** spoiler alert **
I would happily sit down and read every grocery list Ruth Rendell ever wrote. As far as I am concerned nobody can write a book like Rendell and she will always be the queen in my eyes.
I hate to give this one three stars but there were problems.
I felt there was a bit of a plot hole surrounding Dex's messages from "Peach". How did "Peach" come to be dialing Dex's number and provoking his murderous escapades? Because I came to believe that Still was "Peach" right? He used the word Psychopomp with Montsy and with Dex. So how did Still know that Dex would do his bidding like that? Did I miss something? That never quite made sense to me.
But other than that this was another of Rendell's Neighbourhood novels - ala "The Keys to the Street" and "Portobello". I adore these novels; I adore Rendell's ability to create the timeless, quintessential, multi-class British neighbourhood full of fascinating characters, some quite lovely, others rather rotten and a complete mad person thrown in for good luck.
There is nothing terribly new about this one and it doesn't quite round out and come together as cleanly and cleverly as Rendell's other Neighbourhoods. The demented Dex is not enough of a character - usually Rendell's crazy people are deeper and more sympathetic - I'm thinking poor Minty from "Adam and Eve and Pinch Me".
But I'm so grateful for a new Rendell, I won't complain.