Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Ruth Rendell Rec From My Reading Past

Way back in 2005, I came across Ruth Rendell's (then) latest book as a review copy (I was a bookseller at the time). Now Rendell wasn't totally foreign to me, although I'd not yet read any of her books. My grandmother, whose shelves I frequently perused, had a small collection of Rendell's Wexford books (#23, The Vault, is due out in September). Thirteen Steps Down was, however, the first Rendell title I tried for myself (it's a standalone). And I loved it! I've since inherited those Wexford mysteries and started my own collection of her other standalones and Barbara Vine books as well.

I came across my copy of Thirteen Steps Down recently and knew I had to take a chance to make it a way back when rec!

Now, my memory is not that fantastic, so I'm stealing the product description from Random House:

Mix Cellini has just moved into a flat in a decaying house in Nottinghill, where he plans to pursue his two abiding passions--supermodel Nerissa Nash, whom he worships from afar, and the life of serial killer Reggie Christie, hanged fifty years earlier for murdering at least eight women. Gwendolen Chawcer, Mix’s eighty-year-old landlady has few interests beside her old books and her new tenant. But she does have an intriguing connection to Christie. And when reality intrudes into Mix’s life, he turns to Christie for inspiration and a long pent-up violence explodes. Intricately plotted and brilliantly written, 13 Steps Down enters the minds of these disparate people as they move inexorably toward its breathtaking conclusion.

I've been thinking a lot about great vacation reads and while there's no one genre in particular that I think fits, I think it's totally up to your mood, your taste, and the kind of vacation you're taking. Psychological suspense is best for vacations where you can spend hours lounging around without distraction. This one in particular will give you chills even in the middle of summer! It will always be my favorite of Rendell's titles simply because it was my first.

Check out the official Random House page for an excerpt. And Rendell's got a hell of a backlist if you're looking for a new author to try this summer!

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