Four members of the Coverdale family - George, Jacqueline, Melinda and Giles - died in the space of fifteen minutes on the 14th February, St Valentine's Day.
Eunice Parchman, the illiterate housekeeper, shot them down on a Sunday evening while they were watching opera on television.
Two weeks later she was arrested for the crime. But the tragedy neither began nor ended there.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 27/02/1994
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9780099171409
- EPUB from £3.49
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by featherbear
Family mass murder (cp. Gardner’s Live to tell). Rendell has some unpleasant prejudices that are more obvious in her early novels, of which this is one. Eunice Parchman and Joan Smith are troll-like English lower class characters seen through the unsympathetic spectacles of a future member of the House of Lords. How much richer and tragic the novel could have been had the trolls been created with more empathy. As it is, they are figures in a black comedy with Parchman’s attempts to avoid revealing her illiteracy and Smith’s religious mania driving the murder of the Coverdales (who are much more recognizably human, devotees of opera and theology, and definitely untroll-like).
Review by curlycurrie
This was a real page turner. Even though the murder and the motive was revealed in the first sentence it was impossible to put this down. Once again Ruth Rendell has created a world that draws the reader in and has them living the lives of the characters. The writing and character creations are inspirational. This has confirmed Ruth Rendell (also writing as Barbara Vine) as on of my all time favourinte authors.