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Download The Girl Next Door: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Girl Next Door: A Novel, by Ruth Rendell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ruth Rendell Narrator: Ric Jerrom Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this psychologically explosive novel from Ruth Rendell, the discovery of bones in a tin box sends shock waves across a group of longtime friends.

In the waning months of the second World War, a group of children discover an earthen tunnel in their neighborhood outside London. Throughout the summer of 1944—until one father forbids it—the subterranean space becomes their “secret garden” where the friends play games and tell stories.

Six decades later beneath a house on the same land, construction workers uncover a tin box containing two skeletal hands, one male and one female. As the discovery makes national news, the friends come together once again to recall their days in the tunnel for the detective investigating the case. Is the truth buried among these aging friends and their memories? 

This impromptu reunion causes long-simmering feelings to bubble to the surface. Alan, stuck in a passionless marriage, begins flirting with Daphne, a glamorous widow. Michael considers contacting his estranged father, who sent him to live with an aunt after his mother vanished in 1944. Lewis begins remembering details about his uncle James, an army private who once accompanied the children into the tunnels and who later disappeared.

In The Girl Next Door, Rendell brilliantly shatters assumptions about age by showing that the choices people make—and the emotions behind them—remain as potent in late life as they were in youth.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Refined, probing, and intelligent….The book is never less than a pleasure.”

    USA Today

  • “Grim, grotesque and yet strangely beautiful…Rendell makes clever work of a split time frame to transport her characters from the past to the present and back again. But her best, most idiosyncratic study is her portrait of the villain of the piece, a wicked man in his youth and an absolute devil in his dotage, determined to live to be 100 out of pure spite.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[Rendell] has always been at her heart-stopping best when she pushes the reader out of the comfort zone with her stand-alone psychological thrillers…The Girl Next Door is vintage Rendell and a perfect celebration of her half-century…This novel reminded me of the singularity of Ruth Rendell’s talent, her effortless mastery of language, and her uncanny genius for mapping a criminal mind.”

    Times (London)

  • “This book is extraordinarily courageous, a demonstration that fiction can take us where reportage dares not go.”

    Independent (London)

  • “What I love about the prolific Rendell is her adherence to the elegant traditions of British mysteries without ignoring modern life.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “The characters jump off the page. The page-to-page surprises are so clever that the reader is left agape at each twist and turn. The pieces fit together brilliantly.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “[Rendell] creates another riveting story with her sharp characterizations and keen sense of irony that will keep readers engaged from start to finish. Fans of psychological suspense, along with Rendell’s loyal following, will love this complex story.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Using her customary spare yet decorous style and measured pace, Rendell, now in her 80s, beautifully and carefully individualizes each member of her ensemble cast, at the same time creating not a grim reminder of mortality but a picture of moribund lives renewed. A special book by a special writer.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “In this assured novel of psychological suspense from Diamond Dagger Award–winner Rendell, a gruesome discovery jolts a group of friends and acquaintances who grew up outside London during WWII…Rendell keeps the plot and the home fires burning.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Rendell’s sociopath proves to be neither the centerpiece of this mystery nor of Ric Jerrom’s narration. Nonetheless, Jerrom’s portrayal of Rendell’s narcissistic killer is indeed chilling, but the greater challenge—and his best portrait—is that of prim Rosemary, who stumbles from complacency into her own murderous state as the seemingly rock-solid footing of her life pitches unexpectedly. Ostensibly, the mystery is that of sixty-year-old double murder. But the greater questions are posed by senior citizens who wonder: ‘How did I come to this point in my life, and is this how it continues until the (no longer distant) end?’ Jerrom’s thoughtful narration gets us convincingly inside their minds.”


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