As a long time reader and huge admirer of Ruth Rendell's psychological thrillers, I always look forward to her new books, but I am afraid I didn't find this one to be as good as I'd hoped for.
The St Zita Society are a group of servants working in an upmarket London Square - they are quite a diverse group of young and old home helps, drivers, gardeners, au pairs etc. To be honest, the idea of them all coming together (in the little spare time they had) to discuss dog excrement and smoking areas, didn't really work. And to fulfil this Society, there was a huge overload of characters which kept me going back and re-reading to refresh who was who and who worked for who. For me, RR is at her best when she bases her books around a main character with a notorious or colourful past and I hoped that this would be Dex the newly released criminally insane gardener, but he was on the sideline until needed later on.
Still, putting that aside, I started to warm to the book about a quarter of the way through and I felt a glimmer of the magical Rendell writing style breaking through - yes, her writing style is old fashioned, but for me that's the charm of Ruth Rendell and I didn`t mind that at all. Then it all ended rather too neatly and left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed with the whole thing.
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