The Keys to the Streetby Ruth Rendell, Sharon Williams
Theirs is a world light years away from Mary Jago's elegant new home and museum job across the park. Mary, in an uncharacteristic act of
Lush green by day, darkly sinister by night, Regent's Park hosts an underworld of drug ushers and thugs, of London's homeless and the unseen killer who is impaling them, one by one, on the ornate railings that encircle the park.
Theirs is a world light years away from Mary Jago's elegant new home and museum job across the park. Mary, in an uncharacteristic act of self-assertion, has left her abusive boyfriend and, in an act of humanity, has donated her bone marrow to a stranger. She then meets the fragile young man whose life she saved--Leo, flesh of her flesh, bone of her bone, a twin soul--and becomes deeply involved with him.
But Mary's boldness has its price. Among the park's shattered hopes and new dreams, something dark and deadly waits for her...eager to rob her of something more precious than life.
Taking advantage of her house-sitting gig outside Regent's Park, Mary Jago gives Alistair Fowler his notice; and as if by magic, a new romantic interest springs up: Leo Nash, the recipient of Mary's bone-marrow transplant, whom she's previously known only as Oliver. Leo's as gentle and considerate, as sympathetic and loving, as Alistair was everything but, and in no time Mary's counting the hours between their decorous meetings. But there are already clouds Mary doesn't see on the horizon. At first the omens are only vaguely troubling, circling around the obsessions of Roman Ashton, a magazine editor sunk to life on the streets after losing his family to a freak accident; old Leslie Bean, who can't forget his irregular relations with his late employers; and Hob, who drifts through the park in a perpetual haze while he's waiting for his next fix. But the menace soon takes on a sharper edge. The police start to find street people gruesomely impaled on the ornamental gates of the park. Bean, who's been mugged in the park, swears revenge against his attacker and considers a spot of genteel blackmail on the side. Alistair turns out to be more persistentand more vindictivethan Mary could ever have imagined. Veterans of Rendell's peerlessly doomy fantasies (The Crocodile Bird, 1993, etc.) will know that all these perturbations are nothing more than symptoms of the real problem: the secret that makes perfect mate Leo perfectly dreadful.
Like Rendell's last Chief Inspector Wexford mystery (Simisola, 1995), this poignant tale shows the author at her most extroverted: Under her tireless probing, every social class that Regent's Park brings together turns out to be equally pathological.
- Brilliance Audio
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.35(w) x 7.02(h) x 0.64(d)
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Meet the Author
Ruth Rendell is the recipient of several awards, including three Edgars and four Gold Daggers from the UK’s Crime Writers’ Association. Simisola, Blood Lines, Keys to the Street, and The Brimstone Wedding (written as Barbara Vine) are available from Brilliance Audio. She lives in England.
- Date of Birth:
- February 17, 1930
- Place of Birth:
- London, England
- Loughton County High School for Girls, Essex
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Very good. Ruth Rendell delivers in excellent style.
This is a wonderful book. Engaging characters in a vital setting capture you as they reveal the story. This book sucks you in, and makes you think. A page-turner for all the right reasons.
The book revolves around two plots both of which is interesting. One is a murder mystery involving horrific deaths of street people. The other is the romantic life of Mary Jago. Ruth Rendell is an author who sets up her story lines and characters expertly. Well worth reading.