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Dark Corners

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  3,753 ratings  ·  611 reviews
A spectacularly compelling story of blackmail, murders both accidental and opportunistic, and of one life’s fateful unraveling from Ruth Rendell—“one of the most remarkable novelists of her generation” (People)—writing at her most acute and mesmerizing.

When his father dies, Carl Martin inherits a house in an increasingly rich and trendy London neighborhood. Carl needs cash
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Scribner (first published October 22nd 2015)
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Marvin It was a mistake. They thought Lizzie had money, but she did not. When they realized this, they did not know what to do.
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Average rating 3.22  · 
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This is the first novel I have read by this author, and now feel sad to see that “Dark Corners” was Ruth Rendell’s last novel, as she died this year.

Based on a recommendation from another Goodreads member, I was fortunate to be approved by the publisher, Scribner and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is a story of murders and blackmail and psychological suspense, and how a person’s life can unravel completely over time, by hiding secrets and actions.

After his father di
Diane S ☔
2.5 this is the last book from an author that I have read for many years. She has been known for her dark atmosphere, an insidious creepiness that slowly consumes the reader. Some of her books I have liked more than others. This one I did not like at all.

Well written like most of her books, this one had characters with few redeeming qualities, characters I did not like at all. Blackmail, revenge are the motifs, but this book gave me a very ugly feeling. Still this author has been very prolific t
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The End of an era: Ruth Rendell's final novel. Bittersweet, for never again will I have the experience of reading a new Ruth Rendell novel. It's possible that Rendell might have done more rewriting on this one, for it's shorter than her recent novels have been, and the subplots seem under-developed and to go somewhat astray, rather than coverging at the end as they do in some of her best books such as A DEMON IN MY VIEW, THE TREE OF HANDS, and THE BRIDESMAID. Still, it's a page-turner, and as a ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to be a dick but I really really disliked this book. The plot was ridiculous and the characters were just plain terrible, not a redeeming quality about any of them. Let me try not to throw too many spoilers in, but it doesn't even matter because this book is just drivel anyway.
(view spoiler)
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is my understanding that Ruth Rendell was a favorite of many in the mystery genre. And that may be so. However, I was totally frustrated with this book....her last offering. I plugged through until the end, not willing to give up, and hoping beyond hope that it would go out with a bang. It certainly didn't.

This book had all the potential to nip at your heels with a Hitchcock flavor. There were just mild attempts to build on tension. It could have been so much more. I know that others rated it
Dark Corners by Ruth Rendell is a 2015 Scribner publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ruth Rendell, who also wrote as Barbara Vine, passed away in 2015, just a few months before this book was published. I had planned on centering a blog post around Ruth, featuring a review of this, her final book, but sadly, every time I picked it up, I could not, for the life of me, stay interested.

But, I needed to turn in a review for

Description: Ruth Rendell's final novel is a dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense read by Patricia Hodge.

Budding crime writer Carl could do with some extra cash. Renting out the top part of his house in Maida Vale - newly inherited from his father - will help his cash flow immensely. And what harm could it do to sell some slimming pills from his late father's stash of 'alternative medicines' to his actress friend Stacey, who's been putti
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another great book by a master (mistress?) of the mystery thriller. I love Ruth Rendell. This book is very enjoyable, even better than Portobello which I also loved. She has such a way. She sets up an event, a death, and we get to watch how it cascades through a group of people. She makes nefarious doings - blackmail, murder, lies - seem to almost be ordinary. Loved it. ...more
Nancy Oakes
let's start with the dustjacket blurb:

"When his father dies, Carl Martin inherits a house in an increasingly rich and trendy London neighborhood. Cash poor, Carl rents the upstairs room and kitchen to the first person he interviews, Dermot McKinnon. That is mistake number one. Mistake number two is keeping the bizarre collection of homeopathic 'cures' that his father left in the medicine cabinet, including a stash of controversial diet pills. Mistake number three is selling fifty of those diet
Some additional trepidation on this, the grand finale of maestra Rendell's life mystery work. No reason, of course, to assume the author saw it any differently than as yet-another mystery; she didn't know she'd be leaving us (5.2.2015) before it was in book form. But for the lifelong fan of her oblique storytelling, there will be questions; how finished was it? How far along was she before it came into the hands of ... whom? An appointed executor, a chosen editor, or maybe just an apparatchik of ...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
My View:
Guilt festers and multiplies, life becomes unbearable, and blackmail pushes an ordinary person already on a ledge into a freefall of irrational and deadly behaviours.

