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A stand-alone novel published by Hutchinson in

Portobello started with the fact that in the street the trees always got signs stuck to them about some poor missing cat or dog. One day there was a notice pinned on a tree saying a sum of money between £50 and £200 had been found and if someone had lost it, could they please apply to the number below. I thought, who could have lost this? And that when they rang the number they would have to say exactly how much money it was.

Ruth Rendell 1

The Portobello area of West London has a rich personality - vibrant, brilliant in colour, noisy, with graffiti that approach art, bizarre and splendid. An indefinable edge to it adds a spice of danger. There is nothing safe about Portobello.

Eugene Wren inherited an art gallery from his father near an arcade that now sells cashmere, handmade soaps and children’s clothes. But he decided to move to a more upmarket site in Kensington Church Street.

Eugene is fifty, with prematurely white hair. He is, perhaps, too secretive for his own good. He also has an addictive personality but has cut back radically on his alcohol consumption and has given up cigarettes. Which is just as well, considering he is going out with a doctor. For all his good intentions, though, there is something he doesn’t want her to know about.

Eugene’s secret links the lives of several very different people - each with their obsessions, problems, dreams and despairs. And through it, all the hectic life of Portobello carries on.


Contemporary Reads 2


  1. My characters sometimes try to take over a plot and I have to crush them. Camden New Journal 2010 ↩︎

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