Adam and Eve and Pinch Me, Ruth Rendell

On with the reading of books by Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine to decide what I indeed think of her!

Adam and Eve and Pinch Me – of whose title, incidentally, I simply cannot approve – is all about a caddish man called Jeffrey John Leach, who is wickedly assuming false names and seducing women so that they will give him money, and then he ups and vanishes, leaving them a bit in the lurch.  He has done just this to two of the three central characters here – crazy Minty Knox who has OCD and hears voices, and opportunist Zillah Leach who is now about to enter into a marriage of convenience with a childhood friend and queer MP – while carrying on an affair with a woman called Fiona, whose married neighbors don’t much care for him.

This book was interesting, and I read it straight through in one go, though more because I want to return it to the library when I go at two than because it was so frightfully gripping.  Everyone was just so unpleasant, it was difficult to care at all what happened to anybody.  I was pleased Michelle and Matthew ended up happy, although less pleased than I would have been before Michelle started getting all hysterical (why do Ruth Rendell’s women all go to pieces every time something goes wrong?).  But Zillah was awful, Fiona was neurotic, and Minty Knox with all her craziness just didn’t ring true for me.  So oh well.  On to the next.