By: Ruth Rendell

Published: 2010

# of pages: 290

Official description:

Ruth Rendell is widely considered to be crime fiction’s reigning queen, with a remarkable career spanning more than forty years. Now, in Portobello,she delivers a captivating and intricate tale that weaves together the troubled lives of several people in the gentrified neighborhood of London’s Notting Hill.Walking to the shops one day, fifty-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction—and his own good intentions—Wren hatches a plan to find the money’s rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners—people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs. As these volatile characters come into Wren’s life—and the life of his trusting fiancĂ©e—the consequences will change them all.

Portobello is a wonderfully complex tour de force featuring a dazzling depiction of one of London’s most intriguing neighborhoods—and the dangers beneath its newly posh veneer.

My opinion: I found this book on the crime/suspense display at the library and decided to give it a try. I usually don't pick up random books. Since I don't have much time to read, each book is carefully picked and usually recommended by someone before I dive in. So this is the first time I've just randomly picked up a book in a long time. And I'm glad I did, it was something new for me that I wouldn't have experienced otherwise.

Maybe it's because I saw Stephen King's recommendation on the cover, but I could not get it out of my head that this was similar to the 2 King novels I've read in the past. Just the description of the characters and how many of them are slightly exaggerated stereotypes. Or almost comically contradictory. Portobello's cast of characters includes a man who is a slave to his addiction (the object of his addiction is funny, but obviously addiction is never really funny), a crazy schizo, a "low life" who works hard to not work, another "low life" who ends up having the best values out of anyone in the book, and a religious man who thinks of himself as the most upright person in the book although he's actually the worst.

Portobello is by no means my favorite, but it was entertaining and even a little creepy at times. I recommend to fans of Rendell and psychological plots.

Why I gave this book 3/5 stars: Interesting characters, neat plot that all ties together in the end, a little disturbing, hard to really sympathize with the characters

Other reviews:

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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1 comment:

Cozy in Texas said...

I haven't heard of this book - thanks for the review.

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