Sue's Reviews > A Dark-Adapted Eye

A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
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's review
Mar 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: britain, mystery, kindle, library-book, read-in-2012
Recommended to Sue by: Barbara
Read from February 26 to March 02, 2012

Wow what an introduction to Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine. I suppose this would be considered a psychological suspense mystery, where the suspense is maintained throughout the novel even though the reader knows very early that a murder has occurred and a murderer has hanged. So many have reviewed this book that I don't feel the need to say much but, if you haven't yet read any of this series (as I hadn't), run to your library or bookstore and begin. Since this is the first of Rendell's books writing as Vine, it seems a good place to start. (Now I have to read more and then some of her Rendell books.)

I have to thank those who suggested and seconded I read Barbara Vine books.
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Reading Progress

9.0% "Interesting and not what I was expecting (though I'm not sure what that was). Great writing."
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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-36 of 36) </span> <span class="smallText">(36 new)</span>

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Anne This is a good one!

message 2: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue My irst kindle library book. So far it's very interesting and obviously well written.

Anne You'll have to tell me how you like reading on a kindle. I already know that you'll like the book.

message 4: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I'm enjoying it but I'll message you.

Barbara Judging from our past mutual enjoyment of many books, I know you will enjoy this! I'll wait to see your review. :)

message 6: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I think you're right Barbara from the little I've read so far.

Cynthia Sue you've been inducted into the Vine/Rendell fan club.

message 8: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Absolutely. I plan to read many more over time and I'll start with the recommendations from my great friends here.

Cynthia The Rendell (Wexford) ones are better if read in order but Vine's don't have a continued character so you can read them in any order.

message 10: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I know I have a few more of the Vine titles in my TBR then I'll try some Rendell. I want to read some Inspector Morse someday too.

Cynthia I haven't read any of those but they look good. I loved the actor who played him in the series.

message 12: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue John Thaw was wonderful. Thankfully they didn't try to replace him. I watch the sequels now with his Sergeant.

Cynthia Whaley is good too and his second is great....still not up to the combo of Thaw (thanks for the name) and Whaley though. Did you see the one with the transvestite?

message 14: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Can't recall the specific episode though I've seen a lot of them. I like Whaley's second, with all his conflicts. (thanks for Whaley's name).

message 15: by Barbara (last edited Mar 04, 2012 01:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Barbara Sue, I'm delighted that you enjoyed this book too! I thought you would.

Cynthia, I do remember how you and our friend, Teresa encouraged me to read Rendell/Vine. I've never stopped!

message 16: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Well the three of you have another member of your group. I did take down some titles last year and when I need more, I know who to haunt.

Barbara I have another Rendell waiting for me to pick up at the library. It is A Judgement in Stone which I learned about in GR.

message 18: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Well she will just have to write forever! Lucky me...I have so many ahead of me.

message 19: by Cynthia (last edited Mar 04, 2012 08:49PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cynthia Now Sue go easy on her....she's in her 80's. I'm jsut grateful for any book she writes at this point. I could be wrong but I think she's good for another 20 years!

And Barbara I'm glad you've liked her.

message 20: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Well at least til 90. Those English ladies do write for a long time.

message 21: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Sue, is this the one of hers you recommend the most highly? I am really enjoying "Grasshopper" by the same author, even though it isn't highly rated on GR. I accidentally came upon that one, loved the audio, and reading at a snail's pace (not the book's fault) but really enjoying. My cat is very sick and I'm looking for a book to really sweep me off my feet, with a good audio too. Was wonderful which of hers you recommend and also if you've tried Ruth Rendell yet? Ideally I'd like something to make me smile that's not too light, but I love Vine's writing so much, I think it may be the ticket also. Thanks, Sue.

message 22: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I don't think I've read any of Rendell writing as Rendell yet, though I can't swear to it (I'm on my Kindle Fire so it's not so easy to check. I've liked all of the Vine books except the most recent which was disappointing. You can probably search my shelves with her name. Have you read Jane Gardam? I really enjoyed her books. Not at all like Vine/Rendell. Very British, stories of lives, interlocked. Recommended.

message 23: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura I feel like I have but I'd forgot about her! Thank you!! I also feel I will try the first Wexford and let you know. That's a loooong series, and I'd love if it were great!!

I may be thinking of Jane Haddam.....

message 24: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Laura wrote: "I feel like I have but I'd forgot about her! Thank you!! I also feel I will try the first Wexford and let you know. That's a loooong series, and I'd love if it were great!!

I may be thi..."

I have only read one Jane Haddam but learned after it was one of her weakest so I plan to give her another trie. If you like mysteries, I've heard great things about Louise Penny--haven't had a chance to start her yet. Jane Gardam has written Old Filth and a sequel of sorts, The Man in the Wooden Hat. There is a third book Last Friends which I haven't read yet. I also really enjoyed her The Queen of the Tambourine. I'm not sure quite how to classify them.

I intend to try the Wexford novels someday too. I've always enjoyed P.D.James but I read them when they came out which is a while ago now.

message 25: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Great suggestions; thanks, Sue. I like Louise Penny too, I could give her another try. Used to love PD James. I do think I should revisit Jane Haddam.

Question: Is "Old Filth" one that reels you right in, or does it take awhile to get into? I feel like I've tried it before and it just doesn't call me forward, so to speak. But I hear so many good things about it though.

message 26: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I don't remember exactly but I have a feeling it may be the slower kind of book.

If you are looking for suspense, I have really liked S.J.Bolton's books (standalone, haven't tried her series yet). Also I definitely recommend Susan Hill's Simon Serailler mystery series (? spelling).Great characters, setting and plots.

message 27: by Laura (last edited Sep 01, 2015 07:16PM) (new) - added it

Laura That Serailler series is wonderful. I need to get back to that! Bolton's books all look good; another great suggestion.

Thanks Sue!

message 28: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue You're welcome. I love to share book ideas. I'm hoping to read another in the Serailler series soon. I believe I have 2 to be up to date. I like to dole them out slowly :)

message 29: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Me too; I don't want to ever run out.

Which is your favorite Vine, Sue, or do you have a favorite?

message 30: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I'll have to check that out when I'm on my PC and can refresh my memory a little. I need to check the book descriptions.

message 31: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Ok thanks.

message 32: by Sue (last edited Sep 02, 2015 06:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Laura wrote: "Ok thanks."

I looked over my reviews and the plot summaries of A Dark Adapted Eye and A Fatal Inversion and it looks like I liked them both equally well. I remember more plot points from the second book (and I purposefully avoid anything that hints of spoilers in my reviews so I can't give myself hints either :-)

I think either or both would be good. I also liked The Chimney Sweeper's Boy and Brimstone Wedding just a bit less. I do plan to read more of her books eventually. The other two I've read I didn't think were that great, the last, The Child's Child, was really not worth reading, a real miss.

message 33: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Thank you, Sue. Really appreciate you taking a look.

message 34: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Laura wrote: "Thank you, Sue. Really appreciate you taking a look."

You're welcome. Hope you enjoy whatever you decide on.

message 35: by Tom (new) - added it

Tom Mathews I'm really glad you liked this one. It is one I have wanted to read for a very long time.

message 36: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue Tom wrote: "I'm really glad you liked this one. It is one I have wanted to read for a very long time."

A number of GR friends also recommended Vine to me and I haven't been disappointed except by that one dud. I do intended to read more. She's really into the psychological character study and suspense novel.

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