2012: 47. Master of the Moors


"It was the first dead body he had ever seen."

Master of the Moor, Ruth Rendell

This is Rendell is so obscure that I couldn't find a picture of Amazon! Yikes - that's a random book.  This is one of her older books, and you can see why it hasn't been reprinted.  It's set on the moors, and it does that sort of Yorkshire-y Wuthering Heights thing, in that there are big accents and strange characters, but it doesn't go so far as to be crazy dramatic, just a couple of odd moors-y folks mixed in with the regular people.  It's about Stephen Walby, who lives near the moor and is obsessed with it - considers it his own special place.  So when he stumbles upon a dead body, he of course takes an interest - too bad the police can't understand that he's just concerned about his special place - or is he?  The underlying idea isn't bad, but the characters just didn't work for me.  The personal relationships between Stephen, his wife, his weird father, the mother who left him, his mothers extended family - especially his grandmother - none of them worked for me.  Now, the subplot about SPOILER his wife deciding to leave him, that made sense.  He was a freak, she had been a sheltered village girl, she found something better and more normal.  All that made sense.  But the stuff about his family didn't work for me, which made the SPOILER solution to the mystery both obvious and unsatisfying.  Not one of her best.

Categories:  Fiction, Library Book, Ruth Rendell Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017