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The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell
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The Crocodile Bird (original 1993; edition 2010)

by Ruth Rendell (Author)

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7771820,504 (3.84)52
In The Crocodile Bird, Ruth Rendell weaves a mesmerizing story of the obsessive love between a mother and a daughter and its connection to a series of deaths near a remote English manor, magnificent in its hilltop isolation. Liza lived in the gatekeeper's cottage at Shrove House until the day the police took her mother away forever. Liza, who has grown up completely sheltered from the outside world, finds refuge with a young drifter. Each night she tells him a little more about her life: her mother's obsession with Shrove House and her mysterious claim to it, her mother's aversion to the modern world and her fierce desire to shelter Liza from its depredations. And, finally, Liza tells him of the men who came to Shrove House and never left alive.… (more)
Member:hanina2
Title:The Crocodile Bird
Authors:Ruth Rendell (Author)
Info:Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (2010), 370 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell (1993)

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» See also 52 mentions

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Wow. Rendell really knows how to create characters that are, to say the least, disturbing. She also knows how to draw us in, bit by bit, revealing one secret after another, creating layers upon layers of personality.

WHat an absolute delight this book is. I have one warning, though: once you begin you may have trouble putting it down. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
Creepy, creepy but ends in a believable way.
  TanyaRead | Jun 3, 2018 |
Well, this is how it's done. A cracking good story, well told. 16-year-old Liza knows next to nothing about the world outside Shrove, the estate she's grown up on, with only her mother Eve for companionship. Eve has educated her well, within bounds that do not stretch far into the 20th century. Liza does not know about television, understands little of math or science (beyond the natural world), and her concept of society is formed by reading mainly 19th century novels. Yet she is fluent in Latin, knows much of Shakespeare by heart, and has seen her mother shoot a man. The older she gets, the more the modern world seeps into her consciousness, despite all her mother can do to keep it out. This is mighty good stuff, with hints of Jane Eyre, Shirley Jackson, Scheherazade, and Blue Beard. I wanted to read it to the exclusion of everything else I was meant to be doing. I thought I saw the end coming, and I was wrong. Damned near 5 stars.
Review written October 2014 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Mar 29, 2018 |
The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell; (4*); Kindle; Brit lit; fiction; mother-daughter relationships; mystery; suspense; (1993)

Liza tells her story over several nights and in the process finds salvation. After the police question her mother about the death of the owner of Shrove House, 16-year-old Liza runs away with Sean, the young gardener. It is to him, over the course of 101 nights, that Liza gradually reveals her strange upbringing. She lived alone with her mother in the gatehouse of the estate. She was schooled by her mother and isolated from all society except the mailman, groundskeeper and the few men whom her mother admits into their lives.
Liza learns early that others may have something to fear from her mother but that she does not. Credibility never flags as Edgar Award winning Rendell reveals the specifics of Liza's increasing contact with the world. She creats suspense in the gradually shared details of Liza's mother's intense attachment to the estate and of her determination to protect Liza from the outside world.
This was a page-turner for me. And I would like to find more of Rendell's writings. I really liked this one. ( )
  rainpebble | Mar 25, 2017 |
Review: The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell.

Ruth Rendell is an English writer with a story that anticipates every excursion into the shadows of psychological human suspense. The novel relates a chilling and powerful consequence of human behavior. Also, how possessiveness takes over and can destroy the bonds of self-worth.

The story weaves a captivating series of events of a mother’s love for her daughter. Eve’s unfortunate past collision with an evil undertaking made her over-protect her daughter Lisa, from the unethical and dangerous world she inhabited. Lisa finds herself alone most of the time. She is home schooled in a remote countryside cottage, kept away from television and radio’s, with no friends of her own and a healthy growing mind that wanted to know what was outside her little isolated world.

As Lisa gets older she starts to understand the strange activities that happened around her mothers disappearing suitors, and her mothers unreasoning behavior. Lisa also found out how a television civilizes the meaning of true living….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
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Ruth Rendellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Terzi, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Für Don, Simon, Donna und Philip
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The world began to fall apart at nine in the evening.
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In The Crocodile Bird, Ruth Rendell weaves a mesmerizing story of the obsessive love between a mother and a daughter and its connection to a series of deaths near a remote English manor, magnificent in its hilltop isolation. Liza lived in the gatekeeper's cottage at Shrove House until the day the police took her mother away forever. Liza, who has grown up completely sheltered from the outside world, finds refuge with a young drifter. Each night she tells him a little more about her life: her mother's obsession with Shrove House and her mysterious claim to it, her mother's aversion to the modern world and her fierce desire to shelter Liza from its depredations. And, finally, Liza tells him of the men who came to Shrove House and never left alive.

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