Nine Lives

Nine Lives

3.0 2
by Bernice Rubens
     
 

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The killers modus operandi is the same in each instance: strangulation, always with a guitar string, pulled tight from behind until life is taken. And though the murders are happening up and down the country, there is one other similarity that Inspector Wilkins cant help noticing. Each and every victim is a psychotherapist...

Donald Dorricks is on a mission.

Overview

The killers modus operandi is the same in each instance: strangulation, always with a guitar string, pulled tight from behind until life is taken. And though the murders are happening up and down the country, there is one other similarity that Inspector Wilkins cant help noticing. Each and every victim is a psychotherapist...

Donald Dorricks is on a mission. Nine shrinks to go and his crusade is complete. Yet, even after giving himself up and confessing to the killings, he still protests his innocence. And just as Inspector Wilkins struggles to catch the killer, Dorricks wife Verine attempts to understand the reasoning behind the murders. Then as her husbands tale emerges, it reveals a past peppered with secrets from which Donald had never been able to escape. Until now ...

A black comedy that mixes whodunit and whydunit, Nine Lives is the unsettling story of a very English murderer - a novel of suspense, strangulation and psychotherapy.

A glorious black comedy...to sum up in three words: wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. - The Daily Mail

Editorial Reviews

Times
A novelist to be treasured.
Kirkus Reviews
There's a killer on the loose in England, and no psychotherapist is safe. As insane murderers go, Donald Dorricks is fairly unusual. The blithely amusing Rubens (A Solitary Grief, 1991, etc.) gives him a pretty narrowly defined plan (at least the part readers are allowed to know about via his diary extracts), which boils down to murdering exactly nine psychotherapists. Dorricks is an extremely neat-and-tidy killer, usually wearing a mackintosh to keep the blood off, gloves for no fingerprints. Posing as a patient, he will show up for his first appointment, verbally toy with the unsuspecting victim for a bit, then garrote same with a length of guitar string. Then he departs, as unassumingly as he came, leaving not the faintest clue for poor Inspector Wilkins, who had the bad luck to be assigned the case. Rubens gives us the story from two other angles than Dorricks's spare, joyful diary excerpts (with titles like "Four Down, Five to Go"). There's the mournful, at-a-loss Wilkins view, then that of Dorricks's wife Verine, who regularly visits the killer in jail-the trial didn't go well for the unapologetic serialist, and much of the story is in flashback. Wilkins is a pretty sad creation, without clues and mostly just hoping (though he knows he shouldn't) for another victim, this time with maybe a fingerprint left behind. Verine has played the dutiful, wifely doormat for their entire marriage, and is only now, even after Dorricks's absurd defense (he admits to the murders but claims that his motive, revealed only at the climax, renders him "innocent"), is realizing just how giulty he is. Rubens has a neat, unfussy approach to the material, much in keeping with Dorricks's killing style. Itmakes for rather heartless reading, but not without lightening dashes of black humor. A killer so robotic that he seems sedated keeps a rather classically constructed, and very British, tale from being much more than an exercise in style. Agent: Charles Walker/PFD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781448210053
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
08/31/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
250
File size:
2 MB

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Meet the Author

Bernice Rubens (1929-2004) was born in Cardiff, Wales in July 1928. She began writing at the age of 35, when her children started nursery school. Her second novel, Madame Sousatzka (1962), was filmed by John Schlesinger, with Shirley MacLaine in the leading role, in 1988. Her fourth novel, The Elected Member, won the 1970 Booker prize. She was shortlisted for the same prize again in 1978 for A Five Year Sentence. Her last novel, The Sergeants Tale, was published in 2003. She was an honorary vice-president of International PEN and served as a Booker judge in 1986. Bernice Rubens died in 2004 aged 76.
Bernice Rubens (1929-2004) was born in Cardiff, Wales in July 1928. She began writing at the age of 35, when her children started nursery school. Her second novel, Madame Sousatzka (1962), was filmed by John Schlesinger, with Shirley MacLaine in the leading role, in 1988. Her fourth novel, The Elected Member, won the 1970 Booker prize. She was shortlisted for the same prize again in 1978 for A Five Year Sentence. Her last novel, The Sergeants Tale, was published in 2003. She was an honorary vice-president of International PEN and served as a Booker judge in 1986. Bernice Rubens died in 2004 aged 76.

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Nine Lives 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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