K L's Reviews > Tigerlily's Orchids

Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell
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Jan 22, 2012

it was amazing

Ruth Rendell is getting less dark and edgy - but no less good. This story follows the inhabitants of an apartment house in London. The "Tigerlily" of the title is one of the people who live across the street, and there's a surprise in their house. I was actually disappointed that the surprise wasn't something worse. There's an oddly innocent couple of leftover hippies; three college girls who are fairly typical of girls that age (hey, I was one once, I should know); a good-looking guy with a big ego and a woman problem; and a man who may be dangerous.

There are a lot of similarities between this book and "Portobello" - most noticeably, the lessening of the dark edginess that used to be a given in Rendell's books. Like "Portobello", "Tigerlily's Orchids" follows several different quirky characters, makes you sympathize with all but the absolutely worst ones, and ties everything up in a neat solution at the end. Contrast this with "Lake of Darkness", where none of the characters are especially likeable, and the ending isn't happy for anyone.

But Rendell is still good. She hasn't yet slid into cozy English villages with stock characters that are just too cute; there's still *some* darkness and edge. So I'm still reading.
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