Grasshopper

Mass Market Paperback | May 29, 2001

byBarbara Vine

not yet rated|write a review
Grasshopper is an enthralling, chilling novel by the bestselling queen of crime Barbara Vine ''They have sent me here because of what happened on the pylon'' When Clodagh Brown writes these words at the age of nineteen, she believes that she is leaving behind the traumatic events of her youth. But Clodagh soon learns that you can never entirely escape your past. In the aftermath of the incident on the pylon - a gargantuan electrified grasshopper - Clodagh goes off to university, moves into a basement flat arranged by her unsympathetic family, and finds freedom trekking across London''s rooftops with a gang of neighborhood misfits. As she begins a thrilling relationship with a fellow climber, however, both Clodagh and the reader are haunted by the memory of the pylon and of the terrible thing that happened there - and by the eerie sense that another tragedy is just a footfall away. Grasshopper is a modern crime masterpiece that will have you gripped from the first page to the last. If you enjoy the novels of P.D. James, Ian Rankin and Scott Turow, you will love this book. ''The Rendell/ Vine partnership has for years been producing consistently better work than most Booker winners put together'' Ian Rankin ''A superb and original writer'' Amanda Craig, Express Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. She has written fifteen novels using this pseudonym, including A Fatal Inversion and King Solomon''s Carpet which both won the Crime Writers'' Association Gold Dagger Award. Her other books include: A Dark Adapted Eye; The House of Stairs; Gallowglass; Asta''s Book; No Night Is Too Long; In the Time of His Prosperity; The Brimstone Wedding; The Chimney Sweeper''s Boy; Grasshopper; The Blood Doctor; The Minotaur; The Birthday Present and The Child''s Child.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$10.99

Ships within 1-2 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25
Prices may vary. why?
Please call ahead to confirm inventory.

From the Publisher

Grasshopper is an enthralling, chilling novel by the bestselling queen of crime Barbara Vine 'They have sent me here because of what happened on the pylon' When Clodagh Brown writes these words at the age of nineteen, she believes that she is leaving behind the traumatic events of her youth. But Clodagh soon learns that you can never entirely escape your past. In the aftermath of the incident on t...

The new Barbara Vine novel, The Blood Doctor (1-4000-4504-5), will be published by Harmony Books in July 2002. She lives in London.

other books by Barbara Vine

A Dark-adapted Eye
A Dark-adapted Eye

Paperback|Apr 26 2016

$16.98 online$16.99list price
Minotaur
Minotaur

Mass Market Paperback|Jun 20 2006

$9.98 online$10.99list price(save 9%)
The Brimstone Wedding
The Brimstone Wedding

Audio Book (CD)|Jul 22 2014

$22.99

see all books by Barbara Vine
Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 7.15 × 4.4 × 1.37 inPublished:May 29, 2001Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140293027

ISBN - 13:9780140293029

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I expected In my own opinion, the story is not plausible. It also becomes quite repetitive, at times. I did not feel any real suspense. It is well written, but it lacks authenticity and grip.
Date published: 2005-09-05

