Thirteen Steps Down
Mix Cellini (which he pronounces with an ‘S’ rather than a ‘C’) is superstitious about the number 13. In musty old St. Blaise House, where he is the lodger, there are thirteen steps dow...more
Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places, 29 Dec 2005
"In Rendell's view, we seldom understand how life works and how little control we have over it; criminals are the biggest dolts of all for risking so much on schemes that are bound to go awry. What's more, murderers also lack sympathetic imagination (as opposed to the narcissistic imagination of fantasy)." So says, Ruth Rendell, and as we read this novel, we say "I Believe, I Believe!"
Mix Cellini is a work-out equipment specialis...more
I found this similar to the Pit and the Pendulum in that all that the reader knows comes of the murdere...more
Rendell has won almost every coveted mystery prize, and in Britain she is bested only by P. D. James, to whom she dedicates this book. But her following in America is smaller, and her publisher is betting on 13 Steps Down to change that (of course, it's bet on this in the past as well). The novel's fascinating characters, swift pace, unflappable tone, and inside look into a murderer's remorseless mind will intrigue most readers. Chawcer evoked comparisons to Dickens's Miss Havisham and even Dost...more
13 steps down particularly interests me because it has an unsypathetic protagonist, a brave move that Rendell pulls off extremely well. Despite this it managed to retain my interest by having various points of view, some of them more compelling than Mix Cellini, the main character.
While all the characters made their own choices, It di...more
Good storyline based on the 10 Rillington Place murders, the character of Mix Cellini comes across well, as do the other spinster ladies who frequent the house where he lodges. Also the model that Mix fantasises over is well portrayed.
Rather strange, or perhaps unusual, unmasking of a suspected ghost towards the end but the tension is held throughout...more
There are a number of things about this book I didn't like - an overly pat ending, an unnecessary ghost and the fact that all the characters outside the house seem too inter-connected. However it does give a great sense of West London (although, despite what the text...more
Rendell’s chilling Thirteen Steps Down deals with obsession, superstition, and violence. Her dark London is the answer to Rankin’s disturbing Edinburgh.
Mix Cellini is a semi-educated mechanic. He fixes exercise machines. He indulges...more
Back Cover Blurb:
Living in a decaying house in Notting Hill, Mix Cellini is obsessed with 10 Rillington Place, where the notorious John Christie committed a series of foul murders. He is also infatuated with a beautiful model who lives nearby - a woman who would not look at him twice.
Mix's landlady is equally reclusive - living her life through her library of books.
Both landlady and lodger inhabit weird worlds of their own. But when reality intrudes into Mix's life, a long pe...more
If you haven't tried Rendell yet and you like to read, then you really should. She has won almost every coveted mystery prize, and in England she is outdone only by P.D. James (to whom this book is dedicated). Her non-Inspector Wexford stories are not mysteries but rather psychological thrillers and this one is no different. I consider her a master at characterization and great at complex and interesting plots. This book is totally in keeping with her previ...more
i've really tried with this book, for the sake of my book group discussion, but it is just awful. it reminds me of the movie b.t.k. that i watched recently which was most probably the worst thing i have ever seen. this is the book version of that situation. i simply can't get past the pathetic characters, the odd storylines or the contrived connections between characters. i don't recommend this...more