An interesting psychological profiling of the three protagonist – none are very pretty and only one has any redeeming features, however I felt the ending was a little mundane and the narrative was not developed enough for my liking. Murder served under done is a bloody thing.

RIP Ruth Rendell.
A compelling and deliciously unnerving novel. It WAS written by Ruth Rendell after all… She penned 66 novels. I’m just so sad it is the last ‘new’ novel of hers I shall ever read.

Set in the affluent London suburb of Maida Vale, the novel features Carl Martin, a young novelist in his early twenties. Carl has recently inherited a property from his father – and in order to make ends meet he takes in a tenant for his upstairs rooms. The tenant, Dermot, works at a local veterinary clinic and is a reg
Bruce Beckham
I’m a great fan of Ruth Rendell, but my heart sank when I realised I had inadvertently downloaded her final book (written at the age of 84 and published in 2015) when I had intended to buy a title from the early 1980s.

My fears were borne out as I began to read. We’ve just seen athletes Bolt and Farah take a step too far – and I reckon it happens to authors, too – albeit, thankfully, at a much, much later juncture.

There is no shame in failing faculties, or loss of contact with contemporary life –
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read and loved Ruth Rendell's work for years and my pleasure at reading this book is mixed with the sadness and disappointment of knowing it's her last. Although a relatively short novel it is still classic Rendell: one seemingly small incident sets in motion a series of events leading to the complete destruction of a number of everyday lives. It's Rendell ability to mix the prosaic day to day ordinary detail of life with the gradual decline into some kind of madness which holds and bewit ...more
Angela Oatham
I've been a Ruth Rendell fan for many years and it was with a real sense of sadness that I began this novel knowing it would be her last. I felt it was possibly a little unfinished, some characters felt slightly one dimensional but as a portrayal of psychological disintegration it was masterful.
As a reader Carl's descent into paranoia and eventual alcoholism was portrayed subtlety and completely believably. As someone who has suffered from nightmare neighbours in the past that sense of always be
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a lifetime of reading Ruth Rendell's novels, it's sad to know that this is her very last one. But it's a good one! When budding author Carl inherits his father's house in London, he thinks he's got it made. He rents out the top floor to a tenant, and lives off the proceeds. But when he unthinkingly sells some DNP 'diet' pills, from his father's horde of medicines, to his old friend Stacey, it sets off a chain of events which ruins his life. This is an exploration in how guilt can destroy a ...more
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Ruth Rendell’s final novel DARK CORNERS an intriguing cat-and mouse-game of blackmail and murder. From diet pills, homeopathic cures, a desperate man who needs cash, a tenant, a friend, an opportunist, and a jealous neighbor. A multi-layered evil web of deceit, multiple narratives- a psychological suspense of darkness and madness spirals out of control.

Wilfred Martin collected all sorts of alternative
Oct 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, england
I had to ponder over my hesitation about reading psychological thrillers and the answer lies within the real possibility of these things happening to me! As crazy as things sometimes may seem, there is just that tiny little statistics of probability that it could happen to me, to my neighbour, to my colleague, or anyone who you think are quite ordinary.

In Dark Corners, a fairly ordinary guy, Carl Martin, inherited his father’s house along with everything in it. He was too lazy to clear things ou
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, audio, mystery
Guilt is an insidious thing. Once you feel guilty you can't stop thinking about the guilt. Rather than confront it, you do something else to get around it and that adds to your guilt. You are obsessed. You dwell and fret and stop acting like yourself. Maybe you think there will be a reprieve but then something triggers it all over again.

