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The Rottweiler Hardcover – Nov 11 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; 1st Edition edition (Nov. 11 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385660251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385660259
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 2.9 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,462,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Ruth Rendell has written some of the best novels of the twentieth century.”
—Frances Fyfield

“Rendell’s clear, shapely prose casts the mesmerizing spell of the confessional.”
—The New Yorker


From the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

“Ruth Rendell has written some of the best novels of the twentieth century.”
—Frances Fyfield

“Rendell’s clear, shapely prose casts the mesmerizing spell of the confessional.”
—The New Yorker


From the Paperback edition.

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Format: Audio CD
Ruth Rendell here again visits London, the place she is so able to render darkly atmospheric and menacing. There is a serial killer on the loose, and he has been dubbed "The Rottweiler" by the media, due to a bite mark found on the first victims neck, even though that bite mark was later traced back to her boyfriend. His only signature is that he takes one of each victims' personal items - perhaps a watch, or necklace - after having garrotted them.
The latest victim is found near Inez Ferry's antique shop, and because of this the lives of a small group of disparate people will become drawn into this case and it's increasingly introverted investigation. For the police are becoming more and more convinced that someone connected to the shop - anyone from the exotic assistant Zeinab, who is stringing along a variety of rich men, to one of the tenants in the flats above - could very well be a homicidal maniac...
This is everything that I expect a Ruth Rendell novel to be. It is, of course, impeccably written and psychologically excellent, so I need say no more about that. Indeed, The Rottweiler is another of Rendell's books that is entirely unique, in that for almost the first time ever she displays a delicious dark humour, veins of which run through the plot like black treacle. At times, this seems like a social satire, as she directs her gaze onto everything from the media to the often bizarre relationships between men and women.
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Format: Hardcover
Once again Ruth Rendell proves her worth as a novelist. This time the work is far from her best but still reaches beyond the results that most in the genre can offer.
The characters are vivid and well developed, although this time she fumbles and drops too much in the end game. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end but felt somewhat dissatisfied with the glossed over speedy finish. It was almost like she had a deadline approach and wrapped up quickly leaving outstanding characters dangling and a wonderful story unfinished.
Most writers could never expect to recover from this major error but wordsmith Rendell just gets 1 point knocked of the rating. Yup, the book is that strong.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 36 reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
The best crime writer anywhere in the world today - still! Feb. 22 2004
By RachelWalker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ruth Rendell here again visits London, the place she is so able to render darkly atmospheric and menacing. There is a serial killer on the loose, and he has been dubbed "The Rottweiler" by the media, due to a bite mark found on the first victims neck, even though that bite mark was later traced back to her boyfriend. His only signature is that he takes one of each victims' personal items - perhaps a watch, or necklace - after having garrotted them.
The latest victim is found near Inez Ferry's antique shop, and because of this the lives of a small group of disparate people will become drawn into this case and it's increasingly introverted investigation. For the police are becoming more and more convinced that someone connected to the shop - anyone from the exotic assistant Zeinab, who is stringing along a variety of rich men, to one of the tenants in the flats above - could very well be a homicidal maniac...
This is everything that I expect a Ruth Rendell novel to be. It is, of course, impeccably written and psychologically excellent, so I need say no more about that. Indeed, The Rottweiler is another of Rendell's books that is entirely unique, in that for almost the first time ever she displays a delicious dark humour, veins of which run through the plot like black treacle. At times, this seems like a social satire, as she directs her gaze onto everything from the media to the often bizarre relationships between men and women. Her characters are also particularly noteworthy, especially the compelling Inez and Will, who is possibly the most moving character she has ever depicted, who takes a perverse, almost unregistered, pleasure from pushing away all prospective suitors for his beloved Aunt Rebecca, who desperately doesn't want to spend the rest of her life caring for her "simple" nephew, though is racked with guilt because of that.
You would easily be forgiven for thinking that this is a serial killer novel, but this is really no more a serial killer novel than the Bible is a book solely about God. It is so much more than that. It's a book about the people involved, how they can be draw into darkness and uncertainty through the effects of the gravity of crime. It's a book about how peoples live always changed when confronted with the horrific. At times, the serial killings themselves seem very on the periphery (I was going to say "incidental" that that would be entirely the wrong word) and it is eerie to read about them in such a detached way. It's also interesting how we, essentially, only know as much about the murders as the characters themselves do through their exposure to the media.
To be honest, it's almost impossible to review a Ruth Rendell book and truly convince of her genius and say what you really want to without illustrating it by disclosing important aspects of the plot or simply re-telling little aspects of the story, which makes the task I have very hard. But, rest assured, this book of a contemporary and chilling London and a small group of people within it is brilliant. It's a novel that questions, among many things, the nature of morality, how we perceive others and ourselves, it examines ideas of the human need for companionship, and the different forms of love between men and women, and it tackles, as many of her books do on some level, the problem of "How eccentric or odd do you have to be before you become a danger to others, or even yourself?" And yet, it is really about none of those things. Those are just tiny stitches in her tapestry, small but illuminating strokes on her canvas. It's about people, and the spider-web of life that connects everything to everything else. And I consider it to be brilliance in its purest form. The only way to understand this is to read one of her works, because there is no one else today writing books quite like this. She's our modern Scheherazade. I just want her to keep telling stories all night long.
23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Absorbing and brilliant Dec 6 2004
By Phillip O. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A killer is on the loose, strangling young women before leaving with one of their personal items. In the midst of the investigation, we get a glimpse of life within an antique shop/apartment house owned by Inez Ferry. Her tenants include an eclectic assortment of characters and of course one of them is the killer. In typical Rendell fashion, the killer is revealed by page 100 but the how and why is not and as the killer himself seeks an answer as to why he is doing these deeds, so is the reader and it keeps us turning the pages.

