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The Bridesmaid

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,043 ratings  ·  78 reviews
When Philip Wardman's feminine ideal, a Greek goddess, appears in the flesh as Senta Pelham, Philip thinks he has found true love. But darker forces are at work, and Senta is led to propose that Philip prove his love by committing murder.
Hardcover, 268 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Mysterious Press (first published January 1st 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,553)
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Ange
The idea explored had potential - that two lovers would kill to prove their love - but I don't think it was really successful in Ruth Rendell's "The Bridesmaid". For a start, it just didn't seem likely that Phillip and Senta (the lovers) would be attracted to each other. Senta, the creepy, somewhat slovenly, yet beautiful and passionate girl with silver hair, and Phillip - gentle, particular, mother's boy, trainee interior decorator. There's no doubt that the novel had atmosphere, but it seemed ...more
Marian Allen
There ought to be a two-tiered rating system, because this book was stylistically wonderful--atmospheric, evocative, kept me reading to the end. On the other hand, it had no plot and it didn't make a bit of sense. But, if you want to enjoy a really well-written exercise in style, and want to close the book and do something realfast before you have a chance to think about what you just read, this book will engage you, entertain you and haunt you. Once.
Cyd
This was the first Rendell book I read. She has become one of my favorite authors.
V.R. Barkowski
Ruth Rendell (aka Barbara Vine), that’s Baroness Rendell of Babergh CBE to you, has long been my favorite mystery writer. It all started the day I picked up a copy of the Bridesmaid twenty years ago. The Bridesmaid changed the way I view mysteries. I would even go so far as to say The Bridesmaid is the book that initially inspired me to write mysteries.

Although Rendell writes the fine Chief Inspector Wexford Police procedurals, it is her psychological crime novels that set her apart—at least for
...more
Toni
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philip
What He Did For Love (or something like it...)

Suffice to say that THE BRIDESMAID is one of Rendell's darkest, most relentless novels of obsession . . . The revelations of the final two pages should evoke an audible gasp from even the most hardened suspense reader. Several re-readings have not diminished the sense of surprise and horror.
...more
Moira
I have read a lot of Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine (though I don't read the Inspector Wexford series). I like all of them, but some are absolutely amazing. This is my favorite - watching this obsessive love take over the main characters so slowly and believably, the reader can almost totally sympathize with the horrific crime that it leads to!
Robin
This book was well written, but the whole plot line didn't resonate with me. Not recommended.
Elsbeth
This book is not about bridesmaids in case you were wondering.
Jill Hutchinson
Ruth Rendell........the woman knows how to write books that keep your attention! Her Wexford series is one of my favorites, as are her books written under the nom de plume Barbara Vine.
This book, which belongs in neither category, borders on the surreal, as a naive young man falls in love with a bridesmaid at his sister's wedding who resembles a much-loved statue in his garden. The object of his affection lives in a fantasy world, or does she? Although the stories she tells him of her life seem
...more
Aleisha Z Coleman
Nov 21, 2010 Aleisha Z Coleman rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Aleisha Z by: nobody
i usually LOVE ruth rendell's murder mysteries. this one was just weird. it spent too much tme in psychological buildup and motivation that didn't make sense to me. i don't recommend this book to anyone. (although from a critical standpoint i can appreciate the range of ruth's writing and am glad that it is not always the same predictable story every time and for that i will keep reading books by this author.)
Sergey
I am a voyeur in her world and in such I am delighted, frightened, anxious, horny, sexy, murderous, overtaken by madness and one with all .. and none.
Chris
Rather dark view of human nature. But rather predictable.

