- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Arrow; TV Tie-In edition (2 Aug. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099580039
- ISBN-13: 978-0099580034
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Thirteen Steps Down Paperback – 2 Aug 2012
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"If Ruth Rendell were not slotted into the category of writer of mystery novels, she would have won the Booker long ago for the sly style that sidles up on the reader, full of cozening phrases that ensnare." (Books of the Year, Evening Standard)
"There are the fears that haunt us, the nightmarish urban myths of our time... One of the most remarkable talents writing today. Ruth Rendell is a peer of the realm, and she deserves to be: she's a national treasure" (Independent)
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top Customer Reviews
Basically a story of a sad individual who is obsessed with John Reginald Christie and the murders he committed. He also becomes obsessed with a beautiful model. He is forced to recreate some of the aspects of Christie's career when he, too, commits murder. Any more detail would act as a spoiler to anyone wanting to read the book. Suffice to say, I found it an ok read but was left disappointed.
Mix Cellini is a loner who has two unhealty obsessions, one with Christie, and another for a top fashion-model, Nerissa Nash. He takes a top-floor flat in a big decaying London house, owned by Miss Gwendolin Chawcer, a reclusive, waspish old lady, who during the course of her long life, has rarely ventured into the outside world, who still carries a torch for a man she barely knew decades before, and who is unceasingly rude to her two kind-hearted, longsuffering chums, Olive and Queenie. This is vintage Rendell territory. Lonely people living in their own fantasy worlds, and having the whole thing spiral painfully out of control. Where this book is truly great are the scenes in Miss Chawcer's house, they are like something out of a black-and-white Hitchcock film. Two eccentric people, of wildly different ages, who hate each other, don't understand each other, and want nothing to do with each other, are forced, through financial constraints, to live under the same roof.Read more ›
The main characters in the book are certainly not likeable. From the fantasist lodger Mix Cellini his day job exercise equipement technician, who drools over top model Nerissa Nash in his fantasies, thinking he will win her heart.Then there is his equally unlikeable Landlady Gwendolen Chawcer.Then Madam Shoshanna, blowsy mystic and spa owner, Yikes these are creepy people who inhabit morbid inner worlds. In fact the only likeable characters are the VIctim and the lesser supporting characters in the book.
The chapters build slowly and masterfully to a wonder crescendo and finish. I strongly recomend this as good holiday reading. Get it.
Gwendolen Chawcer has spent a lifetime in St Blaise House. She used to spend her days looking after her parents, then just her father, and now just only herself. It is a necessary evil that she must take in a lodger, the mostly disagreeable Mix Cellini. Their alliance is an uneasy but necessary arrangement. Miss Chawcer pines for a love lost more than fifty years ago, and upon hearing of the death of the man's wife, she is certain that he will want her in his life. Tiresome to fall ill and have one's friends take over, and they don't trust that strange man upstairs either. He doesn't know that she has a key to his flat, and has smelt a very strange smell coming from upstairs.
If you are into the psychological thrillers that author Ruth Rendell writes under the name of Barbara Vine, "Thirteen Steps Down" is right up your alley. With the action largely being relayed through the movements of your typical Rendell tortured loner, you are treated to witnessing the slow breakdown of an unstable mind.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bit of a waste of time to tell the truth.
Some of the characters are so cardboardy the writing comes across as totally amateur .... Nerissa and Darel a case in point . Read more
An abused and disturbed young mans obsession with a fantasy love for a young model and a unhealthy interest with the murderer Christie takes him on a journey down a very dangerous... Read morePublished on 22 Feb. 2015 by Peter Joiner
This was the novel that confirmed Ruth Rendell's mastery once and for all. I actually read it after watching the TV adaptation, which is not usually the way round I would approach... Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2014 by Amelia L. Quirk
Firstly, I must confess to not being a huge Ruth Rendell fan.
I have read a couple of her other books and not been overly impressed, but I was drawn to this one after... Read more