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The Water’s Lovely

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The Water’s Lovely is classic Ruth Rendell and is available at 11 euros.

Weeks went by when Ismay never thought of it at all. Then something would bring it back or it would return in a dream. The dream began in the same way. She and her mother would be climbing the stairs and walk into a chamber with a glassy lake in the middle. The white thing in the water floats towards her, its face submerged, and her mother says: “Don’t look!”’ The dead man is Ismay’s stepfather, Guy.

Nine years on, she and her sister, Heather, still live in the same house in Clapham but it has been divided into two flats and their mother lives upstairs with their other sister, Pamela. The bathroom, where Guy had drowned, has been demolished.

The sisters get on well and they never discussed the changes to the house and never spoke about Guy’s death. But lives as private as these, where secrets hang in the air like dust, intertwine with other worlds and other individuals.