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Ruth Rendell

Talking to Strange Men

Hutchinson 1987
Jacket design Raymond Hawkey

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Ruth Rendell

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He was crossing the bridge over the river from the western bank to the east. The bridge, for some forgotten reason to do with the Second World War, was called Rostock. It was a suspension bridge, painted a dull dark red, with walkways on either side. Up river three more bridges, Alexandra and St Stephen's and Randolph, gleamed with lights, both stationary and in motion, and the water beneath them looked black and glittering from the mass of lights reflected in its moving swelling surface. But when Mungo looked southwards all this illumination soon came to an end and there were no more bridges, only warehouses and cranes looming out of the dusk and the beginnings of a dark grey countryside. It was six-thirty in the evening, March, but already growing dark. A horizon of high hills could still be made out against a faintly paler sky. He was on the southern walkway of the bridge, alone, the lamp-lit wall between him and the deep water shoulder-high to deter suicides.

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