Rendell, Ruth Thirteen Steps Down

ISBN 13: 9780099474326

Thirteen Steps Down

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9780099474326: Thirteen Steps Down
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A classic Rendellian loner, Mix Cellini is superstitious about the number 13. Living in a decaying house in Notting Hill, Mix 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, Gwendolen Chawcer is equally reclusive - living her life through her library of books.

Both landlady and lodger are caught up in their own psychologically twisted parallel worlds. But when reality intrudes into Mix's life, a long pent-up violence explodes.

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Review:

Like several of Ruth Rendell's other novels of suspense, Thirteen Steps Down is a book about a couple of murders waiting to happen. Mix Cellini is a half-educated mechanic specializing in exercise machines, who indulges himself in alcohol, self-medication, celebrity-stalking and an obsession with Christie, the Rillington Place murderer. What dooms Cellini, and his victims, is not so much any active principle of evil, as selfishness and a tendency to drift into things that does the job almost as efficiently.

The house where he rents an apartment is a wonderful example of the Bad Place; his eighty-something landlady Gwendolyn is another person who drifts, in her case into nostalgia and slow decay. Mix is a deeply modern monster, but Gwendolyn is one of the proofs that this is not just a bitch at modernity; Mix's potential victim, supermodel Nerissa, is charming, smart and blessed. There are a few too many coincidences here for Thirteen Steps Down to quite make it on to the list of great Rendell--her best books are more tightly constructed--but it is certainly a book which her admirers will want.--Roz Kaveney

Review:

"Ruth Rendell is back to her creepy best." (Daily Mail)

"Rendell's eerie capacity to comprehend disturbed criminal minds continues to astonish." (The Times)

"It's impossible to read the terrors abroad in her shabby streetscapes without total emotional involvement." (Sunday Times)

"One of her darkest and best." (Literary Review)

"If Ruth Rendell were not slotted into the category of writer of mystery novels, she would have won the Booker long ago" (Books of the Year, Evening Standard)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781400095902: 13 Steps Down: A Psychological Thriller (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 1400095905 ISBN 13: 9781400095902
Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2006
Softcover

9780099580034: Thirteen Steps Down

Arrow, 2012
Softcover

9781400098422: 13 Steps Down

Crown ..., 2005
Hardcover

9780091799755: Thirteen Steps Down

Hutchi..., 2004
Hardcover

9780770429614: Thirteen Steps Down

Seal B..., 2005
Softcover

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Book Description Cornerstone, 2005. Paperback / softback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 4 working days. A classic Rendellian loner, Mix Cellini is superstitious about the number 13. Living in a decaying house in Notting Hill, Mix is obsessed with 10 Rillington Place, where the notorious John Christie committed a series of foul murders. But when reality intrudes into Mix's life, a long pent-up violence explodes. Seller Inventory # B9780099474326

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