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The Basement

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,787 Ratings  ·  178 Reviews
New York City. With a population of almost nineteen million people, it's easy to remain anonymous even if you're a serial killer, torturing and murdering beautiful young women. The killer has another victim right now, locked in a basement somewhere in the city. For NYPD detectives Turner and Marcinko, it's their job to sift through those nineteen million and narrow their l ...more
Kindle Edition, 135 pages
Published (first published October 22nd 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,783)
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May 06, 2011 Nikki rated it liked it
Reviewed at

I recently treated myself to a Kindle, and the basement (with its annoying lowercase title) was the first ‘ebook’ I decided to read with it. I chose this book for two reasons: it was at the top of the bestsellers list with great reviews, and it was a bargain at just 71p.

the basement (that just looks wrong – why must we avoid capital letters?) is a fast-paced thriller about a serial killer who has a woman trapped in a soundproof basement, and the race to find the vi
Mar 31, 2014 Kimberly rated it really liked it
This book was suggested to me by a friend, and I admit that it really exceeded my expectations. A thriller/detective story, told from 2 different angles. I found the writing to be quickly engaging, and very easy to get from one scene, to another. This was certainly an interesting take on a serial killer, and the detectives trying to solve the mystery.

The BookChick
Book Description:
New York is a city full of strangers. For NYPD detectives Turner and Marcinko, none are harder to figure out than the serial killer on the loose torturing and killing young women. In fact, right now, somewhere in the city, a woman is being held captive in a basement and it is up to the detectives to find her and the killer—before it’s too late.

As pressure mounts on Turner and Marcinko, their prime suspect is screenwriter wannabe Marvin Waller. He is becoming increasingly frustra
Feb 06, 2011 Beth rated it it was ok
Not even sure what I liked about this book. The killer's narrative was appropriately grim but compelling and, thank God, no overload of gore or nasty details. However, the deluded writer just irritated me. I'm aware that he was supposed to be smug and unlikeable but that didn't make him any easier to read about. He was pathetic to a whole other extreme and I could not have cared less about what happened to him. There was nothing well-rounded or charismatic about him, just a nasty character given ...more
Dec 14, 2011 Dan rated it really liked it
Really good story. I like the fact that it was not like most books these days: Bloated with hundreds of pages of "character development". This one said what it needed to say, then ended. By not including a bunch of unnecessary stuff, the author kept the story interesting, pacing tight, and ending was right on the money. I only wish more authors would follow his example.
Ruby Tuesday
Apr 30, 2014 Ruby Tuesday rated it it was amazing
At just over 100 pages this is a short story but superbly written. I used to watch a series on the BBC called Murder in Mind and when I was reading this book, the dark comedy aspects reminded me of the series. I was then reading about Stephen Leather and discovered that he actually wrote some of the episodes and also The Knock and The Stretch - need to check those out!

A serial killer is on the loose in New York, he's kidnapping secretaries, imprisoning them in his basement, raping them and then
Dec 13, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a good crime story
what a twist at the end of this wow A must read.
Nov 26, 2011 Cheryl rated it did not like it
Marvin Waller is an aspiring screen writer. He is trying to get his work seen by the stars but it is hard. In fact, the police have been called due to Marvin’s unorthodox pan handling of getting his work into the star’s hands.

Detective Sergeant Turner and Detective Marcinko come to visit Marvin to warn him to quit visiting buildings and just send his work via mail like everyone else. Detective Turner and Marcinko sense something is not right with Marvin. What dark secret is Marvin hiding?

Debbi Mack
Mar 07, 2016 Debbi Mack rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-reads
I have to confess that when my own books began to climb the ranks on Amazon UK, my first thought upon looking at the other names up at the top was, "Who the heck is Stephen Leather?" It even sounded like a name I should know. Yet, I couldn't recall ever seeing his books before. So, I checked on There he was, but not nearly as high up. WTF??? Now, I was exceedingly curious. Why the hell was this guy so popular in the UK, yet so little known outside that realm?

