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The Rottweiler [Paperback]

Ruth Rendell
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2004

The first murder victim had a bite mark on her neck. When the tabloids got hold of the story, they immediately called the deranged killer 'The Rottweiler', and the name stuck.

The latest body was discovered very near Inez Ferry's antique shop in Marylebone. Someone spotted a shadowy figure running away past the station, but couldn't say for sure if it was a man or a woman. There were only two other clues. The murderer seemed to have a preference for strangling his victims and then removing something personal - like a cigarette lighter or a necklace. Trinkets very similar to those mysteriously appearing in Inez's shop. . .

Since her actor husband died, too early into their marriage, Inez supplemented her modest income by taking in tenants above the shop. As her collection of antique trinkets grows, so does Inez's fear that she is harbouring a psychopathic murderer.

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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 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 498,012 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.


"Compelling and disturbing" (The Times)

"In Rendell's expert hands, you'll want to keep reading until dawn - with the light on" (Red)

"Rendell skilfully crafts her characters and they breathe feverishly through her imagination" (The Times)

"Wonderful at exploring the dark corners of the human mind, and the way private fantasies can clash and explode into terrifying violence" (Daily Mail)

"Rendell is unrivalled at depicting psychologically warped people and at creating unease through the simplest things. This is another triumph" (Observer)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not Rendell's best, but still good... 1 Feb 2004
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the thoughtful crime fan 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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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best writer at work today, anywhere. 5 Aug 2003
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ruth Rendell here again visits London, the place she is so able to render darkly atmospheric and menacing. There is a serial killer on the loose, and he has been dubbed “The Rottweiler” by the media, due to a bite mark found on the first victims neck, even though that bite mark was later traced back to her boyfriend. His only signature is that he takes one of each victims’ personal items – perhaps a watch, or necklace – after having garrotted them.
The latest victim is found near Inez Ferry’s antique shop, and because of this the lives of a small group of disparate people will become drawn into this case and it’s increasingly introverted investigation. For the police are becoming more and more convinced that someone connected to the shop – anyone from the exotic assistant Zeinab to one of the tenants in the flats above – could very well be a homicidal maniac...
This is everything that I expect a Ruth Rendell novel to be. It is, of course, impeccably written and psychologically excellent, so I need say no more about that. Her characters are also particularly noteworthy, especially the compelling Inez and Will, who is possibly the most moving character she has ever depicted.. You would easily be forgiven for thinking that this is a serial killer novel, but this is really no more a serial killer novel than the Bible is a book solely about God. It is so much more than that. It’s a book about the people involved, how they can be draw into darkness and uncertainty through the effects of the gravity of crime. It’s a book about how peoples live always changed when confronted with the horrific.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best example of her genius 5 Nov 2007
By sam155 VINE VOICE
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as gripping as other Ruth Rendell books
I've read many Ruth Rendell books but I thought although good in my opinion this one was not one of her best.
Published 4 months ago by C A Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor
This my second Ruth Rendell book.
The first was "Make Death Love Me", which I thought was ok.
This one was more of a disappointment. Not thrilling. Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2010 by joelunchpail
2.0 out of 5 stars Mild Social Satire Disguised as a "Psychological Thriller"
Traditional Ruth Rendell fans expecting a taut suspense novel will be disappointed indeed. The serial killer plot is the weakest aspect of the tale. Read more
Published on 31 May 2010 by Red Rivere
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising bu disappointing
Other reviewers have complained about the plot inconsistencies, and I would concur with this; the confusion over how old Alexander was when his father died, the burglar alarm code,... Read more
Published on 4 Mar 2010 by R. Davies
2.0 out of 5 stars The Rottweiler
If you haven't read Rendell before, don't start with this novel. Having read all of Rendell's novels preceding this one, I can safely say this is one of her worst. Read more
Published on 26 Nov 2009 by Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant yarn from Ruth Rendell
It took a few pages to get into this and then I was stuck! I just kept on reading 100 pages at a time as the story is very gripping, the characters are very real and as usual... Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2008 by Witchybookworm
1.0 out of 5 stars Rottweiler Rubbish
I read this book as it was our book club choice for the month and I don't read "Crime" novels normally - we're experimenting with a range of genres. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2006 by Rastar
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely disappointing
I'm normally a big Rendell fan but this was a shocking novel.

A meandering story, plot loopholes galore and over-analysis aplenty were the lasting memories I had.
Published on 24 July 2006 by Angellica
1.0 out of 5 stars first and last Ruth Redell book i will read
I bought this because I thought it looked like a good title and a good front cover! But unfortunately that's all you get.
Boring, over analysing everything. Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars A well researched read
I'm reading this now and enjoying it quite alot. I happen to live in the part of London where it is set, and am impressed with the references to places I also know. Read more
Published on 17 Feb 2005
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