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13 Steps downby Ruth Rendell
Synopses & Reviews
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.
From the Hardcover edition.
Elderly Gwendolyn Chawcer and her colorful group of friends become increasingly suspicious of her tenant, Michael "Mix" Cellini, an eccentric with an obsession for a model he has only seen once, who idolizes serial killer Reggie Christie, as his odd behavior and obsessions take an ever darker turn.
Mix Cellini has just moved into a flat in a decaying house in Nottinghill, where he plans to pursue his two abiding passions--supermodel Nerissa Nash, whom he worships from afar, and the life of serial killer Reggie Christie, hanged fifty years earlier for murdering at least eight women. Gwendolen Chawcer, Mix’s eighty-year-old landlady has few interests beside her old books and her new tenant. But she does have an intriguing connection to Christie. And when reality intrudes into Mix’s life, he turns toi Christie for inspiration and a long pent-up violence explodes. Intricately plotted and brilliantly written, 13 Steps Down enters the minds of these disparate people as they move inexorably toward its breathtaking conclusion.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Ruth Rendell has won numerous awards, including three Edgars, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, and three Gold Daggers, one Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England's prestigious Crime Writer's Association. She lives in London.
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