Gallowglass

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the middle ages a gallowglass was the personal guard of the Celtic chief: the food taster, the right hand man, the expendable one who would die for his leader. Ruth Rendell, writing as Barbara Vine for the fourth time, here presents a tale of kidnapping, obsession, and loyalty told by two men thrust into the part of modern gallowglass. The Princess, a former fashion model with a penchant for marrying older, rich men, is the target once again of the man who had been her jailer five years before when she was held for ransom in Italy. She is protected by Paul Garnet, a failure as husband and teacher, now trying to be a good father to his seven-year-old daughter. The author plays cat and mouse with the reader as Garnet and Little Joe, the second gallowglass, reveal the motivations and weaknesses of her characters. A true master of psychological suspense, Rendell/Vine is in top form here as tension builds to a totally shocking climax. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/89.-- Jo Ann Vicarel, Cleveland Heights-University Heights P.L., Ohio
School Library Journal
In ancient times, a gallowglass was the servant of a Celtic chieftain; in Vine's novel, it is Joe Herbert, a young drifter, recently released from a mental institution, who is mesmerized by Sandor Wincanton, an educated, handsome, but mysterious ``swell'' who wants Joe's help for a kidnapping. The intended victim is former model Nina Apsoland, the ``princess'' whom Sandor helped kidnap five years ago when she was married to an Italian prince, but whom Sandor freed after he fell in love with her. Now, Nina is guarded well--her current husband is an expert in security and he has hired the massive ex-teacher Paul Garnet as a combination driver and bodyguard. Written by a master in psychological suspense (Vine also writes as Ruth Rendell), this is a gripping tale. The spellbinding first-person narrative will carry readers briskly into the heart of the story, and while the ending is a bit of a shocker, teens who want more meat in their suspense will be well served by Vine. --Diana C. Hirsch, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, MD
Library Journal
Edgar Award-winning crime writer Ruth Rendell's fourth pseudonymous novel, published in print/on audiocassette in 1990 and adapted into a 1993 BBC miniseries, is now available in multiple digital audio formats. More of a psychological potboiler than an outright thriller, it tells the somewhat complicated tale of a man who saves the life of a homeless, mentally ill youth, then manipulates him into participating in a kidnapping. British actor/narrator Dermot Crowley's performance and the production quality are adequate in this title reminiscent of Alexander McCall Smith's The World According to Bertie. For fans of the author.—Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517577448
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/7/1990
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1

Meet the Author

Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. She has written fourteen novels using this pseudonym, including A Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet which both won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Ruth Rendell sits in the House of Lords as a Labour peer. She lives in Maida Vale, London.
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