So, I took the only logic
Sep 08, 2011 Josh rated it it was amazing
As lurid as it is deceptive, ‘The basement’ is a classic thriller with a twist I couldn’t predict. Think Tarantula by Thierry Jonquest but on a more humane level (if I can say that) in terms of victimised suffering and complete resignation from self. Protagonist and prime suspect Marvin Waller is a screen writer with delusions of grandeur who harbours serious resentment towards secretaires of all professions. Unfortunately for him, in New York, attractive secretaries are being kidnapped, torture ...more
Darcia Helle
The book contains two viewpoints. Marvin Waller is a young writer whose part is written in first person. Much of his narration is spent telling us about his various screenplays. To me, this was like reading a synopsis of other books, many of which were more interesting than the actual events of the character's story. Marvin is a strange guy but we never really get to know him beyond his odd fixation with stalking actors and movie producers.

The serial killer's part is written in the rare second
Michael Parker
Feb 12, 2012 Michael Parker rated it really liked it
I've just finished Stephen leather's 'THE BASEMENT'. This is the kind of book that starts drawing you in when you feel you may not want to. It has a touch of Stephen King about it, and simply emphasises the fact that Stephen Leather is an exceptional talent. Most thriller readers will have read of a poor victim, usually female who has been kindapped and strapped to a bed for the kidnapper's pleasure and subsequent murder, but we usually know who the kidnapper is, and how his or her mind works. W ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Roisin rated it it was amazing
This is the first of its sort for me. I watch a lot of CSI and Criminal Minds but I never read a book such a Crime/Thriller. It did not take me very long to get into this book within a day I was already 50% through on my Kindle and I completed it within 3 days, which for me is unheard of as it usually takes me 2 weeks to read a book I enjoy. The book was also a bargain on Amazon for only 49p.

The books itself is based on a struggling writer in New York trying to get his work noticed. In the News
Christy Gibbon
Nov 12, 2010 Christy Gibbon rated it really liked it
It's been about 36 hours since I finished this novel. It took me that long to get the images out of my head to be able to put my feelings into words. This book is a disturbing look into the mind of a self-absorbed wanna-be writer. He writes the best movie scripts in the world but they are never produced because they can never get into the hands of the right people. He hangs around outside the apartments of producers, directors, and actors to put the scripts directly into their hands but is alway ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Scott rated it really liked it
I picked this up as an impulse purchase after reading one of the author's full-length novels, and I'm glad I did. The Basement is a novelette and can be finished in a day. An interesting and disturbing look into the mind of a serial killer, The protagonist is very flawed with darkness lurking just below the surface. As the story progresses, the author does a great job of dropping bread crumbs to make us think we've figured it out until he yanks the rug out from under us at the very end. Most of ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Terrie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing
The Basement held my interest from the start. The story is told by two narrators. Its fast paced, beautifully crafted, well researched, and the plot cleverly expands. There are a number of intense sexual scenes, which may offend or be a little too much for some.

This is a gripping, dark, and easy to read thriller, with an unpredictable twist at the end. If you like reading books of this genre, with a plot that includes rape and torture, then ‘The Basement’ will not disappoint.

Stephen Leather ha
Jan 15, 2012 pam rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
okay, so first off this is not a book for everyone. in fact, had it not been on special at amazon for $.99 i may have never picked it up myself. it is grisly, somewhat gory and very tense (think 'silence of the lambs'). not something you want to read before bedtime. i thought it would be a good treadmill book and it was. only i couldn't stop reading after my treadmill time was done. i HAD to finish it to find out what happened. lucky me, i was pleasantly surprised by the fab ending. what a book. ...more
Jennifer Murphy
May 18, 2016 Jennifer Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Basement" leaves you wondering right up to the last page!

I absolutely loved Stephen Leather's "The Basement." It was very well written, with few if any grammatical errors. Plus, it left me mesmerized from page one, and when I finished reading the last page I was left amazed and speechless.

The story is written from a first person point of view, and goes back and forth between two main characters. One is Marvin Waller - a "struggling" screenplay writer, and very possibly an evil genius; and
Amy Tabler-Yingling
I can totally see why author, Stephen Leather, is one of the most successful thriller writers in the U.K.; this book sunk it's hooks into me and I did not come up for air until I had finished the whole thing from start to finish.

