A stand-alone novel published by Hutchinson in 1989
Philip Wardman had more than just the ordinary squeamishness where death was concerned. Yet he could hardly avoid the suspicious disappearance of his sister’s friend Rebecca Neave, especially when everyone was ascribing the cause to murder.
Philip’s feminine ideal is the statue of the Roman goddess Flora in his mother’s garden. His marble Flora doesn’t fade, alter or die. But then he meets Senta Pelham, a beautiful, sensual, childlike actress and a living incarnation of the statue.
The two embark on a passionate affair that soon becomes dangerous when Senta sets Philip a test; to prove their love, they must each commit murder.
Dramatised by Betty Davies for BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Night Theatre in 1994.
La Demoiselle d’honneur: a film adaptation directed by Claude Chabrol in 2004.
In 1989, in the Counterblast series published by Chatto and Windus, Ruth Rendell and Colin Ward contributed No 7 Undermining the Central Line, a criticism of centralist policies that closed local amenities and prevented young people being housed where they had grown up.—Peter Waterman 2
Contemporary Reads 3
John Banville - The Book of Evidence
Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains of the Day
P.D. James - Devices and Desires
Lindsey Davis - The Silver Pigs
Jeanette Winterson - Sexing The Cherry
Philip Kerr - March Violets
The Guardian, 12th May 1989. ↩︎
Ruth Rendell’s support for village communities, The Guardian 2015 ↩︎
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