Multiple Gold Dagger and Edgar Award winner Ruth Rendell, writing here as Barbara Vine, gives us a fiendishly intricate novel-within-a-novel. Grown siblings Grace and Andrew decide to share the sprawling London house they've inherited from their grandmother. But Andrew's handsome new boyfriend James throws disharmony into their home, and Grace retreats into a manuscript she's discovered—a lost 1951 novel depicting a homosexual brother living with a sister who carries an illegitimate child.
"'Subtle' is an inadequate word for Ruth Rendell. So are 'crafty,' 'cunning,' 'clever' and 'sly.' Although these are accurate descriptions of her confounding technique, a better word would be 'surprising.' Whatever it is you might think Rendell is up to, especially when she's writing as Barbara Vine—that's not it."—NYTBR