Hi. What's up? We've had a little bit of drama here this week, involving an evening-turned-into-night trip to the ER for my husband. He's fine now, but had food stuck in his esophagus. Yes, ick. Yes, I tell him to take smaller bites. Situations like this make it difficult to not have any family nearby, I mean, I don't have anyone to watch my child at 11 pm. Or 1 am. So the evening involved me bringing her home to sleep for a bit, then waking her up and dragging her 50+ pound body back out to the car to pick up Daddy. Who was supposed to be ready. But it took another hour to discharge him by which time the poor child was begging me to take her home. I finally got them into bed around 2 am and all that adrenalin resulted in around 3 hours of sleep for me Tuesday night from which I am still recovering. Ugh. What else? Did you see Lost last night? How great was that? I'm still pondering what it all means. And I'm getting ready to go to an out-of-town wedding for the weekend. So, lots going on around here.
I finished my first Ruth Rendell book during the read-a-thon. I've been reading her books written as Barabara Vine for some time now but this is my first dip into the Ruth Rendell waters. I purposefully chose something that sounded similar to her Vine books, and it definitely was. Similar, that is. Like the Vine books, this focused on the why rather than the who, but unlike the Vine books I've read, this incorporated into the novel the police procedural piece of solving the crime.
The book I'm talking about is A Judgement in Stone and is satisfyingly creepy and suspenseful. Amazing, in a sense that it could be suspenseful since the book begins with this sentence:
Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write.
I, mean, this is not a spoiler, this is it. This is the who-done-it, the who-was-it-done-to and the why-done-it right there, line one. So why keep reading? Because Ruth Rendell is writing, that's why. The Coverdales are a well-do-family living in a small English Village. I'm not certain of the time period, but since this was written in 1977 and there's talk of an expensive cassette tape recorder, the 70s sounds about right. Jacqueling Coverdale is having a difficult time caring for her large home and is thrilled when she employs Eunich Parchman as a maid. Eunice is pretty thrilled too, since there is a TV in her new accommodations and she loves those murder shows. But, aside from being illiterate, Eunice is a damaged soul, she is almost inhuman. Things don't go quite as Eunice plans, and the relationship between herself and another villager seals everyone's fate when the entire Coverdale family is killed in the course of 15 minutes on the evening of Valentine's day.
I can tell you that much, but little else. It's much too good to discover it yourself. I can tell you Rendell is brilliant here. Rendell's voice is that of the omniscient narrator who knows what pushes Eunice's buttons, who knows that this is the last day for the Coverdales. A Judgement in Stone is creepy, darkly comedic at times, bone chilling, utterly divine. I loved it.