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The Keys to the Street    by Ruth Rendell order for
Keys to the Street
by Ruth Rendell
Order:  USA  Can
Dell, 1997 (1996)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Ruth Rendell is a revered name in the hearts of mystery and suspense lovers. In The Keys to the Street, she has brought another gem to her legion of fans.

Mary Jago has performed a generous act by donating bone marrow to a dying leukemia patient whom she has never met. At the same time, she has come to the conclusion that her romantic life is really nothing but abuse so she severs ties with Alastair. House and dog sitting brings her to the edge of London's Regent Park, where homeless men (dossers to Anglophiles) are being murdered. Now things get dicey. Mary meets the recipient of her bone marrow and her life takes a distinct turn. For the worse?

Ruth Rendell writes with conviction about the worlds she creates. The settings become as familiar as her characters. Her plots are like a giant stew where ingredients are carefully ladled out murder, illness, the homeless, suspense, horror, drugs, grief, wealth and poverty, with a smidgen of romance to sweeten the pot. In equal proportions, these produce a captivating and tasty tale.

Rendell's characters could be people that you or I know. They are lifelike although only existing in the printed word. Though any book of Rendell's is worth reading, I especially recommend The Keys to the Street to you.

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