We know from the first line of Ruth Rendell’s A Judgement In Stone who did the crime. Eunice Parchman killed the Cloverdale family. We know from the second line of the compelling book the reason why she did it. But, that reason is far more complicated than described. Yet, at the same time, it truly is as simple as described.
What happened at Lowfield Hall, the Cloverdale home located ten miles outside the small village of Stantwich, is fairly clear. Why it happened at the manor home is as complicated as the layers of an onion. If one little thing had been done differently the crime could have been stopped in so many ways. Yet, it wasn’t as events and quite possible fate itself made sure of the crime.
A Judgement In Stone is not a classic mystery. Readers know from the start the crime, the guilty party, and the stated motivation. Instead, the read is a very complicated character study. Not just of the killer Eugene Parchman, but everyone in the book. Her accomplice who is clearly insane by the time of the brutal killings, the victims known as the Cloverdales, as well as the people of the local town, and many others.
Every crime leaves a wake of eek of wreckage in its wake. That wake of wreckage in all its parts– big and small– is what the very good A Judgement In Stone by Ruth Rendell is all about from start to finish.
My thanks to Barry Ergang who provided an e-book version for me to read and review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2016