Have to say, just be careful who you date.
Monique
Eh this book was just okay and while it had such promise it actually reminded me of a couple of books I read before which was cool--Fall by Colin McAdam, The Drowning People by Richard Mason and Killing Me Softly by Nicci French though this one wasn't done the best as the plots revolved around a singularly obessive relationship where a person goes over the deep end for someone with tragic results..Like all these other characters the main character Phillip is unreasonably infatuated with a woman ...more
Pooja Naidu
Actually if there was a zero rating out there, i could give it for this book surely.The main thing of any book is the plot which was absolutely ridiculous in this particular book.Before being tempted up to say the storyline was bad or that sort, i would better say there was no story at all. The whole thought i had while reading this book(which i never felt for any other book in my life) is when will this end? It was unputdownable in the sense you just want to get over with it & you never aga ...more
Laura
This is a terrifically creepy psychological thriller. Rendell layers the doubt, lies, and truth so well that only bits of each show through at very specific gaps. The narrator, Philip, is a fairly likable character, and when he goes wrong we are sympathetic, if not patronizing because we see more truth than he does. Rendell makes him just naive enough (it's his youth, really, and that youthful hope is believable) so that the reader is just a bit up on him most of the time, although we don't get ...more
Michelle
I should have liked this, but something just didn't click with me. Interior designer falls in love with the enigmatic Senta. While he doesn't believe half of what she tells him, he is compelled by her, and when she says they should kill someone to prove their love for each other, he goes along with her story, believing it to be a fantasy. When she actually does kill someone, he tries to untangle himself. Really difficult to finish, and I can't put my finger on why. I just kept waiting for it to ...more
Ramona
Very creepy and hard to put down. Really a story of perception, misconception, and obsession. I had trouble understanding Phillip's indulgence of sick fantasy and had to attribute it to obsession. It was very interesting how Rendell included the loss of love being due to loss of beauty (elderly cat). It would have been nice if she had delved into that further and brought up how love is ultimately a choice. The ending is why I gave it only four stars. The presence of the body buttoned it up a bit ...more
Jackie Jameson
Love her writing. The whole novel had this sense of ominous, impending doom, with a goosebumps inducing, memorable ending. Her books are far from the formulaic norm and I think that may be off-putting to some readers, but not to me. The physiological motivation of her characters is so inherently, believably human; it's like watching a horrible accident happening and hiding your eyes but finding yourself peeking through your fingers in a guilty, voyoiristic horror.
Nancy Behrendt
This book is hard to categorize. It is about love in many situations: love for doing something, infatuation, love in marriage, love for parents, love for children, love that turns to hate, etc. This is also about perceptions and how they color actions. This is also a book about obsession and addiction. If I had to pick one thing, I'd say obsession. It was a fast read for Ruth Rendell and compels you to do some self-reflection.
Judy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Barnard
My enthusiasm for Ruth Rendell novels is always rewarded, and The Bridesmaid is no exception. The familiar tropes are all in place – an awkward young man with an unhealthy interest in an inanimate object, an unhinged young woman, a dysfunctional family, an inept police force and reports of a killer on the loose in the background.

The fact that I could sort of guess what to expect does the novel no harm at all – Rendell has a real talent for wrong-footing the reader and showing that they don’t act
...more
Richard Beasley
This was first Rendell I ever read.

She can right some stuff which you have to plough through, sometimes the lead characters are just too weird, and I don't really like Wexford. But this book means I will forgive anything. Simply gripped me and got under my skin.

You must try this book
Malena Watrous
A book I found in a stack at my mother-in-law's house. I like how it's both a mystery/thriller and also almost fabulist. I mean, I'm not convinced I'm reading something that's strictly "realist" when a man says that he will fall in love with a woman if she resembles the statue in his mother's garden, and then promptly meets such a woman. This felt like a deal-with-the-devil story in a way. I was definitely hooked from the moment that Senta proposes that they murder people to prove their unconven ...more
Rena Sherwood
The best book I've read by Ruth Rendell. It is twisted and sexy. It also has a sympathetic narrator, which is unusual for the Rendell books I've read so far. This is a stand-alone book and not part of any series.
arjuna
As much as I like Rendell, reading her books too close together is not always a good idea... I felt like I should have enjoyed this a lot, but it ultimately came over as yet-another-story-about-white-folks-with-subtle-but-pervasive-errors-in-socio/emotional-function. Slow, flat, a bit hard to get into, a bit hard to pick up again when you put it down. Which is a shame, because it's well plotted and a nice premise, but... all felt a bit same-same just at the moment, and I just wanted to slap Phil ...more
Kate Watson
The Bridesmaid is a smart, original tale of madness as experienced through Phillip, a rather lack-luster young man with aimless ambition and no real life until he connects with Senta, who is quite obsessive, compulsive and (entertainingly) insane.[return][return]Ruth Rendell is splendid at making a complete story where the front of the story completes the end. All the tribulations of the characters are interwoven, much like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. There are no real surprises sprung out du ...more
Lexie Conyngham
Hated this - it haunted me for years. Well written, of course.
Tonya
Definitely one of my favorite mysteries and authors!!!
Quirkyreader
I read this story once before and forgot. It was worth re-reading again.
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A.K.A. Barbara Vine

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, was 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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