The Keys to the Street by Ruth Rendell

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Synopsis

Set in and around London's Regent's Park, where the city's wealthiest, poorest, kindest, and most vicious citizens all cross paths, The Keys to the Street tells of the deadly thanks a young woman risks receiving in return for an act of selfless generosity.

"Is it true that we dislike those who have done us a service?" asks Mary Jago's grandmother. One of many questions about the best and worst of human nature, it is one with an answer Mary will discover for herself as a consequence of donating her own bone marrow to save the life of a young man she doesn't know....

"It's us he's after," says Dill, "our sort." Dill's sort are the homeless who seek refuge in the park, whose corpses have lately been turning up impaled on the spiked railings that surround it....

Mary is not their sort at all and would under ordinary circumstances be separated from such horror by social barriers stronger than iron bars. But she has performed a bold act, and the circumstances of her life are now extraordinary -- she is receptive to previously undreamed of happiness, and vulnerable to the darkest grief.


From the Trade Paperback 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 7, 2011 by Crown. 402 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Religion & Spirituality, Biographies & Memoirs, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Keys to the Street

Kirkus Reviews

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Like Rendell's last Chief Inspector Wexford mystery (Simisola, 1995), this poignant tale shows the author at her most extroverted: Under her tireless probing, every social class that Regent's Park brings together turns out to be equally pathological.

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The Guardian

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I was living very close to Regent's Park, in the mews of the Cornwall Terrace, and I used to go out into the park very early in the morning in the summer when the only people about were the street sleepers and the dog walkers.

Feb 24 2007 | Read Full Review of The Keys to the Street

The Guardian

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Ruth Rendell's The Keys to the Street confines its characters to a locale: "the Park" and its surrounding streets.

Feb 10 2007 | Read Full Review of The Keys to the Street

The Guardian

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The detective who arrives to question Mary after Bean is found dead tells her that his killer was not the man who has murdered the novel's other victims.

Feb 17 2007 | Read Full Review of The Keys to the Street

Publishers Weekly

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While she does notice Bean, the strange little man who works as a dog walker and behaves like a ``superior upper servant'' in an old film, and she cheerfully finds kind words for Roman Ashton, one of the area's many ``dossers,'' or street people, Mary little suspects how complex their histories a...

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