A Fatal Inversion

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A Fatal Inversion
First edition (UK)
Author Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell)
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Crime / Mystery novel
Publisher Viking (UK)
Bantam (US)
Publication date
March 1987
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 336 pp
ISBN 0-670-80977-2
OCLC 23838424
Preceded by A Dark-adapted Eye
Followed by The House of Stairs

A Fatal Inversion is a 1987 novel by Ruth Rendell, written under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. The novel won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger in that year and, in 1987, was also shortlisted for the Dagger of Daggers, a special award to select the best Gold Dagger winner of the award's 50-year history.

Plot summary[edit]

In the hot summer of 1976, a group of young people are camping in Wyvis Hall. Ten years later, the bodies of a woman and child are discovered in the Hall's animal cemetery. Which woman? Whose child?


The BBC adapted the novel for television in 1992. The series starred Jeremy Northam and Douglas Hodge.[1]