The Barnes & Noble Review
A serial killer is loose in London, one who strangles his female victims and then takes a small trinket from each one as a morbid keepsake. The police are stumped -- until the jewelry begins turning up in an antiques shop.
The owner of Star Antiques, Inez Ferry, a 55-year-old widow still trying to come to grips with the loss of her beloved husband, also rents the apartments above the store to a diversity of less than savory middle-class characters. After Ferry finds the items and contacts the authorities, the plodding local detectives eventually come around asking questions but add little more to the case. As fear of the Rottweiler (the media's ill-described nickname for the killer) spreads, the police begin scrutinizing Ferry's employees and tenants. One tenant in particular, a learning-disabled handyman named Will Cobbett, is tagged a suspect for his unusual behavior. But as Cobbett is being interrogated, the real killer is walking the streets, desperately trying to recall what suppressed experience in his past (if any) compels him to kill.
Longtime Ruth Rendell fans will be delighted with The Rottweiler, a masterfully complex psychological thriller powered by a cast of brilliantly developed characters, heart-wrenching subplots, and enough insight into the machinations of the criminal mind to satisfy even the darkest heart. Larded throughout with irony, cynicism, and biting wit, The Rottweiler is yet another masterwork from a master storyteller. Paul Goat Allen
The Rottweiler is an especially sure-handed mystery novel from Ruth Rendell, arriving 40 years after the publication of her first one. Though it has the infelicitous name of a dog, this book is more of a cat-and-mouse affair. Ms. Rendell does an especially neat job of toying with the reader.
The New York Times
A killer called the Rottweiller (you get the picture) steals trinkets from his victims that start turning up in a little London antiques shop. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Classic Rendell, macabre and fast-paced, the kind of tale that makes you look twice at the shadows and dark corners of your own street. Grade: A." Entertainment Weekly"Clever. . . . Especially sure-handed. . . . An expert, teasing mystery." The New York Times "One of the few don't-miss authors in the genre. . . . Ruth Rendell is one of those writers one reads for the sheer joy of the way she puts words together. . . . The novel is superbly crafted. Read it when you have plenty of time to savor its many delights." The Plain Dealer"The British master of style, suspense, complexity and creepy villains...Rendell is the perfect storyteller. . . . If you read only one novel this year, make it The Rottweiler." The Orlando Sentinel"Powerful and appealing.... [Rendell] has the mystery form down pat." The Washington Post"Ruth Rendell's books always rise to the top. She's so good..... In her quiet, silken-noose way, Rendell illuminates these people, traces their intersecting paths, and gives them meaning and substance." The Seattle Times"Rendell is a master of the tires-on-ice moment, the moment when the intersecting elements begin their inexorable slide into calamity.... [Her] body of work...constitutes one of the most precise and unflinching contributions to contemporary English fiction." Salon "Subtle, witty, and observant, Rendell creates a rich tapestry of characters and interweaves their stories.... The story of the killer provides the adrenaline, but the smaller stories of Becky, Inez, Zeinab, and the rest give this novel a beating heart." The Boston Globe"Rendell's prose is incisive and clear, peeling away the complex layers that her characters, no matter how ordinary they appear, actually possess." The Baltimore Sun"The author trains a...penetrating eye on the psychology behind her characters' foibles.... Even the most innocent secrets...have a function in the macabre scenario that ultimately flushes out the killer." The New York Times Book Review"As usual, Rendell presents an intricate and intriguing story with a penetrating glimpse into the sometimes evil, sometimes pitiable, but always fascinating depths of human nature." San Diego Union-Tribune"[Proves] again that, in the world of contemporary crime fiction, Rendell really is top dog." The Times (London)
Read an Excerpt
A series of apparently motiveless murders disrupts the lives of some very different people in Rendell’s darkly atmospheric London.
The first victim was discovered with a bite on her neck. The police traced the DNA to the girl’s boyfriend, but the tabloids had already dubbed the murderer “The Rottweiler,” and the name stuck. The latest body was found near Inez Ferry’s shop in Marylebone. Someone spotted a figure fleeing into the shadows, but couldn’t say even if it was man or woman. The only other clues are the murderer’s penchant for strangling his prey, and for then removing a small token -- a necklace, a lighter.
To make ends meet, widowed Inez Ferry takes in tenants above her antique store. The unpredictable and obsessive acts of the serial murderer begin profoundly to disturb the lives of the heterogeneous little community of lodgers, especially when suspicion grows that one of them might be “The Rottweiler.”
Author Biography: Dame Ruth Rendell has been a serial award winner since she won her first Edgar in 1975. The first of several Gold Dagger awards came in 1976, for A Demon in My View. She was made a Life Peer in 1997.