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13 Steps Down
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From the multi-award-winning author of The Babes in the Wood and The Rottweiler, a chilling new novel about obsession, superstition, and violence, set in Rendell's darkly atmospheric London.
Mix Cellini (which he pronounces with an 'S' rather than a 'C') is superstitious about the number 13. In musty old St. Blaise House, where he is the lodger, there are thirteen steps down to the landing
below his rooms, which he keeps spick and span. His elderly landlady, Gwendolen Chawcer, was born in St. Blaise House, and lives her life almost exclusively through her library of books, so cannot see the decay and neglect around her.
The Notting Hill neighbourhood has changed radically over the last fifty years, and 10 Rillington Place, where the notorious John Christie committed a series of foul murders, has been torn down.
Mix is obsessed with the life of Christie and his small library is composed entirely of books on the subject. He has also developed a passion for a beautiful model who lives nearby -- a woman who would not look at him twice.
Both landlady and lodger inhabit weird worlds of their own. But when reality intrudes into Mix's life, a long pent-up violence explodes.
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About the Author

Ruth Rendell has won numerous awards, including three Edgars, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, and three Gold Daggers, one Silver Dagger, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England's prestigious Crime Writer's Association. She lives in London.

Reviews

"Brilliant. . . . Wonderful. . . . Remarkable. . . . A triumph. . . . Its final denouement [is] a miracle of irony and compassion." --The Boston Globe " Dazzling. . . . Cool, dark, intricately plotted. . . . At once creepy, incredibly funny, and oddly moving. Grade: A." --Entertainment Weekly "Brilliant. . . . Chilling. . . . A profoundly unnerving psychological suspense novel . . . that demonstrates Rendell's cunning artistry. . . . We'll never forget our visit to St. Blaise House." --The New York Times Book Review "Rendell, the mistress of foreboding . . . twists to a high pitch, so that you keep on turning the pages, alternately shuddering and smiling. . . . One of the top crime novels of the year." --The Rocky Mountain News

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