Mix Cellini (which he pronounces with an S rather than a C) is superstitious about the number 13 and has always felt dogged by ill-luck. In the house where he lives, there are 13 steps down to the landing below his rooms. His landlady lives her life almost exclusively through her library, blind to the neglect and decay around her. However, Mix is obsessed with the life of the notorious John Christie, who lived in the same Notting Hill neighbourhood at 10 Rillington Place. He is also infatuated with a beautiful woman who lives near-by, a model who wouldn’t look twice at him. Both landlady and lodger are caught up in their own psychologically twisted parallel worlds. But when reality intrudes into Mix's life, a long pent-up violence explodes.
©2004 Kingsmarkham Enterprises Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This is the first Ruth Rendell novels I have "read", but I love the several Barbara Vine novels that I have listened to through Audible........I find it hard to believe that they're written by the same person. This book is repetitive: the reader is subjected to repeated, almost identical descriptions of how badly kept the house is and the extent of the disrepair. This book is static: the characters don't change, they keep saying and doing the same things over and over again, and the plot moves at a snail's pace. The book is derivative: there are no surprises in what happens, there's no undiscovered thoughts or motivations, and the only "surprise" about the ghost is pretty unbelievable and kind of fizzles in the end.
Added to that is the lackluster narration, which is occasionally cliched and occasionally undifferentiated (between characters and times).
A disappointment for this Barbara VIne fan.
"Thirteen Steps Down"
Really enjoyed this, even if the beginning didn't immediately pull me in and the end a little rushed but delightfully ironic
"Could have done better"
It took what appeared to be a very long time before something happened.
The ending, it sort of fizzled out.
Yes, loved him as Lord Peter Wimsey in Murder Must Advertise.
Yes, I listened to it a second time, so it can't have been as bad as it seemed to be the first time around.
I haven't read any of Ruth Rendell's books before, but decided to give this one a go seeing as it was narrated by Ric Jerrom. I would have liked the action to have begun a little earlier than it did, and not have ended with a whimper. Maybe I am asking too much, but I do like a bit more action.
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