2009: 113. A Demon in My View

“The cellar was divided into rooms.”

A Demon in My View, Ruth Rendell

Oh my goodness, this was a creepy novel.  A non-Wexford, it tells the story of a psychopath who has learned to curb his desire to strangle women in the middle of the night by setting up a faux killing sanctum in the basement of the seedy apartment building he calls home.  Things seem fine - his secret is safe and the neighbors think of him only as a fastidious pain, until a new neighbor moves in and inadvertently destroys his lair (he gives away the mannequin that has been standing in for women to the local boys’ Guy Fawks bonfire).  Our psychopath, denied his outlet kills again, and the novel then follows the story of whether he will be caught for his actions.  It goes back and forth between his increasing panic, and the other neighbors/police trying to solve the case.  As always, Rendell has insight into the psychopathic mind, making a creepy story that brings you into a killer’s thoughts.

Date/Place Completed: September 2009; D.C.

Categories: Fiction; Ruth Rendell Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017