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Ruth Rendell

The Bridesmaid

Hutchinson 1989
Jacket design Peter Williams

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Ruth Rendell

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Violent death fascinates people. It upset Philip. He had a phobia about it. Or that was what he called it to himself sometimes, a phobia for murder and all forms of killing, the wanton destruction of life in war and its senseless destruction in accidents. Violence was repellent, in reality, on the screen, in books. He had felt like this for years, since he was a small child and other children pointed toy guns and played at death. When it had begun or what began it he didn't know. A curious thing was that he wasn't cowardly or squeamish, he was no more nor less frightened by it than anyone else. It was rather that unnatural death neither entertained him nor exercised a ghoulish attraction. His reaction was to shy away from it in whatever form it might be presented to him. He knew this was unusual. He hid his phobia, or tried to hide it-

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