Daneet Steffens
October 27, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Clodagh Brown has a thing for heights. She starts off climbing pylons in the English countryside, but her hobby really takes off when she moves to London to attend college and falls in with a band of misfits who share her passion, using rooftops to hang out, explore, and spy on people. As do all Barbara Vine novels, the well-wrought mystery Grasshopper has a lot lurking below its carefully composed surface; Vine, after all, is a pseudonym for Ruth Rendell, the grande dame of British psychological mysteries, and the plot twists here are satisfyingly intricate. A-

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