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A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine

A Dark-Adapted Eye (1986)

by Barbara Vine

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975348,833 (3.88)59
  1. 10
    Now You See Me by S. J. Bolton (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Not the same, but definitely living in the same neighborhood.
  2. 11
    Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both books are about devoted sisters whose relationship turns sour with deadly results.

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A Dark-Adapted Eye. Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vines. 1986. I guess she wrote under a different name because she knew this wasn’t up to her usual standards. Not that the writing isn’t good. It just dragged on and on, and I was forever getting the characters confused. Faith Severn receives a letter from an author who wants to write a book about her Aunt Vera who murdered her sister, Eden. So Faith contacts various members of her family and recounts the events that led to the murder. There are several shocking and creepy revelations, but ultimately I didn’t care why Vera killed Faith. I usually like to meander through Rendell’s books so this one was a disappointment. But I bet die-hard Rendell fans loved this book. I prefer P. D. James. ( )
  judithrs | Jul 20, 2017 |
This is the first mystery which I read. Around 1987. I'm re-reading it again this week. All the qualities of a good Simenon are found here.I followed it, happily, and by chance, with The Tree of Hands.
  PavelGromnic | Apr 10, 2017 |
Read with my Kindle Unlimited free trial

Dark, dense, thorny, repressed, slightly obscure, and all-around fucked up with some highly unlikable, yet still curiously human, characters. ( )
  moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
The story that introduced me to my favorite author. I saw a PBS adaptation of this book one Sunday night over a winter break during college. I was riveted for 3 hours, ignoring phone calls & putting off the bathroom. The next day, I was in my college library looking for all Ruth Rendell books I could find. And I still devour her books as soon as I can. I've even bought them off the UK & Canadian Amazons, because they're published there first. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
Deceptively transparent tale of a family caught having to deal with an aunt who would murder. We know from page one that she is the perpetrator, but the crux of the book focuses on the motive. And motive always makes for an inordinate number of potential facets, subplots and digressions. A subtle psychological mystery from an ostensibly neutral narrator. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
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Dark adaptation: a condition of vision brought about progressively by remaining in complete darkness for a considerable period, and characterized by progressive increase in retinal sensitivity. A dark-adapted eye is an eye in which dark adaptation has taken place. James Drever, A Dictionary of Psychology.
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On the morning Vera died I woke up very early.
Jamie had a job in a bar between leaving school and going to Bologna ... the day after he started, an American came in and asked for a dry martini. Jamie hadn't the faintest idea how to make it but he knew Martini was vermouth so he did his best. In a little while the American brought it back to him and asked if he had put any gin in it. "Certainly not!" Jamie said, quite indignant.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140086366, Paperback)

Like most families they had their secrets. And they hid them under a genteelly respectable veneer. No onlooker would guess that prim Vera Hillyard and her beautiful, adored younger sister, Eden, were locked in a dark and bitter combat over one of those secrets. England in the fifties was not kind to women who erred, so they had to use every means necessary to keep the truth hidden behind closed doors, even murder. 'A rich, complex and beautifully crafted novel' - P. D. James.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:24 -0400)

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An inquiring journalist prompts Faith to reexamine her family history, which includes her Aunt Vera who was hanged for murder three decades ago.

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