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Vanity Dies Hard by Ruth Rendell
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Vanity Dies Hard (1966)

by Ruth Rendell

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Alice is very happy in her new marriage, although she is very conscious of the fact that, at 38, she is 9 years older than her husband. A very wealthy woman, Alice becomes worried when she is unable to contact a younger, more glamorous friend; she finds her attempts to locate the young woman thwarted time and time again, not least because she suddenly finds herself quite unwell, a new situation for this woman who has always been completely healthy. As time passes and the mystery of her friend’s disappearance deepens, she begins to wonder if her younger, very handsome husband might somehow be involved…."Vanity Dies Hard" is, I think, only Ruth Rendell’s third novel, and the reader can sense the way she is becoming more assured at handling her characters and, especially, their interactions. I figured out the solution to Alice’s situation quite early on, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the way the author took the reader through to the end. It’s odd to think that this book, published in 1966, is some 50 years old; our current world is utterly changed from the one she describes! Quite enjoyable. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Jan 29, 2017 |
Alice Whittaker is sure that something dreadful has happened to her friend Nesta, from whom she hasn’t heard in a while. Her search leads her to suspect her much-younger husband, and at times her brother and uncle. An enjoyable little book (fewer than 200 pages), and one of Rendell’s earlier works. ( )
  MiserableLibrarian | Dec 31, 2007 |
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Rendell, Ruthprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boncompagni, MauroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345349520, Mass Market Paperback)

Wealthy Alice Whittaker -- now Alice Fielding -- is known for her generosity, and when her friend Nesta vanishes Alice is determined to find her and help her. If that means money, well, Alice has plenty of it.

Then Alice starts to feel sick -- a virus perhaps, something she just can't shake. Her handsome husband, who is ten years younger than she is, seems determined to keep her at home. Does he just want her to feel better? Or is he trying to keep her from finding Nesta?

Ill though she is, Alice can't help asking questions. And the more she learns about Nesta's disappearance, the more certain she becomes that her own life is in peril....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Who would have believed that Alice Whittaker's life could change? She was thirty-seven, rich but dowdy, with no career. Her friend Nesta, suddenly vanished from her life just as Andrew came into it, but behind confused clues and unanswered questions anything was possible, even murder.… (more)

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