This is the first book that I have read by Ruth Rendell. I was attracted to the book due to the dynamic writing since the point of view would be with different characters. It seemed like a dark comedy and a murder mystery to boot.
Getting into the book was another matter. The main character for the book was Stuart Font, who was having an affair with a married woman named Claudia. Her husband, Freddy, wasn’t happy about this. He had her followed by a detective and he even bugged the computer where she was contacting Stuart by e-mail.
This lead to a violent confrontation at a party that Stuart was holding. At the party were a variety of characters ranging from an alchollic, a hippie, and other types of characters, most of them with no redeeming values. An example would be Sophie, who took advantage of an alcoholic named Olwen by stealing money from her ATM card without her knowing.
Much of the book was focused on Stuart, which included his obsession with an Asian woman named Xue, who lived near one of his other friends named Duncan. She took care of flowers along with other people, thus naming this book Tigerlilly’s Orchards.
Yes, there was a murder involved but that happened three quarters of the way into the book. Even though the book was 257 pages, reading it felt like it was a lot longer. The story was character driven at a very slow pace, much of it due to the fact that all the characters had some sort of side story that weighed the book down.
The murder was a surprise and I was even more surprised by who the killer was because I didn’t see any clues that led towards that person. Maybe it was the slow pace of the story and the fact aht you had to follow all the side stories that the characters had throughout the story.
The last quarter of the book brought the story together but I really did not enjoy this book. I’d still like to try other stories by Ruth Rendell but I can only give this book two stars.