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Publisher's Summary

No one would have described Manningtree Grove as fashionable. Few would have found it especially interesting. But it was not an unpleasant place to live: the old railway line lay in a valley, and the gardens looked onto it. It was the kind of place where nothing ever happened. Yet it was here that Peter Yearman first sold his soul to the devil....

©1984 Kingsmarkham Enterprises Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Killing Doll

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Suspenseful, unexpected, brilliant

Rendell's gift for transporting us into the minds of both the very peculiar and the unimaginative is never more fascinating than in this novel, indubitably one of her best. A teenage boy struggles with insecurity and dabbles in Satanism and ceremonial magic. Another boy is increasingly submerged in mental illness and violent fury. A young girl who sees herself as hideous in appearance is truly hideous in spirit. A young woman's loving heart brings her long-deserved happiness. An older man discovers the hidden artistry which his decades of solitude have developed. The flaws in them all converge in a final catastrophic act in which it is difficult to distinguish predator from prey. Rendell packs every chapter with events which at first seem surprising and afterward inevitable. She is as brilliant a psychologist as she is a writer, and has a unique capacity to unwind both plot and character with dizzying speed and not one unnecessary or misplaced word. Elizabeth II made Rendell a Baroness in recognition of her literary achievement, and this novel proves Her Majesty right.

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Profile Image for Susan Random
  • Susan Random
  • 11-19-15

The Killing Doll

What made the experience of listening to The Killing Doll the most enjoyable?

Ric Jerrom's cool, yet understated performance - he really brought the lives of the inhabitants of an inner city area to life.

What did you like best about this story?

It's the story of outsiders being forced to interact with different people within a somewhat closed society. The character of Pup and Dolly were probably the most interesting - Diarmand, less so. It was a disturbing listen though.

What about Ric Jerrom’s performance did you like?

I'm always happy with Ric narrates Rendell's novels - his voice has a soft, low, yet slightly menacing tone. He seems to end every sentence with a question mark - if you know what I mean? A raised intonation.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me feel sorry for the character of Dolly especially, but also try to imagine what it would be like to be isolated in a city as busy as London. It was interesting to learn what drives certain characters to carry out the actions that they do.

Any additional comments?

Really good.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jane
  • 05-07-20

Too far fetched for me

Really struggled with this storyline, couldn’t get into the heads of the characters and the two storylines so weakly joined together. The only thing that got me through it was the first class narration - Ric Jerrom now in my top 3.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Kilrymont
  • Kilrymont
  • 03-28-22

The worst.

I've consumed a number of Rendell's crime novels, finding the write quality to be high, and the characters well drawn.
So. This one's different. I've had enough, having soldiered on to chapter 6. 5-6 chapters and still setting the scene in grim awfulness.
I feel sorry for the narrator, whose performance was as expected. But that's not enough to keep my interest.
I've rated him highly but the book got what it deserved.
Read something else. This one's well enough written in terms of english style, but the content was too awful. I'm too old to waste my remaining time on poor audio books.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Padmacandra
  • Padmacandra
  • 10-05-21

A bit grim. Try one of her others.

I usually enjoy Ruth Rendell, but this was rather relentlessly, tediously grim and miserable. I didn't feel engaged with the characters as I usually do, and didn't enjoy the ongoing mental suffering of most of them.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Kirstine
  • Kirstine
  • 09-09-21

Confusing, not up to usual standard

I didn't enjoy this book as much as others by the author. There are too many characters who make little impression and the two story lines don't have much to do with each other and one of which goes nowhere and adds nothing to the book except adding more characters.
The narrator is very good

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Jaypet4684
  • Jaypet4684
  • 05-06-22

The killing doll

Froze on chapter 22 so didn’t get to hear the end 😡 not a happy bunny