HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A judgement in stone by Ruth Rendell
Loading...

A judgement in stone (original 1977; edition 2000)

by Ruth Rendell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6241115,571 (3.99)29
Member:jillmwo
Title:A judgement in stone
Authors:Ruth Rendell
Info:New York : Vintage Books, 2000.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:mystery, thriller

Work details

A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell (1977)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 29 mentions

English (8)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Jacqueline and George are each in their second marriages; his first wife died, her husband deserted her. They are both very happy, and George, wealthy owner of a factory, has purchased a huge Victorian home that is just too large for Jacqueline to manage. Most of the children have left home except for Giles, Jacqueline’s son by her first marriage, a brilliant troubled eccentric, brilliant who hates living in the country, and Melinda, George’s youngest daughter, whom Giles has an incestuous passion for, envisioning her as the wasted tubercular love of his life. In order to lighten Jacqueline’s workload, George decides to hire a housekeeper, and Jacqueline is delighted to discover Eunice Parchman, who even addresses her as “madam.” Eunice, who fudges her references, turns out to be the ideal housekeeper with one exception: she cannot read, and it is this little detail that leads her to eventually kill the entire family. Not that they didn’t try to make her happy. Eunice had her own bedroom and the old telly, and a well-sprung bed; after all, they wanted her to be content and to stay. But they never considered her as a person. They knew nothing of her background, never asked, and if they had, they probably would not have believed it. That she could have attended school without having become literate and learned to love opera. Heavens! Ironically, it’s Melinda’s attempt to learn the truth that initiates the catastrophe. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Ruth Rendell is such a good writer that she can reveal the plot ending and you still want to read the book just to find out how it all comes together. This was one of her best ones (and I've read many) - almost lyrically written and the family so lovingly drawn that I kept thinking there was no way she was going to kill them off. A great study of psychopathy fueled by illiteracy. ( )
  dihiba | Mar 9, 2013 |
How does conflict within relationships build up to the point of murder? This is the question that Ruth Rendell seeks to answer. Eunice Parchman joins the Coverdale household as a housekeeper and ends by killing her employer and relatives. But how can such a thing happen when Eunice appears to be so bland and self-effacing? The strength of this tale is the narrative built through careful description of incorrect assumptions about a person and the unfortunate misunderstandings that follow. Excellent writing supports a story that tells you in the first fifty pages the bare facts of the crime and the secret Eunice harbors, but then another 200 pages outlines how the conflict built to the point of a massacre. Almost no blood and guts on the page, but not by any means a cozy read. Marvelous early work by Ruth Rendell! ( )
  jillmwo | Apr 10, 2011 |
This was a real page turner. Even though the murder and the motive was revealed in the first sentence it was impossible to put this down. Once again Ruth Rendell has created a world that draws the reader in and has them living the lives of the characters. The writing and character creations are inspirational. This has confirmed Ruth Rendell (also writing as Barbara Vine) as on of my all time favourinte authors. ( )
  curlycurrie | Apr 2, 2011 |
This is probably one of the best suspense novels I have read. By the end of the first sentence the reader knows who is the murderer, who is murdered, and a motive. The story of how the events unfold is truly fascinating. The Coverdales hire Eunice Parchman to be their housecleaner. Eunice has a dark past and a secret that she is determined to keep, her illiteracy. The Coverdales are an upper-middle class family that enjoys the arts and literature. Eunice is uncomfortable by their constant reliance on the written word and is fearful of having to demonstrate her reading ability. Eunice befriends a zealot of a religious sect who teetered on emotional instability. This friendship leads to further discomfort with the Coverdales. I was constantly waiting for the big event that tips the scales and found myself on the edge of my seat while reading.

The characters are original and intriguing. The Coverdales are both pompous, but likable, and their relationship with Eunice and others makes them at times cold, but understandable. Eunice is a character I both sympathized for, but feared. Her lack of emotion and constant fear made her pathetic and dangerous all at once. The relationships between the characters and the events that took place engulfed me. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a suspense filled novel. ( )
2 vote goose114 | Aug 16, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ruth Rendellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buccianti, RosalbaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Gerald Austin, with love
First words
Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375704965, Paperback)

What on earth could have provoked a modern day St. Valentine's Day massacre?

On Valentine's Day, four members of the Coverdale family--George, Jacqueline, Melinda and Giles--were murdered in the space of 15 minutes. Their housekeeper, Eunice Parchman, shot them, one by one, in the blue light of a televised performance of Don Giovanni. When Detective Chief Superintendent William Vetch arrests Miss Parchman two weeks later, he discovers a second tragedy: the key to the Valentine's Day massacre hidden within a private humiliation Eunice Parchman has guarded all her life.  A brilliant rendering of character, motive, and the heady discovery of truth, A Judgement in Stone is among Ruth Rendell's finest psychological thrillers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:03 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

What on earth could have provoked a modern day St. Valentine's Day massacre? On Valentine's Day, four members of the Coverdale family--George, Jacqueline, Melinda and Giles--were murdered in the space of 15 minutes. Their housekeeper, Eunice Parchman, shot them, one by one, in the blue light of a televised performance of Don GiovanniA Judgement in Stone From the Trade Paperback edition.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
23 avail.
8 wanted
3 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.99)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 4
2.5 1
3 29
3.5 10
4 56
4.5 12
5 41

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,771,966 books! | Top bar: Always visible