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A Demon in My View

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  1,118 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
She waits for him in the dark, her mind and body perfect, passive, until one day, when he goes to the cellar, and she is gone . . .

In A Demon in My View, Ruth Rendell creates a character as frightening as he is fascinating. Mild-mannered Arthur Johnson has never known how to talk to women. And his loneliness has perverted his desire for love and respect into a carefully co
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 4th 2000 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1976)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,724)
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Bandit
Oct 25, 2015 Bandit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A portrait of a psychopath as a middle aged man. Short and yet this one packs a punch, albeit in a quaintly mild mannered British fashion. It is traditionally accepted that real estate is all about location, location, location and yet any seasonal urban dweller will tell you it's about the neighbors. This particular boarding house is no exception and when two neighbors (one new and one a resident of 20 years) share the same building and the same last name, it's bound to get ugly. Especially when ...more
Em
Mar 11, 2016 Em rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was a grim appearing psychological mystery told in languid terms. Listened to the audio book which enhanced my morning walks. Loved listening to the varying cadences voice.
Gist:
Arthur Johnson is a stodgy old anal retentive who has had a dismal childhood living with his rigid spinster aunt.
Anthony Johnson is a handsome young student of psychology writing his thesis on psychopaths and is in love with Helen, a married lady, who he urges to elope with him, but she is dithering.
Both come to occupy t
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James
Jun 09, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
I recently read a book about a super agent who needed to save the world from a threat so terrible civilization would collapse. While reading this book I felt many emotions, chiefly annoyance, self blame and mild curiosity on how such stupidity could continue. I never felt an iota of dread in any of the 700 plus pages. "A Demon in My View" conjures up dread in that most drab of settings, a late 1960s london boarding house, from the very first page. The villain starts as a creepy caricature to be ...more
Hal
Jun 09, 2015 Hal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Rendell's ability to create characters with true-to-life emotional depth is unparalleled. I have read a few dozen of her novels and this is one of the best.

She often writes of those mentally ill people who live on the fringes of society and get away with it for years until some error in judgment sets them down a path of no return. This gripping novel is an outstanding example of her work in that genre.

A common theme in her work is the stunted psychological development of those who are rais
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aPriL does feral sometimes
Arthur Johnson is peculiar. He keeps to himself in his apartment, which he keeps meticulously cleaned, scrubbing the surfaces down daily. His day is an unchanging schedule. He describes his job as a surveyor, but he's actually an office manager for Grainger's, Contractors and Builders' Merchants. He carries an empty briefcase because he feels it adds respectability to his power suit. "For him, as for everyone, he had no particular feeling most of the time. He wished only to be esteemed, to keep ...more
Philip
Jan 07, 2011 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m re-reading A DEMON IN MY VIEW, one of the most highly-regarded novel from Ruth Rendell’s ‘early’ period (in this case, 1976 – it was her 14th novel and 6th stand-alone – as we know, she doesn’t have much good to say about the stand-alones that preceded it, but she hit her stride with DEMON and has never regressed) – she received her first CWA Gold Dagger for it. Even at this stage RR was quite adept at something she will do in all subsequent ‘phases’ of her career, up to and including her la ...more
Mitch McCrimmon
Feb 10, 2014 Mitch McCrimmon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite Ruth Rendell novels. This is one of her "standalone" novels, as opposed to the Inspector Wexford Series. I have read more than a dozen of her standalone novels since early 2013. I enjoyed them all so much that it is hard to pick a favourite. The standalone novels seem to have more depth than the Wexford detective stories; they are deeper character studies, but their real beauty is the great sense of humour, very much like Monty Python. For example, the main protagonist in "A ...more
Sandi
An award winner back in 1976, I found this to be a very satisfying though disturbing tale of psychological suspense. The narrative flow was excellent and kept the tension level high, the characterizations were spot on, and I especially liked that it was not graphically violent.
Daavid
3.5 Stars

Having read Ms. Rendell's two short story collections earlier, which were good, I decided to read a standalone book. And it was satisfying. This one was based on a psychopath. Being not an Inspector Wexford novel, I liked it. Am sort of tired with reading 'Inspector' detective stories, for now.

A decent fast-read. Quick and not too long. Not too many characters either. Not much of a mystery. But a good crime novel; good for passing time. Nothing much contemplative, excepting about trying
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Graham Seager
Feb 11, 2012 Graham Seager rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars
This, without doubt is my favourite Rendell novel. She rightly won the Gold Dagger Award in 1976 for this wonderful story.

(view spoiler)

One of the mist ed
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έρις
3,5
Ben
May 25, 2008 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite work of Rendell's (probably her shortest book as well). She creates a very creepy portrayal of the main protagonist Arthur Johnson, who has more than a few skeletons in his closet. If you are looking for a quick and thrilling read, this comes highly recommended.
Sandra
Já li livros bem melhores desta autora.

O livro é um crescendo de sentimentos e circunstâncias que levam à origem de um psicopata.
Tal e qual um vulcão adormecido que, a nós até parece que entrou em erupção de forma repentina e efusiva demais, um psicopata é gerado, nutrido e formado de forma lenta e "bem" direcionada. Com este livro, penso que a autora quis mostrar que um assassino não surge como se de um cogumelo se tratasse. Alguém ou vários alguéns são os verdadeiros culpados da criação de um
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Martha Groeber
Aug 09, 2016 Martha Groeber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arthur Johnson has lived at 142 Trinity Road for the past 20 years in relative peace. His world turns upside down when young Anthony Johnson moves in. Mail gets mixed up (why they don't use first names in addresses in Britain, I don't know!). But Arthur gets anxious when he realizes that Anthony can observe the cellar entrance, for Arthur hides a life-saving secret in there. Anthony is writing a thesis on the psychology of a psychopath, and slowly comes to realize that he has been living with on ...more
Emma
Jun 06, 2010 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Ruth Rendell is considered a great crime and mystery writer and this was the first of her books that I read.

