Books: Dark Journeys Live Flesh

by Ruth Rendell Pantheon; 272 pages; $15.95 A DARK-ADAPTED EYE by Barbara Vine Bantam; 272 pages; $14.95

British Author Ruth Rendell writes two kinds of novels: the continuing adventures of two shrewd and dogged suburban policemen, Wexford and Burden, which delight her fans, and dark journeys into the deranged psyches of outwardly normal people, which fascinate her but sell far fewer copies. The first group fits comfortably into the mystery genre. The second resists pigeonholes. The books feature no heroic detective and no gathering of suspects for a summing up. Sometimes the precise nature of a crime remains known only to the perpetrator. The lure to the reader is not to see justice done but to understand the...

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