Thirteen Steps Down
From the multi-award-winning author of The Babes in the Wood and The Rottweiler, a chilling new novel about obsession, superstition, and violence, set in Rendell’s darkly atmospheric London.
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
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
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
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
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 down to the landing
below his rooms, which he keeps spick and span. His elderly landlady, Gwendolen Chawcer, was born in St. Blaise House, and lives her life almost exclusively through her library of books, so cannot see the decay and neglect around her.
The Notting Hill neighbourhood has changed radically over the...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
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 see Ruth Rendell as writing crime/mystery novels with easily recognisable characters, some nice, some nasty, while I see Barbara Vine as writing deeper, psychological mysteries with many troubled (and often deeply unlikeable) main characters.
But Thirteen Steps Down crosses the line.
We do have a build...more
13 Steps down, is a creepy book, full of superstition. The two main characters are...more
It is a gripping and somewhat grim read, of a lonely old woman and her obsessive lodger; he kills his Bosnian girlfriend, and hides her body under the floorboards. It's a crime novel rather than a mystery novel, since we know what the murderer has done and why he has done it all the way through; the police barely feature in the story. The other main character in the book apart from the murderer and his landlady is the city of London in the Noughties; s...more
In her latest, Rendell again provides a trademark intricate, braided story. This time the intertwining characters include an elderly woman who has lived a cloistered existence in her father's home; a supermodel named Nerissa with a sweet, down-to-earth disposition and a crush o...more
I found this similar to the Pit and the Pendulum in that all that the reader knows comes of the murdere...more