By Ruth Rendell
Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781439148518, 304pp.
Publication Date: September 7, 2010
Ruth Rendell is widely considered to be crime fiction's reigning queen, with a remarkable career spanning more than forty years. Now, in Portobello, she delivers a captivating and intricate tale that weaves together the troubled lives of several people in the gentrified neighborhood of London's Notting Hill.
Walking to the shops one day, fifty-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction--and his own good intentions--Wren hatches a plan to find the money's rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners--people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs. As these volatile characters come into Wren's life--and the life of his trusting fiancee--the consequences will change them all.
Portobello is a wonderfully complex tour de force featuring a dazzling depiction of one of London's most intriguing neighborhoods--and the dangers beneath its newly posh veneer.
“The characters jump off the page. The page-to-page surprises are so clever that the reader is left agape at each twist and turn. The pieces fit together brilliantly.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“An expert dissection of the hazards of human connections and the search for happiness.”—USA Today
“A novel that glides along Portobello Road like the lime in a gin and tonic. It's intoxicating.”—Newsday