Tony's Reviews > Portobello

Portobello by Ruth Rendell
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Nov 17, 10

bookshelves: fiction-crime-detection
Read in November, 2010

Rendell, Ruth. PORTOBELLO. (2010). ****. This is not a novel about mushrooms. It is the story about several interconnected lives, lives lived in or near Portobello Road in London. Portobello Road is a popular shopping district, with street stalls set up where you can buy just about anything. The characters span the spectrum from low-lifes to those of the upper class from the Notting Hill section. It starts out innocently enough. While walking to work one day, Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. The owner of a very successful art gallery, but secretly under the control of a shameful addiction, Wren hatches a plan to find the money’s rightful owner. Instead of turning the money over to the police, Wren posts a notice on the streetlights around Portobello Road. This rash act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners, people like him who have their own obsessions and desires and despairs. As these people come into Wren’s life, and into the life of his fiancee, the consequences lead to a series of unanticipated events that will change all of their lives. Although the book suffers from a weak ending, it is still a page-turning read. Recommended.
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