A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendell

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A Sight for Sore Eyes tells three stories, and for the longest time, the reader has no inkling of how they will come together. The first is a story of a little girl who has been scolded and sent to her room when her mother is brutally murdered; as Francine grows up, she is haunted by the experience, and it is years before she even speaks. Secondly, we become privy to the life of a young man, Teddy, born of unthinking young parents, who grows up almost completely ignored. Free of societal mores, he becomes a sociopath, who eventually discovers that killing can be an effective way to get what he wants.  Thirdly, we meet Harriet, who from an early age has learned to use her beauty to make her way in the world. Bored by marriage to a wealthy, much older man, she scans the local newspapers for handymen to perform odd jobs around the house, including services in the bedroom.

When these three plots strands finally converge, the result is harrowing and unforgettable. A Sight for Sore Eyes is not just the work of a writer at the peak of her craft. It is an extraordinary story by a writer who, after 45 books, countless awards, and decades of international acclaim, is still getting better with every book.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Ruth Rendell

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Ruth Rendell has won three Edgar Awards, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, four Gold Daggers, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writer’s Association. Her remarkable career has spanned more than forty years, with more than sixty books published. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.
Published September 14, 2011 by Dell. 385 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

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But Teddy, an unloved child whose scary lack of nurturing has led him to prize beautiful things above people, is less interested in Harriet than in her house—or in Francine Hill, a fairy princess with a secret that, if he only knew it, makes her perfect for Teddy’s frighteningly abrupt style of c...

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Publishers Weekly

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A pair of English teens, Teddy and Francine (who have grown up in dysfunctional families where common parenting faults are taken to extremes), meet and think that in each other they might find the beauty and freedom their own lives are lacking.

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Entertainment Weekly

B+ Originally posted Apr 23, 1999 Published in issue #482 Apr 23, 1999 Order article reprints

Apr 23 1999 | Read Full Review of A Sight for Sore Eyes


In retrospect the reader might feel frustrated that the fourth and most recent victim should receive so much more attention than the other three but then, turning to A Sight for Sore Eyes (the non-Wexford) there is a burgeoning sense of excitement as we learn that Wexford’s assumptions concerning...

Aug 04 2011 | Read Full Review of A Sight for Sore Eyes

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