A Demon in My View is 25 years old. It's a mark of Ms Rendell's talent that it can still easily hold its own against the current popular mystery writers. Ruth Rendell has a superb grasp of human nature - her characterizations are the best in the business. You'd recognise these people if you met them, though some of them you really wouldn't want to meet! Fat, avaricious landlord Stanley represents his type exactly and meek, righteous, houseproud Arthur, the book's main character, is one of the very creepiest people I've ever read about - repressed, obsessed and cunning. You can't help wondering how many men like him there are out there, 'men with his problem' - a problem that Arthur is proud that he can keep under control. He never lets himself go out after dark, to keep well away from temptation, and what he does in the basement instead is really sick. Far more intriguing than the usual whodunnit, this book is more of a 'will he do it?' After a new neighbour moves into his sheltered environment - handsome, confident, friendly and all the things Arthur recognizes he himself isn't - Arthur's basement refuge is no more, and his frustration, paranoia and weirdness increase. There's lots more plot and lots of interesting minor characters, and Ms Rendell makes it seem easy. It isn't - read and recognize a master author.