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The Rottweiler

The Rottweiler

A stand-alone novel published by Hutchinson in

When, 30 years ago, the crime fiction of Sayers and Christie was dismissed as artificial, other crime writers tried to combine the narrative demands of the genre with naturalism. Rendell was at the forefront of that movement. Now she is innovating again, paralleling a corresponding shift in “literary fiction”, where the novel of social realism is being challenged.

Jane Jakeman 1

The first murder victim had a bite mark on her neck. When the tabloids got hold of the story, they immediately called the deranged killer ‘The Rottweiler’, and the name stuck.

The latest body was discovered very near Inez Ferry’s antique shop in Marylebone. Someone spotted a shadowy figure running away past the station but couldn’t say for sure if it was a man or a woman.

There were only two other clues. The murderer has a preference for strangling his victims and then removing something personal, like a cigarette lighter or a necklace. Trinkets very similar to those mysteriously appearing in Inez’s shop.

Since her actor husband died—too early into their marriage—Inez supplemented her modest income by taking in tenants above the shop. As her collection of antique trinkets grows, so does Inez’s fear that she is harbouring a psychopathic murderer.


Contemporary Reads 2


  1. Reality Bites as Crime Fiction Goes Postmodern. The Independent, 30 September 2003. ↩︎

  2. Book links may earn this site a small commission. ↩︎