2010: 2. The Rottweiler

“The jaguar stood in a corner of the shop between a statute of some minor Greek deity and a jardiniere.” 

The Rottweiler, Ruth Rendell

     Taking things way, way out of order (see date below), I wanted to capture two books I just returned to the library before I forget that I read them.  Both by Ruth Rendell, both stand-alones (rather than Wexfords), both reasonably entertaining, neither her very, very best.  

      This tells the story of a serial killer that is terrorizing London, killer random young women and stealing a memento from each.*  The novel focuses on a bunch of people living in the same building as an antique store where many of the items are suddenly found, making us realize that someone in the building is involved in the killings, and that everyone in the building is in danger.  

      I don’t know about this one.  The whole serial killer aspect of the book is by far the most boring part - it is pretty clear early on who the killer is (in fact, when we were very first introduced to this character I, who never guess the killer, thought “I bet that’s the killer.”), and the part when we watch the killer trying to suss out what makes him or her act this way is absolutely ridiculous.  Sorry, Ruth, but I’m not that interested in understanding the sociopath, let alone sympathizing.  The other, non-murder parts, though, which just tell the stories of the other tenants (and associated hangers on of those tenants) makes a pretty decent novel.  It’s almost as if the crime novel is an after thought to a reasonably good collection of character sketches, and really drags them down.  Strange thing to say about a crime novelist’s work, but true.

*Early on there was a rumor that he also bit them, hence the nick-name “The Rottweiler,” but that was discredited, and he does not bite them.  Thus, I think that it is a stupid name for the novel.  But, whatever.

Date/Place Completed: April 2010

Categories: Library Book, Ruth Rendell Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017