Extra Content

Read from the Book

They have sent me here because of what happened on the pylon. Or perhaps so that I don't have to see the pylon every time I go out or even look out of a window."We've thought of selling this house and moving," my father said. "Don't think it hasn't been in our minds. Still you won't . . ."He left the sentence unfinished, but I knew how he would have ended it. You won't always be here, he'd meant to say. A girl of your age, you won't live at home much longer, you'll be off to college or a job, a home of your own. And out of sight, out of mind, he meant too. Gradually people will stop thinking of us as the parents of that girl, they'll stop asking what kind of parents we were to bring up a girl who would do that, and they'll stop staring and pointing us out. Especially if you don't come home very often. Maybe they'll think you're dead. Maybe we'll tell them you are.That last bit was in my imagination. I'm not saying they wish me dead. They have my welfare at heart, as my mother puts it. Which must be why they were so happy--happier than I've seen them since before the pylon day--when Max made his offer. The best they'd hoped for was a room in whatever accommodation the college had available or for me to be the fourth girl in a shared flat somewhere."A whole flat to yourself," my mother said, "and in a lovely part of town."I had a picture in my mind then of rows and rows of mock-Tudor houses, striped black and white like zebras, with pampas grass in their front gardens and Audis outside their garages. Daniel and I had seen plenty of them, riding around the ring roads on his old Motoguzzi. Our London was the outer suburbs, Waltham Cross and Barnet, Colindale and Edgware, Uxbridge and Richmond and Purley. We counted the pylons and took photographs of the barbed-wire guards on their legs. We never penetrated as far as Maida Vale and we'd never heard of Little Venice. But still I thought "a nice part of town" must mean houses like our house. How Max could have a flat in it, I couldn't imagine. Flats were in blocks, there had been plenty of those up along the North Circular Road too, great sprawling flat-roofed buildings painted custard color with their names in letters of black or silver: Ferndean Court and Summerhill and Brook House. So when I got here this afternoon I wasn't prepared for what I found.My father had been going to drive me. It's what parents do when their child goes off to college and a new place to live in. I've seen enough of it to know. They pack up the trunk of the car and all the back of the car too, with clothes and sports gear and books and radio and CD player and maybe a computer and, of course, a hamper of food. It's a joyful occasion, a turning point in someone's life, and if it's the dad driving and the mother left behind, she's tearful but she's smiling too, calling out "Good luck" and making the departing one promise to phone as soon as she's settled in and not to forget the cold chicken in the hamper and the homemade cake. My leaving home wasn't like that. I wouldn't have expected it to be and I never had much faith in my father's promise. As it happened, the car went in for service the day before and the garage phoned and said they'd like to keep it for another day to have a look at the electrics. Maybe Dad didn't fix it that way. I expect it was just a piece of luck for him. Anyway, they said it couldn't be helped, I'd just have to manage on the train.So I left in much the same way as I've lived these past two years, under a cloud. After the pylon my parents had counseling, just as I did, and the counselor told them they had to be understanding and supportive. It was their responsibility to help me put all that behind me and make a fresh start, not blame myself and feel guilty all the time. But they couldn't. I suppose they couldn't help themselves. I think they really saw me as evil. One of the ways they dealt with it was to tell me they didn't "know where I got it from," as if every action you performed and every mistake you made had been made by a string of ancestors before you and passed on in a gene of thoughtlessness or daring--or evil. This morning and all through lunch they were giving me those looks that are a mix of wonderment and--well, resignation, I suppose. And I could see something else there too: relief, hope maybe, a fresh start for them as well.They have sent me here because of what happened on the pylon. Or perhaps so that I don't have to see the pylon every time I go out or even look out of a window."We've thought of selling this house and moving," my father said. "Don't think it hasn't been in our minds. Still you won't . . ."He left the sentence unfinished, but I knew how he would have ended it. You won't always be here, he'd meant to say. A girl of your age, you won't live at home much longer, you'll be off to college or a job, a home of your own. And out of sight, out of mind, he meant too. Gradually people will stop thinking of us as the parents of that girl, they'll stop asking what kind of parents we were to bring up a girl who would do that, and they'll stop staring and pointing us out. Especially if you don't come home very often. Maybe they'll think you're dead. Maybe we'll tell them you are.That last bit was in my imagination. I'm not saying they wish me dead. They have my welfare at heart, as my mother puts it. Which must be why they were so happy--happier than I've seen them since before the pylon day--when Max made his offer. The best they'd hoped for was a room in whatever accommodation the college had available or for me to be the fourth girl in a shared flat somewhere."A whole flat to yourself," my mother said, "and in a lovely part of town."I had a picture in my mind then of rows and rows of mock-Tudor houses, striped black and white like zebras, with pampas grass in their front gardens and Audis outside their garages. Daniel and I had seen plenty of them, riding around the ring roads on his old Motoguzzi. Our London was the outer suburbs, Waltham Cross and Barnet, Colindale and Edgware, Uxbridge and Richmond and Purley. We counted the pylons and took photographs of the barbed-wire guards on their legs. We never penetrated as far as Maida Vale and we'd never heard of Little Venice. But still I thought "a nice part of town" must mean houses like our house. How Max could have a flat in it, I couldn't imagine. Flats were in blocks, there had been plenty of those up along the North Circular Road too, great sprawling flat-roofed buildings painted custard color with their names in letters of black or silver: Ferndean Court and Summerhill and Brook House. So when I got here this afternoon I wasn't prepared for what I found.My father had been going to drive me. It's what parents do when their child goes off to college and a new place to live in. I've seen enough of it to know. They pack up the trunk of the car and all the back of the car too, with clothes and sports gear and books and radio and CD player and maybe a computer and, of course, a hamper of food. It's a joyful occasion, a turning point in someone's life, and if it's the dad driving and the mother left behind, she's tearful but she's smiling too, calling out "Good luck" and making the departing one promise to phone as soon as she's settled in and not to forget the cold chicken in the hamper and the homemade cake. My leaving home wasn't like that. I wouldn't have expected it to be and I never had much faith in my father's promise. As it happened, the car went in for service the day before and the garage phoned and said they'd like to keep it for another day to have a look at the electrics. Maybe Dad didn't fix it that way. I expect it was just a piece of luck for him. Anyway, they said it couldn't be helped, I'd just have to manage on the train.So I left in much the same way as I've lived these past two years, under a cloud. After the pylon my parents had counseling, just as I did, and the counselor told them they had to be understanding and supportive. It was their responsibility to help me put all that behind me and make a fresh start, not blame myself and feel guilty all the time. But they couldn't. I suppose they couldn't help themselves. I think they really saw me as evil. One of the ways they dealt with it was to tell me they didn't "know where I got it from," as if every action you performed and every mistake you made had been made by a string of ancestors before you and passed on in a gene of thoughtlessness or daring--or evil. This morning and all through lunch they were giving me those looks that are a mix of wonderment and--well, resignation, I suppose. And I could see something else there too: relief, hope maybe, a fresh start for them as well.