Fast-paced, the plot is engaging and full of surprises. I was surprised at the depth of the characters since this is only a novella and 127 pages doesn't leave a lot of room for character development but Leather somehow had me looking at these people like they could be a
Sep 24, 2011 Barbra rated it liked it
I read this as an ebook. Read it quite quickly and it wasn't a bad read. I didn't realise the twist at the end until I had almost finished.

Back Cover Blurb:
A serial killer is torturing and killing women in New York. And two detectives are sure that a writer is behind the murders. But as they close in on their suspect a woman is being held captive in a basement somewhere in the city. Can they find the killer before the latest victim is killed?
Apr 04, 2011 Emma rated it liked it
I liked this until the end when it suddenly produced a plot twist, which was unexplained and raised a few more questions about the main protagonist and another character. A bit like the author was so keen to have a twist, it didn't matter if it was entirely out of kilter with the rest of the book which seemed to be all about why certain behaviour was manifested... then there was no explanation at all... just odd.
Mar 01, 2011 Phillip rated it really liked it
An intelligent well paced thriller cum who-done-it set in New York. A serial killer is on the loose and two NYPD detectives suspect that a writer is behind the grisly killings. This is a well put together novella with a twist at the end. The writing is fresh and lively and not over descriptive, the story is a real page turner and the ending will come as a surprise to those that haven't guessed it in advance!
Jun 11, 2011 Tanya rated it it was amazing
I was hooked, I read one review that said this had a disappointing end and so regretted buying it but thought I'd give it a go and how wrong was the review, I love horror films and am very rarely effected by them. I finished this book last night and it took me ages to get to sleep, I woke up this morning still thinking about it. I am now looking for more of the author's books I am a fan.
Gale Stanley
Nov 17, 2011 Gale Stanley rated it it was amazing
This is an alarming look into the mind of a serial killer. If you’re looking for a psychological thriller that will blow you away, look no further. It's not a story for the squeamish, so be forewarned. Expect graphic sadistic and sexual scenes. It’s a short tight read that keeps the tension high and kept me turning the pages. I finished it in one night and never saw the end coming.
Tracy Hipp
Dec 16, 2011 Tracy Hipp rated it really liked it
I bought this book because it was $2 on Amazon. It's told in first person by a serial killer and also by a wannabe screen writer. You're never sure if the two are the same or what is really going on. I liked that and the suspense of it. It was a great page turner, had some great twists and turns, and is a fast read. I plan to check out more by this author.
Nicola Muzsla
Jul 03, 2015 Nicola Muzsla rated it it was ok
I did not find this to be pornographic. Yes, it's graphic, slightly sickeningly so, but that's the violence. It's graphic but not pornographic. Fifty shades of grey is ten times worse than this.

I was gripped from the first page, it started off fantastically and I couldn't wait to see where it was going. The writing was so creepy and good.
The problem is the ending. I was psyched up to give this 4 stars at 80% of the way through, but that soon started to teeter on the edge, before dramatically fal
Rochelle Hart
Feb 10, 2011 Rochelle Hart rated it really liked it
I liked it, once I got into it, but it was a bit hard to follow at first. About half way through it picked up, and I really wanted to get to the end and find out who the killer was. I'm glad I did! Good ending!

Quick read. Would recommend if you're looking for a good read-on-the-train book.
Corey Dutson
Apr 06, 2011 Corey Dutson rated it liked it
Well that was different. Though I knew the obvious twist was going to happen, for some reason I didn't expect it to be exactly what went down until right near the end. Well written and a quick read. If you're looking for a thriller with a different narrative model, this is it.
James Cridland
Jan 21, 2011 James Cridland rated it it was amazing
Excellent. A short, dark, book - with a wonderfully strange main character. Very, very enjoyable; cleverly written, and I'd highly recommend this if you fancied something good to read on a long flight. I shall go hunting for more from this author; he's very good indeed.
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Stephen Leather was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also written for television shows such as London's Burning, The Knock and the BBC's Murder in Mind series. For much of 2011 his self-published eBooks - including The Bestsell ...more
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“New York always brings out the serial killer in me. It’s a great city to kill in. The best. You've got something like fifteen million people living cheek by jowl, and most of them couldn't give a damn about anyone else. No one wants to get involved. No one cares.” 5 likes
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