2006 1st edition "First U.S. Edition" stated; Crown Publishers, New York; hardbound in blue and black boards with blue foil stamped lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; decorative dust jacket very good.
The Water's Lovely is a 2006 novel by British writer Ruth Rendell. It is not part of her Inspector Wexford series.
Ismay Sealand believes that her younger sister, Heather, murdered their stepfather Guy when they were teenagers. Ismay and her mother, Beatrix, returned from shopping for a new school uniform to find Guy drowned in his bath and only Heather home. Although both Ismay and her mother believe Heather drowned Guy – who was weak from a virus – there was no evidence and so at the inquest the death was ruled accidental. Ismay thinks Heather murdered Guy because he made sexual advances to her, Ismay, and Heather wished to protect her. In fact Ismay encouraged Guy's interest and hoped he would come to her bedroom and have sex with her.
Now in their twenties, Ismay and Heather live in the same house, which has been divided into two flats. They live together downstairs, and their mother, who became mentally ill after Guy's death, lives with her sister Pamela in the upstairs. Ismay remains haunted by what happened all those years ago. Ismay is desperately in love with Andrew Campbell-Sedge, who looks very like her dead stepfather, and who does not get on with Heather.
Meanwhile, Edmund Litton's mother, Irene, tries to set him up with Marion Melville, a thin darting woman with bright red hair who has befriended a number of elderly people in the area. Horrified by this idea Edmund sets up an alternative date with a woman who works in the catering department of the hospice where he works, Heather Sealand. Their date is more successful than expected and the two begin to fall in love. This causes a rift with Edmund's mother, who enjoyed being the only woman in his life, especially when Edmund goes to stay overnight at Heather's flat.
As the relationship between Heather and Edmund becomes more serious, Ismay worries whether or not she should tell him what she believes about Heather's past and, eventually, records a tape telling him what she thinks happened when Guy drowned...