The plot line really excited me and I thought it sounded just like something I would enjoy, I was disappointed though. The plot, though clever was very strange and the ending too unrealistic and not climatic.
Joan
Mar 15, 2015 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Recommended to Joan by: found on a garbage can in my neighborhood
Enjoyable for a journey - and I was on a rough one. It kept my attention, trying to keep the characters apart, remembering the details since my attention wasn't on it for consistent periods. I always enjoy a Ruth Rendell book. The only problem I had is that this had too neat an ending. The story seemed unable to be resolved, and then suddenly, it was. I thought just a bit too easily. In real life this would never happen. But of course, we are always asked to suspend our disbelief when reading mo ...more
Jim Bailey
Starts out very slowly. Finely gathers a little steam. Ironic twist at end. My overall feeling after reading the book was disappointment. Not that great.
Martha Johnson
Jul 23, 2014 Martha Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
My first Ruth Rendell. It was interestingly hard to get into the setting which is modern London but pre-technology and seemed a little staged. I also had a ridiculously hard time keeping Anthony and Arthur Johnson clear in my head. My bad.

The plot is a good one, she has nice twists. I couldn't quite get under the skin of the characters. There are now so many powerful psychological dramas that her treatment was a little formulaic - or maybe simply dated now.

Glad I read her. Have been meaning to
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Liz
Nov 21, 2014 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another early Rendell, this slim book is a tight little thriller. There are mistaken identities -Arthur Johnson and Anthony Johnson occupy the same small house, divided into furnished rooms and flats, along with a married couple, the husband’s great friend, and a young Asian girl. The house is lively with noise and activity, as the husband and wife are unhappy and boisterous, the single man loud and over-friendly, and the girl constantly on the shared telephone with her various admirers. Only th ...more
Marco
Oct 19, 2012 Marco rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
I am usually not fond of thrillers and mysteries, but this is definitely a great exception. I received this book as a present from a friend that swear Ruth Rwndell is the best author on earth. I started reading the book and I was immediately captured by the deep psychological analysis of the characters. The reader can enter in the mind of the main character, a serial killer, understand his way of thinking, even relate and be sympathetic towards him. This is the kind of book that is impossible to ...more
Ant Harrison
Apr 02, 2013 Ant Harrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
A Demon in my View is a gripping psychological thriller from Ruth Rendell, first published in 1976. A tale of the twisted mind of loner Arthur Johnson living his solitary life in the top flat of a shared house in London. Johnson is presented almost as much as a victim as those who suffer at the hands of the local serial killer known as the Kenbourne Killer, who for 25 years has terrorized women in West London.

As ever, Rendell's descriptions and portrayal of the disordered mind of the believable
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James Marrison
Feb 27, 2015 James Marrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is one of the most chilling portrayals of a killer I have ever read. For me it compares to Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me very well as it reveals insights into the tortured mind of a psychopath and is written by one of the greats. It compares also to Deep Water the Patricia Highsmith classic. Like those two novels The Demon in My View (the title is from Poe’s poem Alone) it's got pace, is written with razor sharp prose and has a real dose of macabre wit to it as well.
Sally
Oct 16, 2015 Sally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I really liked about this book is the characters. The story is centered around the people of who live in one building in London. The main character, Arthur, is the strange guy that keeps to himself and that no one realizes is a psychopath. Despite being a psychopath, I liked him as a character. I liked the other tenants of the building as well. Its a fun read with some twists and even some humor. I enjoyed it very much and read it pretty quickly.
KWinks
Jul 27, 2015 KWinks rated it really liked it
I'm working my way through genres I do not normally read and this one filled a PopSugar Challenge requirement (a book published the year you were born). It held my attention! I was more than a little creeped out. I enjoyed the time period and the setting. A shared house and telephone certainly added to the tension. Arthur was very normal on the outside and quite chilling on the inside. I found Anthony to be a little overdramatic.
Allan MacDonell
Sep 21, 2016 Allan MacDonell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there is one thing that A Demon in My View confirms, it is that you do not want to die and come back as a character in a Ruth Rendell novel. I have never encountered an author who takes such delight in orchestrating the misery of her characters. It’s almost as if God writes directly through Ruth Rendell.
Carmen
May 05, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arthur Johnson is a run of the mill kind of guy. He works as a clerk. Rents a room. Or is he? A man whose name closely resembles Arthur's, A. Johnson, moves into the boarding house. And all kinds of things go wacky. A great psychological suspenseful book!
Margaret Unger
Disappointing. Though the plot was decent, the writing was tedious and amateurish and I found the sentimentality overdone. The twist ending would have been all right had I not been just waiting for the book to end. I did, however, listen to this as an audiobook read by a dreadful reader, so that may have coloured my view somewhat.
Hannah
May 29, 2014 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
My favourite of Rendell's psychological novels is still The Bridesmaid. This book had some really amazing bits but the ending felt anticlimactic and the secondary characters seemed a underdeveloped. Still a good read.
Elizabeth
Jun 21, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book is one of the best I have read of Ruth Rendell's. Each page reveals a new layer of suspicion. What is Arthur going to do next or what will he become?

Frightening story but this is a book that you cannot put down!!!!
Joy
Mar 09, 2016 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this a lot. My second Ruth Rendell and I don't think it will be my last. Her characterization is excellent, and this is full of suspense, and the ending is both unexpected and satisfying.
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A.K.A. Barbara Vine

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, was an acclaimed English crime writer, known for her many psychological thrillers and murder mysteries and above all for Inspector Wexford.
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