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The House of Stairs | [Ruth Rendell]

The House of Stairs

When Elizabeth Vetch spots Bell for the first time in 17 years, she chases her down in order to learn why her old friend committed a terrible murder all those years ago. Bell has been in prison ever since the mysterious events that took place at the House of Stairs, a London mansion full of over-privileged, overstuffed, and somewhat sinister boarders, landed her there. Now it’s up to Lizzie to put together the pieces of her friend’s - and her own - fateful past.
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Publisher's Summary

When Lizzie and Bell meet for tea after nearly two decades apart, the topic of conversation is murder - one that Bell herself committed

When Elizabeth Vetch spots Bell for the first time in 17 years, she chases her down in order to learn why her old friend committed a terrible murder all those years ago. Bell has been in prison ever since the mysterious events that took place at the House of Stairs, a London mansion full of over-privileged, overstuffed, and somewhat sinister boarders, landed her there. Now it’s up to Lizzie to put together the pieces of her friend’s - and her own - fateful past.

As the story behind Bell’s crime unfolds, master of suspense Barbara Vine keeps readers guessing at the victim and the motive, letting the sword of Damocles hang over the heads of a fascinating and richly drawn cast of characters.

©2011 Open Road Integrated Media (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“An unputdownable thriller.” (The Sunday Telegraph)

“Barbara Vine is a master practitioner of the genre in which we are not certain until the end what the crime was.” (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.0 (7 )
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Performance
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  •  
    bonnie 04-24-13
    bonnie 04-24-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such an irritating reader"
    What disappointed you about The House of Stairs?

    The performance.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ruth Rendell again?

    As a rule, I enjoy Ruth Rendell


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader sounds like a short-winded smoker!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I can't even finish the first chapter because of the reader


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, I would like to return this audiobook

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura winston salem, NC, United States 04-30-13
    Laura winston salem, NC, United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Would rather have read it."
    Would you try another book from Ruth Rendell and/or Annie Wauters?

    Ruth Rendell, yes. Annie Wauters, no.


    What didn’t you like about Annie Wauters’s performance?

    Her reading was very measured with a little pause between each word, like she was aiming at an audience of octogenarians. And why didn't they pick an English reader??


    Did The House of Stairs inspire you to do anything?

    Stop reading it...but I persevered.


    Any additional comments?

    This novel was all tarnished glitz, unconvincing character development, and it appeared that by the end, even the author was bored with it, but not to say I want go back and buy and listen to some of her earlier work. Ruth Rendell is a wonderful writer, but this is not her best work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Spartanburg, SC, United States 08-15-13
    Robert Spartanburg, SC, United States 08-15-13 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Story is good but the narrator nearly ruined it"
    Would you try another book from Ruth Rendell and/or Annie Wauters?

    I have always liked Ruth Rendell's books and will continue to recommend her to others. I will not recommend Annie Wauters as a narrator. I have been much more impressed with Jenny Sterlin, Nigel Anthony, Julian Glover, and Davina Porter, who all narrate Ruth Rendell's books very well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The House of Stairs?

    The moment at which we realize the protagonist's relationship with Belle was romantic.


    What didn’t you like about Annie Wauters’s performance?

    Annie Wauters’s performance was stilted, dull, and mechanical. At many points it sounds as if she is simply reading a list of words. Her voice gives no hint of changes in scenes and barely (at most) distinguishes between characters.It was only because I know Ruth Rendell always delivers a good story that I stuck with it.


    Was The House of Stairs worth the listening time?

    Yes but barely because of the narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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