an unhooked telephone and his own obsessive thoughts for company. Two years of loving Drusilla - the bored, rich, unstable girl with everything she needed, and a husband she wanted dead. The affair was over. But the long slide into...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 5th 1995 by Arrow (first published 1974)
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Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel SilversteinTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. PirsigAll the President's Men by Carl BernsteinThe Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
Best Books of 1974
62nd out of 66 books — 26 voters
A Judgement in Stone by Ruth RendellFatal Inversion by Barbara VineThe Crocodile Bird by Ruth RendellA Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth RendellA Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine Complete Novels
45th out of 60 books — 17 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 486)
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mark monday
Rendell's non-Wexford mysteries tend to be extended portraits of loneliness. in this novel, the narrative is almost minimalist, with action replaced by an intense character study of the lonely central character: an extreme close-up of perspective that is almost oppressive at times - particularly in the first half of the novel. strange and beautifully written but overall rather inherently minor note. if the idea of a thoughtful but depressing chamber piece for two (or three) appeals to you, one s...more
James Barnard
Here’s Ruth Rendell in familiar territory – an obsessive loner reflecting on the past and the wrong choices which got them into an unhealthy situation. What marks this one out is the uncommon level of self-awareness Rendell allows Guy Creevey to have – he is acutely conscious of his lack of moral fibre, realising full well that if he allows his former (married) lover back into his life, no good will come of it. This proves remarkably astute, given what follows – a factor which adds considerably...more
Eileen Sickler
I listen to most books and so appreciate a good reader. I wasn't quite sure about this one but it didn't take long to enjoy his voice. Consistent with Rendell's characters, this main character was a little off. This wasn't a disappointment but don't read this book or frankly, any of Ruth Rendell's books if you want "light".
Eric
I was tempted at times to set this one aside, but ended up listening to the whole work. Perhaps Rendell is an acquired taste, or maybe a better narration might help - but I could never really get all the way into the story. Some nice language and turns of phrase, and fair imagery - just no "grab" from the plot.
Hal
I am a big fan of Ruth Rendell and have read dozens of her books. But this early novel is one of her weakest. She was trying out her wings here, but had not yet become a writer with the startling creativity and deep psychological insights that she later became.
Shane Malcolm
In my opinion, Rendell's standalone novels start to really get good with The Face of Trespass, although Julian Symmons (a huge fan of RR) did not like this one. Great use of foreshadowing, and everything that is mentioned no matter how minor will be important to the plot. Great, well-drawn setting, and a real sense of menace invested in the telephone!
Lisa
a promising one as it is a Ruth Rendell but it wasn't for me! :(
Ronald Wise
A wonderful character study of an author who follows his successful first novel with an extreme case of writer's block — a slovenly hermit who wants to avoid social life and all its responsibilities. But wait!… isn't this a mystery novel? In the last few pages a sequence of surprises bombard protagonist Gray, but at the very end we learn of another surprise he's yet to encounter. A classic mystery which left me wondering why it had not been made into a movie. Added to my reading list with all of...more
Joanne
A perfect little book, and it inspired me to bake a delicious Dundee Cake.
Moira
Nov 17, 2007 Moira rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of the obsession book
Even though I read initially this a while ago, I always remembered it - it's one of those slow descent into madness books that is so believeable you are shocked at what you will accept from the main character. This one, however, ends with a great twist. I recently reread it because I finally found it again by accident. It is the story of a writer so obsessed with a woman that he will do anything for her. Anything.
Steve Wilson
This book - published in 1974 - came to me via a friend who was cleaning out his cottage and is one of many currently sitting on my books shelves awaiting to be read.

This book provides more suspense within its less than 200 pages than many writers can within novels 2 and three times its length. No cast of thousands. No myriad of sub plots. Just a simple story told exceptionally well with a twist at the end.
Lynn Weber
Well written and relatively "novely" for a mystery. But the fact that it was written in the 1970s shows, in the sense that you can see the denouement coming a mile away. It reminds me Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in that way; when it was first written, the plot must have been shocking or felt fresh, but now many novels have been written with that plot line. Luckily, Ruth Rendell is worth reading for her writing alone.
Michelle Eames
I often find it hard to place a time / era on Ruth Rendell books, some how this book feels as if it was set post war, rather than early 70s. Again the build up and almost feverish way the main character concentrates on tiny details is compelling.

I did find I had to skip some pages to check on the dog.
Amelia
Mar 08, 2010 Amelia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amelia by: Bobbie Gledhill
An early Rendell that one could hardly describe as a rip-roaring read but entertaining nevertheless. It is testament to her talent that Rendell can keep the reader engaged through a tale that documents, essentially, one man's life in a hovel and his trip to and from France to visit his sick mother...
Jay
Elegantly read, this intense novel explores Gray's relationships, hopes and desires, largely through his thoughts, actions and reactions. At the end a couple of seemingly unimportant incidents from earlier in the story reveal why his life unravels so completely, before a glimmer of hope appears.
Diane
Kindle

Dark and brooding.
Rendall is such a master that even thoug you know exactoy what is going to happen, you keep reading, mesmerized. A struggling writer refuses to kill his mistress's husband and his life just goes downhill from there.
Frank
A book by Ruth Rendell is always a lot of fun. This short, compact story is earlier Rendell, but has great character development and shading, and has a morally satisfying ending. Maybe too satisfying? Naaaah...
Riversue
First Ruth Rendell I read during my hospital stay - good story . I like the way she weaves in a literary allusions . The writing is top notch.
Zara Pemberton
Easy to read, good storyline however I got confused with the final few pages. First book read by this author so would be prepared to again.
Judith
An old classic Ruth Rendell, this one was fun and kept me glued. She has such an eerie capacity to burrow into disturbed criminal minds.
Kath
I really enjoyed this audiobook and I think the narrator was a big part of it. He read very well, with expression and believability.
Paul
Absolutely spectacular -- possibly my favorite Rendell book yet. Suffocating, taut, and beautifully crafted and written.
Lili
I have yet to read a poor Ruth Rendell mystery. in fact I have enjoyed reading them all. Not all at once but over the years.
Andrea Lakly
This book is genre fiction done VERY WELL. Think "Gone Girl" but better. Could even be a five once I've read it twice.
Nina Morel
One of her best ..... A story that could not happen in the age of cell phones.
Elaine
You are in fear the whole time, waiting for the other shoe to drop...
Kellyann
Interesting plot, totally unappealing characters.
Tara
Superb ending.
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10890
A.K.A. Barbara Vine

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also writes under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, is an acclaimed English crime writer, known for her many psychological thrillers and murder mysteries.
More about Ruth Rendell...
From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1) A Judgement in Stone The Babes in the Wood (Inspector Wexford, #19) A Sight for Sore Eyes Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15)

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