Ruth Rendell never ceases to amaze and I truly wonder how she comes up with these intriguing plots and interesting characters. It is common for such an assortment of characters to come together in some fashion or be connected some way but I was surprised to see that they really do not in this novel. Still, Rendell's prose is highly engrossing and she is a master at depicting the dark side of the human psyche. These characters are among her most vivid and include one of the most sympathetic she has ever created, a young good looking mentally deficient man who becomes a suspect. The incident that leads up to him being suspected is rather heartbreaking.

As always, one the elements that make Rendell's book so much fun is her dark humor when writing about a character or reading their thoughts. Case in point is Zeinab, a beautiful Asian women who works for Inez in the antique shop and uses her beauty to snag rich men in order to pay for her families luxuries.

I only had one minor quip with the story and it concerns the theft of a strongbox and the thief eventually unlocking the combination by a simple guess. Highly unbelievable and unlikely but that is the only flaw in this exceptionally intriguing novel.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Rendell shows no diminishment of skill in this book! May 2 2005
By Laurie Fletcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is vintage Rendell. She has a very special gift for portraying, in great detail, people on the fringes of society. They become as real and complex as our own relations and neighbors and because of this, we care about them and fear for them. This is her strength. In this book reside some of her best and quirkiest characters and she takes the time to give them the necessary charm and viability in our imaginations. This is far from her best work but there is a brilliant psychology at play here where a small cadre of forgotten people live in the Marylebone section of London and its members are related by work and/or life in a house of rental properties. That a serial crime of horrible details appears to center a little too close to their lives seems to just add color and a frison of excitement ... at first. We may or may not know who the killer really is (we're pretty sure) and we don't really get a hint until far along in the book, but it is a good journey and well worth the effort. I've been on the edges of Marylebone and it may help to picture it as a little poorer, but nonetheless colorful, Notting Hill.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
In a class by herself. Nov. 20 2004
By E. Bukowsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ruth Rendell once again proves that she is uniquely talented with "The Rottweiler," her latest psychological thriller. The title refers to a serial killer who, at first, was mistakenly thought to bite his female victims. In truth, he doesn't bite the women he kills; he would rather not touch them at all. He strangles them using cord or a similar object, and then takes a trinket from each body as a keepsake.

"The Rottweiler" takes place in a London neighborhood, and much of the action revolves around an antiques shop owned by Inez, a widow who pines for her adored late husband, Martin. Inez also rents out flats above her shop to an assorted group of tenants. We gradually get to know a great deal about Inez, her tenants, and her gorgeous employee, Zeinab.

Why is Rendell such a mesmerizing writer? One reason is that she takes the time to delve into each character's mind and heart. In the pages of this novel, we meet an unrepentant serial killer, a few thieves, a charlatan, and an alcoholic, among others, but Rendell does not merely use her characters as props. She opens a window into each individual's personality, and she lays bare his or her weaknesses, strengths, vulnerabilities, hopes, and dreams. We may not like these people, but we understand them.

Besides the serial killer plot, there is a poignant and heartbreaking subplot that deals with the plight of Will, a development disabled man who relies a great deal on his Aunt Becky for love and emotional support. Becky is Will's only living relative, and although she cares for Will, she would like to live her own life, free of responsibility for this man-child. However, she is crippled by guilt, and she can think of no way to break free of him. As usual, Rendell writes with dark humor, cynicism, and deep insight into the many ways that people destroy themselves and others, and she holds the reader in the palm of her hand throughout.

In Rendell's world, there is no such thing as fairness. The good are not always rewarded for their virtue, nor are the evil always punished for their sins. Why would we want to enter such a bleak universe? The reasons are simple. Rendell's effortless writing is both lucid and beautifully descriptive, she maintains a high level of suspense until the last page is turned, and she has an unusual and thought-provoking perspective on human nature. That is why Rendell has always been in a class by herself.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Rendell Proves Again She Is Still A Great Writer Dec 31 2003
By Cordova Bay Entertainment Group, Inc. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Once again Ruth Rendell proves her worth as a novelist. This time the work is far from her best but still reaches beyond the results that most in the genre can offer.
The characters are vivid and well developed, although this time she fumbles and drops too much in the end game. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end but felt somewhat dissatisfied with the glossed over speedy finish. It was almost like she had a deadline approach and wrapped up quickly leaving outstanding characters dangling and a wonderful story unfinished.
Most writers could never expect to recover from this major error but wordsmith Rendell just gets 1 point knocked of the rating. Yup, the book is that strong.


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