I began Vanity Dies Hard with the working hypothesis that Ruth Rendell was infallibly brilliant, and that even if her books were not as emotionally satisfying as Anna’s Book, they would always have satisfying and elegant plots like Anna’s Book did. I was most disappointed. Vanity Dies Hard had an ending that was the biggest let-down since the ending of The Machinist. (Did you see The Machinist? I already didn’t like Christian Bale, but my God, even for a movie containing Christian Bale, The Machinist was awful.)
Anyway, I had to create a new hypothesis based on my new data. My new hypothesis was that Barbara Vine was good but Ruth Rendell was awful rubbish and not worth reading. I am much with the scientific method, so I swiftly fetched the more appealing of the other two books of hers that I had. Because I am trying to read her books least good to most good, which I’m hoping in this case means earliest to latest, but the library only had one of the early books in large-print, so I checked it out, but I hate large-print. Thus I read the one that I grabbed randomly because of the title. And I liked it rather better.