Crime writer Ruth Rendell has suffered a serious stroke and is in a "critical but stable" condition in hospital.
In a statement released on behalf of her family, her publisher Penguin Random House said Rendell had the stroke on Wednesday 7th January.
“She is in hospital under expert care in a critical but stable condition,” said the statement. “Her son, Simon Rendell, is with her and thanks everyone for their concern. The family request privacy while the doctors assess the best course of treatment.”
Penguin Random House added: “Our thoughts are with Ruth and her family at this difficult time.”
Rendell, 84, is the author of more than 60 novels, and recently completed her latest book for Cornerstone imprint Hutchinson, set for publication this autumn.
Rendell’s last book was The Girl Next Door (Hutchinson), published in 2014. A 50th anniversary edition of her debut, From Doon With Death, was also published by Arrow last year.
Rendell also writes for Penguin under the pen name Barbara Vine.
Photo credit: Jerry Bauer