Master of the Moor

Rating: 5 out of 5.
master of the moor book cover
Ruth Rendell 1982

Ruth Rendell wrote mysteries like poetry. Maybe it’s because she grew up speaking English, Swedish, and Danish – but her spare, lyrical prose is a delight.

One man’s love of the moor on which he grew up is explored in detail as Ms. Rendell excavates what lies below the surface, both literally and figuratively. Master of the Moor is a murder mystery, yes – but it’s also a character study. As such, the book, with its brooding tone, is not an edge-of-your-seat thriller. It is quietly compelling, though, and it has one surprising twist. It’s intense, but relatively short.

By the way, this book was televised in 1994, starring Colin Firth – a great casting job. You can find the Ruth Rendell Mysteries on BritBox, and this story makes up the first few episodes. Be warned, though; the televised version is not true to the book, so you might want to read the book, which has more nuance, first.