Master of the Moor
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Master of the Moor

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  501 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Stephen Whalby loves to walk the moor. He considers it his, although he and his young wife Lyn are merely tenants in a flat nearby. But the senseless and frightening murder of a young woman invades Stephen's sense of privacy and pollutes his beloved moor with suspicion and dread. And then a second murder captures his imagination in an unpredictable and fascinating way . ....more
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published August 12th 1982 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 1982)
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Eighty-two year old Ruth Rendell is prolific in the genre of the psychological mystery novel. Instead of the who did the deed, the focus is on why they committed the crime. This has appeal to someone who wonders about how the mind works, what triggers violence, and where pathology originates. Why do some with traumatic past experiences manifest poor functioning while others maintain stability?

When all characters in a novel draw from negative pasts, the suspense multiplies. Who among the cast cou...more
Even when Rendell’s books don’t grab me by the throat, they are still. Wuthering Heights, for instance, did a better job of conjuring a moor in my eye (so does Kate Bush’s song based on Bronte’s novel). Yet, the twist is properly lied out, and still surprises the reader. Nice way to spend a couple hours.

Crossposted at Booklikes.
Charles Dee Mitchell
I had never read Ruth Rendel, but I was getting over either a bad cold or a mild flu, and I wanted some easy reading with lots of story. That is just what I got.

Rendel plays with the conventions of the cozy, British village mystery by including truly grisly murders and characters that range from psychotic, to deeply disturbed, to clueless. The mystery is not too compelling, and some characters might as well be wearing t-shirts with "red herring" logos, but there are good twists and a couple of r...more
Rendell is a master of the psychological thriller. This is a little gem. Try to guess the ending.
Psychologically disturbing and depressing. I like Ruth Rendell, though. Good writer.
A Problem With Genre

As crime fiction goes, The Master of The Moor by Ruth Rendell is perhaps one of the more subtle examples. The action is set in a moorland community, presumably somewhere like North Yorkshire, though the book’s place names are pure invention and geography is not defined. There has been a murder, a fairly vicious affair where the young female victim – perhaps a cliché in itself – has not only been stabbed but scalped as well. The body has been discovered by Stephen, a large man...more
I would actually give this book 2.5 stars, if possible.

This psychological study just didn't hit any of the right notes for me. The 'mystery' was virtually non-existent, and I had figured it out well before the end. The characters, which should have been the driving force of this book, were flat and not very likable (with the exception of Lyn, whom I was rooting for throughout). And the psychology on display, including a nice Oedipus complex, was so text-book, Pysch 101 that watching it unfold w...more
Roberta Frontini
My opinion on my blog:

Título: O Senhor da Charneca
Autor: Ruth Rendell
Páginas: 194
Género: Policial

Os policiais são dos nosso estilos favoritos! Ouvimos dizer maravilhas da autora Ruth Rendell, mas talvez tenhamos feito mal em começar por este livro: demasiado descritivo o que o torna muito maçudo. Depois de lermos este livros só nos dá vontade de comparar Ruth Rendell ao Eça de Queirós (pelas descrição infinitas).

História: Na bellissima Charneca, que muito...more
A very minor piece of (relatively) early Rendell. It's entertaining enough to read -- I almost upped it a star on that basis -- but it's so filled with rank implausibilities and coincidences that it was hard for me to take seriously. Also, while the characterization was in general good, I found it nigh impossible to believe in the central protagonist, who seemed to be just a caricature.
This is Ruth Rendell really writing at the top of her form. Terrific psychological suspense, with character-driven plot. Main character is Stephen Whalby, who seems like a great, if a little ho-hum, guy: handsome, fit, visits his grandmother, devoted to his wife. But Rendell peels back the layers to show the less savory aspects of his character. Clearly his mother's running out on the family when he was 5 has warped him in a fundamental way. His love of the moors, which seems like an innocent an...more
Daimen Vauban
Where to start... This is a perfect airplane book. Not literary by any means. However, it does keep the reader's interest. The book is more psychological than traditional murder mystery. One of Ms. Rendell's strong points. Sadly, her main character never develops feelings in such a way as to connect with the reader. The reader certainly gets the idea but never really 'feels' the connection. Never truly feels the horror. It just reads like a case paper of sorts. Devoid of feeling. With that being...more
Jann Barber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A moor in England. A place of desolation and loneliness, and also the place of murder For a young lady is killed and left on the moor. The prime suspect is a man who loves the moors, writes about them, and spends many waking minutes walking on them. Then a second young lady is killed. The people in the towns panic. The police investigate Stephen even more. And then a third person dies. Who is behind the killings? Loads of suspense.
This is a not-run-of-the-mill murder mystery whose main character, Stephen, begins as a rather ordinary lover of the outdoors, then transforms into something unexpectedly less-than-sane. The mystery is subtle, building gradually in suspense and artful confusion--with several clever red herrings thrown in. And the ending--it slides in so smoothly, yet with some shock value as we come to realize just how far family dysfunction can go.
Linda S.
As a fan of Ruth Rendell's books, I decided a couple of months ago to go back and read all of her books that I missed and reread those I could not remember. I had read this one about 20 years ago and didn't remember it clearly, so I read it again. It was good, but not as good as some of her others. She is always the master of psychological mysteries and this book was no exception.
Ruth Rendell's ability to explore the dark recesses of twisted minds is always engrossing. Her characters, flawed, complex and unusual lead the reader along unexplored paths which often end unexpectedly, and with no-where to go. The four little words Like father, like son were for me the key to the whole novel, but perhaps I am wrong.
Nenia Campbell
You can read more reviews at my blog, The Armchair Librarian.

We can pretend to be erudite all we like, but whether it's literature or the latest supermarket pulp we all know why we read murder mysteries, and that's because we want to see the dead body.

Ruth Rendell does not beat around the bush. My no. The first line of this book is: "It was the first dead body he had ever seen."


Well, then.

I was a little frustrated with Master of the Moor(despite that admittedly kick-ass opening) for...more
A decent enough mystery, though not in the manner of the detective or police procedural type. More of E. A. Poe dark and sinister getting into the minds of not quite balanced folk.
Jan 21, 2012 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: crime
Chilling thriller about some fairly odd people in North England. Amazing how she gets your sympathy for these crazies and makes their point of view and motivations seem so understandable.
A man finds a woman's body on the English moor with her hair cut off. Well-written but a troubling story. Rendell offers deeply psychological mysteries.
Typical Ruth Renell so a good read. Although you can guess whodunnit half way through, this doesn't matter because the plot thickens...
I think this is one of Rendell's most memorable suspense works. She creates a gripping plot and really memorable setting.
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.
I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. Another person died on the moor, ho-hum. Plot is predictable, too.
Master of mystery fiction is Ruth Rendell. This one had me on the edge of my chair until the last page.
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
Well done psychological thriller by this author, as usual. Not a Wexford novel, but still good.
Enjoyable, but not Rendell's best. The ending in particular left me cold.
Shirley Wells
A masterclass in the psychological mystery from Ruth Rendall.
Enjoyable but not as well-written as some of her others.
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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...
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