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The Rottweiler Paperback – 1 Jul 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (1 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099460246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099460244
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 576,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Rendell has won many awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View; a second Edgar in 1984 from the Mystery Writers of America for the best short story, 'The New Girl Friend'; and a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986. She was also the winner of the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, as well as the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Ruth Rendell's The Rottweiler centres on a small group of Londoners, one of whom is, as it happens, a serial killer. There is never any particular mystery to the omniscient narrator, or the reader listening to her, as to who the killer is--the questions at stake are: who is going to fall under suspicion, whether the killer will be caught and why on earth the killer has this periodic urge to garotte a variety of women and steal an item of jewellery from them.

We spend a lot of time with some interesting flawed people--Inez, the widow obsessed with her late actor husband, in whose junk shop the killer occasionally dumps clues; Will, the beautiful stupid boy whose aunt is torn about the prospect of a life spent looking after him; Zeinab, the young woman who may or may not have a violently jealous father and certainly has too many fiancées. We see these people through their own indulgent eyes and through the more jaundiced, but hardly more accurate eyes of killer and investigating police--Rendell is intelligent about self-deception and inner lives and the way we construct parts of our own identity through self-interested disapproval of others. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Arrow celebrates 40 years of publishing Ruth Rendell with this cracking psychological novel' Compelling and disturbing' -- The Times

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tiresias on 1 Feb. 2004
Format: Hardcover
The basic idea with such writers as Rendell, who inhabit the top echelons of crime writing along with P.D. James, Ian Rankin and Regind Hill is, they can't write bad books. They don't suddenly loose their powers that have held them in such good stead for so many years. However, what they may do is write a book that is different, that doesn't appeal so strongly to some people. This is much the case here. The Rottweiler is not among Rendell's best work (as James's "The Murder Room" wasn't), but it isn't actually a BAD book. Rendell has just turned her hand in a different direction, one that people may not like quite as much... This is much the case here.
Some aspects of this book are, technically, excellent. For example, as other reviewers have pointed out: how Rendell deals with themes of love, the needs of men and women for each other. Also, ideas of how we percieve and others, and of the power of the media and of assumption. Also, RR's manipulation of the reader is done here better than ever before. As has already been pointed out, that rather perplexing feeling of empathy (NOT sympathy) she makes us feel for the killer, but the anger we feel towards a malicious blackmailer. In those respects, Rendell is still on her throne, possibly more than ever before. While "The Babes in the Wood", her last, was full of symbolism, this is full of demonstration.
While here, as always, she creates some great characters, a couple of them feel a bit cliche, possibly a bit silly. However, that leads me onto another point. The fact that they are actually SUPPOSED to be silly. The Rottweiler is actually a pretty funny book, in parts definitely a social satire, but if you don't realise that it's supposed to be, then some bits of it could fall apart and the tone possibly doesn't feel quite right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sam155 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
The Rottweiler is the eponymous name for the serial killer operating in the same area as this book is set. In fact, a few chapters in we find out who it is. However, I found this book harder to get into than her others (and I'm a big fan). For some reason I didn't care as much about the characters and their inner lives. Ines runs an antique shop and lives above the shop along with her tenants. Her employee, Zainab, is playing rich men off against each other whilst enjoying a happy marriage at home. Ines herself is a widow, secretly watching videos of her late actor husband. Will is a handsome boy with learning diffculties and an aunt torn by her responsibilities towards him.There are many other charcters too, but I'd be here all day. Once the characters had been established and the murderer revealed, I was about a third of the way through the book and found I lost interest. The characters didn't get under my skin like those in many of her books and perhaps it could be said that there were so many characters given so much detail that it was hard to concentrate on so many sub plots. I've given it three stars just because I am a loyal fan and she writes so well, but this was a plodder I'm afraid and after three attempts I've put it away for a while. Ruth Rendell writes superbly, but if this was your first Rendell it might put you off. Try "The Bridesmaid", "Going Wrong" or any Wexford to see her at her best.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M.D. Smart VINE VOICE on 1 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a sensational and bloodthirsty serial-killer tale in the mould of Thomas Harris et al, this book will probably not be to your taste. Ruth Rendell novels are about character, and no-one can match her expertise in probing the darker shades of human behaviour. The crimes here form a backdrop to the real action, which is the shifting tensions and suspicions between the employees and lodgers at a Marleybone antiques shop, who begin to believe they have a killer in their midst. If you enjoy an intelligent character study that also happens to be a rattlingly good read and positively bristling with tension, this is the book for you. If you want cheap, nasty thrills, look elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
Traditional Ruth Rendell fans expecting a taut suspense novel will be disappointed indeed. The serial killer plot is the weakest aspect of the tale. The overall tone throughout is humorous, and the identity of the serial killer is revealed a third of the way through the book. From that point onward, the only mystery remaining is the killer's motivation and the solution to this mystery is astoundingly obvious and trite, when one considers it is coming from the hand of one the mystery genre's great modern authors.

All I can conclude is that Rendell wanted to write a sort of social comedy, but felt she had to throw in a murder plot, weak as it is. Unfortunately, the social comedy is not that interesting either. Zeinab and her matrimonial machinations are mildly amusing and the antique shop setting was potentially interesting, but that's about it. It seems to me that Rendell should have gone all out for a "straight" novel here and dispensed with the serial murder plot, which she clearly was not too interested in anyway. Maybe if she had concentrated more on the mainstream elements, she might have had something closer to, say, Muriel Spark. Instead, what we get in the Rottweiler is mostly wet biscuit.

For me, the most surreal thing in the book is Rendell's description of a fictitious American film starring Russell Crowe and Sandra Bullock. From the daft description she gives of it, I was wondering when was the last time Rendell has seen a film?
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