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No Night Is Too Long

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Tim thought he'd gotten away with it. For months after the murder off the Alaskan coast he'd heard not a word. No policeman at his door asking questions. Nothing. And then the letters began. At first they seemed almost innocuous accounts of historical events. But a common theme emerged quickly. It was particulrly germane to Tim, and it related directly to murder. In No Night Is Too Long, Barbara Vine has written a tour de force, rich in characters and setting, a remarkable novel by an internationally celebrated ...
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Overview

Tim thought he'd gotten away with it. For months after the murder off the Alaskan coast he'd heard not a word. No policeman at his door asking questions. Nothing. And then the letters began. At first they seemed almost innocuous accounts of historical events. But a common theme emerged quickly. It was particulrly germane to Tim, and it related directly to murder. In No Night Is Too Long, Barbara Vine has written a tour de force, rich in characters and setting, a remarkable novel by an internationally celebrated master of her craft. To research the book, the author and her hushand embarked on a boat trip from Seattle up the Alaskan coast. The stark beauty of that experience provides No Night Is Too Long with an extraordinarily vivid sense of place. The novel's exploration of sexual identity and guilt represents a departure for Vine. Its resolution - as always - is a stunning surprise.

Tim Cornish thought he'd gotten away with murder. For months after he'd killed his lover off the Alaskan coast, there hadn't been a word about the murder. But then the letters started to arrive, giving intimate details of the murder. It seems that someone knows what Tim has done. From the author of A Dark Adapted Eye. Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``My life is a dull one,'' says Tim Cornish, narrator of much of this compelling thriller, which delivers such a dark picture of romantic love that murder seems its natural mate. Tim's workaday life in Suffolk as secretary for a cultural organization is mere counterpoint to the hours he spends writing about the affair he had with paleontologist Ivo Steadman. He hopes to rid himself of Ivo's ghost-just as, less than two years earlier when they were on an Alaskan cruise, he rid himself of Ivo by knocking him unconscious and leaving him for dead on an uninhabited island. The two had fought when Tim declared that he had fallen in love with the mysterious Isabel Winwood, whom he had recently met in Juneau. Tim, who had returned to England without contacting Isabel, believed his crime had gone undetected until he began receiving anonymous letters about castaways. Vine (Anna's Book; The House of Stairs), the suspense-writing persona of Ruth Rendell, sets out what seems to be a full, straightforward picture. As the narrative progresses, however, she skillfully reaches back to add a point here or adjust a detail there to create a whole new, equally convincing, image. Another murder and further disclosures take this darkly romantic tale to a credible conclusion. (Jan.)
Library Journal
In this tale of psychological suspense, a man who thinks that he has literally gotten away with murder suddenly begins receiving mysterious letters.
Emily Melton
Ruth Rendell, whether writing under her own name or using her Barbara Vine pseudonym, is one of the great masters of the crime genre. Her stories, which focus on the darkest, deepest recesses of the human soul and psyche and on the astounding spectrum of good and evil found in human nature, are powerful, emotionally affecting, and deeply moving. Tim Cornish is a beautiful young man whose physical attractiveness has allowed him to stay as callow, greedy, and self-centered as a five-year-old. His youthful sexual encounters are unsatisfying until he meets Ivo Steadman, a science professor at the English university where Tim is finishing a creative-writing course. But what for Tim is simply worshipful lust is for Ivo a love affair that changes his life. Long after Tim's ardor has cooled to barely concealed loathing, Ivo's single-minded obsession continues. The two leave England for Alaska, where Ivo has agreed to give a series of science lectures on a tour ship, and it is in the cold, bleak beauty of America's northwestern coast that tragedy inevitably strikes. Vine has produced a powerful, provocative tour de force that will haunt readers long after they have turned the final page. Superb reading that is a must for every mystery collection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451406347
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruth Rendell
Barbara Vine is a pseudonym for Ruth Rendell. Barbara Vine's first novel, A Dark-Adapted Eye, won an Edgar Award, the highest honor of the Mystery Writers of America. A Fatal Inversion won the English equivalent, the Crime Writers' Gold Dagger Award. Her most recent novel, Anna's Book, was published in 1993. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature who holds honorary doctorates from the University of Essex and the University of Bowling, Green, Ohio, she has one grown son and lives with her husband and two cats in a sixteenth-century farmhouse in Suffolk, England.

Biography

From the start of her illustrious career, Ruth Rendell's novels have blurred the distinction between literature and commercial fiction. Although Rendell is classified as a writer of mysteries and crime thrillers, her elegant prose and superb literary skills elevate her far above the conventions of those genres.

Born Ruth Barbara Grasemann in London in 1930, she attended the Loughton County High School for Girls in Essex, then went to work as a features writer for the Essex newspapers. In 1950, she married her boss at the newspaper, journalist Donald Rendell. (They divorced in 1975, remarried two years later, and remained together until his death in 1999.) For the next decade, she juggled marriage, motherhood, and part-time writing. She produced at least two unpublished novels before hitting pay dirt in 1964 with From Doon with Death, the first mystery to feature Chief Inspector Reginald 'Reg' Wexford of the Kingsmarkham Police Force. An immediate bestseller, the book launched Rendell's career and marked the beginning of one of the most successful and enduring series in detective fiction.

In 1965, Rendell published her second novel, a deft crime thriller (with no police presence) entitled To Fear a Painted Devil. For 20 years, she was content to alternate installments in the Wexford series with a steady stream of bestselling standalones that explored darker themes like envy, sexual obsession, and the tragic repercussions of miscommunication. Then, in 1986, she began a third strand of fiction under the name Barbara Vine. The very first of these books, A Dark-Adapted Eye, earned a prestigious Edgar Award.

From the get-go, the pseudonymous Vine novels had a separate DNA, although Rendell has always had difficulty pinpointing the distinction. In an interview with NPR, she tried to explain: "I don't think the Barbara Vines are mysteries in any sense. I must say that. They are different, and that is partly how I decide. The idea would come to me and I would know at once whether it was to be a Barbara Vine or a Ruth Rendell ... The Barbara Vine is much more slowly paced. It is a much more in-depth, searching sort of book; it doesn't necessarily have a murder in it. It's almost always set partly in the past, sometimes quite a long way in the past. And I think all these things come together and make them very different from the Ruth Rendells."

Under both names, Rendell has garnered numerous awards, including three American Edgars and multiple Gold and Silver Daggers from England's distinguished Crime Writers' Association. In 1996, she was made a Commander of the British Empire; and in 1997, a Life Peerage was conferred on her as Baroness Rendell of Babergh. Although, in her own words, she was "slightly stunned" by the peerage, she takes her responsibilities quite seriously, writing in the mornings and attending the House of Lords several afternoons a week.

Praise for Rendell is lavish and seemingly unqualified. John Mortimer once proclaimed that she would surely have won the Booker if she had not been pigeonholed as a "crime writer." Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison has identified Rendell as one of her favorite authors. And Joyce Carol Oates has called her "one of the finest practitioners of the craft in the English-speaking world."

Good To Know

While working as a journalist, Rendell once reported on a local club's annual dinner without actually attending. Her story omitted the crucial fact that the after-dinner speaker had dropped dead at the podium in the middle of his speech! She resigned before being fired.

The pseudonym Barbara Vine derives from the combination of Rendell's middle name and her great-grandmother's maiden name.

"I wouldn't keep my age a secret even if I had the chance," Rendell has said. "But I don't have the chance. Regularly, on February 17, the newspapers tell their readers my age."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Barbara Vine
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 17, 1930
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      Loughton County High School for Girls, Essex

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