The Girl Next Door (Rendell novel)

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First edition (publ. Hutchinson)

The Girl Next Door is a novel by British crime writer Ruth Rendell published in 2014. It was the last of her novels published in her lifetime.[1]

Plot and characters[edit]

During World War II, a group of children in Loughton, Essex, United Kingdom,which is where Rendell herself grew up, play in tunnels (in reality, the foundations of an uncompleted house) they discovered under a hill. In the present day they are re-united after the discovery of two hands in a tin box when the tunnels are dug up for construction work.[2] The novel deals frankly with changes and interrelationships of the characters and social changes generally, over seven decades.

Critical reception[edit]

In a review in The Observer, it was noted that instead of focusing on the crime, the novel dealt with the lives of the now elderly people in the present.[3]

In Marilyn Stasio's review for the New York Times the novel's effective use of a split time frame was noted.[4]


  1. ^ Jake Kerridge (2 May 2015). "The best of Ruth Rendell: 10 to read, watch and listen to". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  2. ^ Jane Jakeman (7 August 2014). "The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell, book review: Author's latest mystery doesn't shy away from uncomfortable subject matter". The Independent. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  3. ^ Hazelton, Claire (14 September 2014). "The Girl Next Door review – Ruth Rendell's acute investigation of old age". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  4. ^