Author: Ruth Rendell
Published: July 5th 2012 by Hutchinson
I decided to grab this mystery/ crime book out of my TBR book pile. I was expecting suspense and thriller, perhaps a little of the supernatural after I read the synopsis given at the back of the book. But in the end, I guess I was disappointed after all.
The Saint Zita Society is a mystery book from the middle of the story. From the first hundred pages or so, it is more like a telling of the daily lives of the residents of the houses on Hexam Place, concentrating more on those of the servants. The oldest maid, June, started the Saint Zita Society, which was meant as a way for the rest of the servant, drivers, maids ( June included) to voice their grumblings and distaste of whatever annoys or troubles them.
The story starts with a brief mention of Dex, who was put into an institution after he attempted to kill his mother. There was little or no mention of him until later when someone ( obviously Mr. Still) called him to tell him that there was an evil spirit loitering around his house and that Dex has to get rid of it. Well, tough luck there. Mr. Still probably got killed by Dex in the end anyway.
I was beginning to think that the story was going to be all about relationships between the residents and servants of Hexam Place. A driver being in relationship with his employer’s daughter and his employer’s wife ( she forced herself on him), a wife committing adultery with a celebrity and an au pair being too full of herself are just a few of the goings-on in that place.
But although I was let down by the lack of suspense and mystery, because the characters actions were pretty much predictable ( except for Dex), I find that the author’s ability to create so many different personalities for so many different characters stunning. She was able to weave so many characters into one story and that was very impressive, although I keep confusing the wives of Mr. Studley and Mr. Still.