In a gloomy cellar, the figure of a beautiful, pale woman makes no move when the man advances on her from the shadows, puts his hands around her neck and strangles her. Arthur Johnson is a mild-mannered, shy man who has never known how to talk to women. His resulting loneliness has twisted his yearning for love and respect into a carefully constructed predilection for violence and control. On the floor below him, Anthony Johnson, a scholar studying psychopathic personalities is about to stumble - quite literally - upon one of Arthur's many secrets.
©1976 Ruth Rendell (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Wonderfully written. I'll never forget the view into a disturbed mind. Rendell is an exellent writer - Julian Clover is an impressive reader.
One of the best Rendell stories I have heard. Glover's performance is masterly. The characters brought to life with incredible vividness. The building atmosphere and plot hold you to the sudden, shocking, breath-taking end. A killer story.
Wife, mother, reader. Preferred genres include psychological fact and fiction, comedy and (auto)biography.
It's classic Rendell - i.e. she paints a vivid picture of rudderless, disparate human beings living in the pre-Gentrified parts of inner London. A myriad of strange character traits predominate in a run-down Victorian terrace.
The suspense and the build-up to the major plot arcs. The way in which Rendell makes you think that this will happen and often, it's quite the opposite. There's also quite a twist at the end.
He was great at giving the male characters a voice and special mention must be given to the central character, Arthur Johnson and minor voices, Jonathan and Brian. I must admit that his rendition of Lynthia's speech was rather clumsy to say the least. I for one wasn't aware that she was Welsh.
Arthur's strange upbringing by his maiden aunt, Gracie and how this changed the man into a monster. The description of how things were during the years of the mid 1970s when this book is set. Life was clearly changing, but Rendell brings this all to vibrant life in her writing.
It's well worth a listen. I'm slowly collecting every single one of Rendell's non-Wexford novels.
"Totally a Ruth Rendell read"
This book was a good, short listen with a good narrator. It reminded me of Rendell's The Rottweiler, although this one was written first.
If you love Rendell books, then you will like this one as it quintessentially Rendell.
"a demon in my view"
Ruth Rendell is always one of the best. I'm always on the edge of my seat.
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