Amy Gentry's Reviews > The Chimney Sweeper's Boy

The Chimney Sweeper's Boy by Barbara Vine
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's review
Jun 01, 09

really liked it

How much more awesome is Barbara Vine than her artsy alter-ego, Ruth Rendell? The witty dialogue, elegantly drawn scenarios, and melancholy themes in this book rank Vine with Muriel Spark and even Iris Murdoch. My only complaint about The Chimney Sweeper's Boy is that the payoff, as in many good psychological mysteries, is wimpy. I contend that there's nothing trashy about a nice grisly murder, but many of the higher-brow mystery writers (I'm looking at you, Laura Lippman and P.D. James) seem to disagree. Is Patricia Highsmith the only mystery writer who delivers both psychological detail and a shocking conclusion? Whatever, I enjoyed this book as I've enjoyed other Barbara Vine novels - mostly in one sitting.
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