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Ruth Rendell

Kissing the Gunner's Daughter

Hutchinson 1992
Jacket design various

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Ruth Rendell

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The thirteenth of May is the unluckiest day of the year. Things will be infinitely worse if it happens to fall on a Friday. That year, however, it was a Monday and quite bad enough, though Martin was scornful of superstition and would have engaged in any important enterprise on 13 May or gone up in a plane without a qualm. In the morning he found a gun in the case his son took to school. They called it a satchel in his day but it was a briefcase now. The gun was among a jumble of textbooks, dog-eared exercise books, crumpled paper and a pair of football socks, and for a single frightening moment Martin thought it was real. For about fifteen seconds he thought Kevin was actually in possession of the largest revolver he had ever seen, though of a type quite beyond his ability to identify. Recognising it as a replica didn't stop him confiscating it. 'You can say goodbye to this weapon and that's a promise/ he said to his son.

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