Thirteen Steps Down

Thirteen Steps Down

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
5
Rate this:
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 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 last fifty years, and 10 Rillington Place, where the notorious John Christie committed a series of foul murders, has been torn down.

Mix is obsessed with the life of Christie and his small library is composed entirely of books on the subject. He has also developed a passion for a beautiful model who lives nearby -- a woman who would not look at him twice.

Both landlady and lodger inhabit weird worlds of their own. But when reality intrudes into Mix's life, a long pent-up violence explodes.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, 2004.
ISBN: 9780770429614
0770429610
9781400095902
Branch Call Number: REN
Characteristics: 313 p.
Alternative Title: 13 steps down

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

r
readerpat
May 11, 2015

A very good story about a man who is a stalker of a beautiful model and also is obsessed with Reggie Christie ( a serial killer in London in the 1950's )
He lodges in an old house owned by an eccentric old lady who never cleans her house and is still in love with an old flame from 50 years ago. She never married. There are 2 murders and a surprise ending. Couldn't put the book down !

I was drawn by the name of Ruth Rendell, I believe she may have had stories put on tv, anyway I mostly got it for my mom to read as she likes reading almost anything.

Before she looked at it, I started reading and to be blunt I was turned off by the subject matter and stopped reading, therefore my low rating of this book. In this world of "shock" tv shows, I prefer gentler reads for the most part (though even my dad, an author, writes for shock value it would seem).

I realize my review is jarring when placed against the other three but it is my opinion. I won't be reading any other books by this author most likely, unlike with the late Maeve Binchy. I have read almost all of her books.

m
mudflapflossy
Jun 10, 2012

I just read Ruth Rendell’s “The Crocodile Bird” & “The Water’s Lovely” which were both excellent. Read great reviews on this one and was all set for a similarly enjoyable read. It was such a letdown. The story is agonizingly drawn out, every character is either just dull, out-and-out dislikeable or in most cases both, so I couldn’t empathize with them at all. I think I'll give reading Ruth Rendell a break for now

t
thereseq
Jan 18, 2011

Gruesomely wonderful, like the best of Rendell's fiction! She has an uncanny knack for getting inside the heads of her creepy anti-heroes, making their bizarre behaviour seem almost logical. Certainly she renders them strangely sympathetic.

j
jarenas
Sep 29, 2010

I could not put this book down and couldn't wait to return to it! A must read for Ruth Rendell fans. Possibly her best piece of work.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at ORL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top