This is that kind of book. I thought there would be some mystery but the whole story is pretty clear - it's just a matter of what our protagonist is going to do
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a marvelous literary legacy Ruth Rendell has left behind. So many great stories. I've only discovered them recently for myself and have been making way through her entire oeuvre. This is her last published one and it's unmistakably Rendellian from the morally questionable yet oddly compelling characters to the twisted webs they weave and all the dark disturbing psychological machinations of the seemingly ordinary brains when their perfectly regulated seemingly ordinary lives are threatened. ...more
Not her best, but a good entry. It does feel rough, in particular with the fact that you want everyone to die except for the retired couple.
Colin Mitchell
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Carl Martin, a philosophy graduate who has just published his first novel, inherits a substantial house from his father in the Maida Vale district of London. His father had collected a vast quantity of over the counter and alternative medicines and these were left in a bathroom cabinet. Among the medicines were some DNP weight loss tablets which he sells to his friend Stacey who is a minor television soap star. These tablets prove toxic and Stacey dies. This is the trigger for a story of subterf ...more
Emilia Barnes
Umm... this is like a first rough draft of a novel. Things hang together by the thinnest of threads, characterisation is nonexistent, it lacks texture, I’m not sure if this has been edited but it read like it hasn’t. You feel sympathy for nobody, least of all the main character, whose problems could be solved very easily by a) not letting himself be blackmailed for doing something legal that had unintended consequences and b) getting a job.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
It truly saddens me to be writing a review of the very last novel written by Ruth Rendell, whom the literary world lost on May 2, 2015. I’ve been a longtime fan of Ms. Rendell’s work. She will be very much missed in the literary world and by this reader.

As for her last book, it’s a perfect blend of suspense and tension. As always, Ms. Rendell built her storyline to make the most of each sentence, like a spider weaving each strand of silk in its web. It’s a page turner that will draw you into the
Lady Delacour
Dark Corners.
The last story
written by Mrs.
Ruth Rendell.
Inherited House.
Unusual Characters.
Memorable Weapon.
3 Bittersweet Stars.
Listened with TTS.
Mild Foul Language.
Deb Jones
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
I am sorry that this was the last book penned by a prolific and talented author, Ruth Rendell. I have found several of her earlier books to be much better put together and entertaining than Dark Corners. I have to wonder if she found herself pressed for time by her publisher or if she had been ill while writing this one because it's just not up to her usual standards. ...more
The Book Club
Carl decide to sell a packet of slimming pills to one of his closest friends, causing her death. This incident is just the beginning of a series of catastrophic decisions and events.

The book is written using an external narrator which I do not personally prefer as I feel it creates distance between the reader and the characters.
The prose is fluent and easy to read, in fact it took me only one day to get through it.
The plot tho was just too predictable, I knew from the first few pages already th
All tidy British mysteries require suspending disbelief, but this one needed the reader to do that more than most. I see that this was Ruth Rendell’s final novel, and I’m not convinced that she was the one who finished it. Entertaining enough, but the ending was forced and loose ends were plentiful.
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Rendell goes out with a whimper not a bang :-(

Ruth Rendell wrote some fantastic books: the Wexford series, her Barbara Vine books such as Asta's Book, The Chimney Sweeper's Boy, The Blood Doctor and A Fatal Inversion.

Sadly her final book, Dark Corners is not in the same league. It is not even close. She manages to make every single character in her book loathesome, with the exception of the father who spends his days travelling aimlessly around London for free, using his over-60 bus pass. F
Barbara H
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, mystery
Sadly, this is Ruth Rendell's final book, published around the time of her death in 2015. She has been one of my favorite authors and fortunately, I have not exhausted a supply of future reading by this lady. Her remarkable career includes more than 60 best-selling novels in her own name and her pseudonym, Barbara Vine. This novel did not disappoint. In fact, I found it more suspenseful and compelling than a few of her other recent works.

It is not simple to describe the intricacies of this plot
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A.K.A. Barbara Vine

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, was an acclaimed English crime writer, known for her many psychological thrillers and murder mysteries and above all for Inspector Wexford.

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