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The House of Stairs

The House of Stairs

The third Barbara Vine novel published by Viking in

The past which Barbara Vine oh-so-gradually reveals dances around a 50ish woman named Cosette and her large household, but also comes to include the specter of a terrible genetic disease, at least two murders (probably three), love as symbiosis and love as parasitism, and an elaborate fraud.

Michael Dirda 1

Lizzie hasn’t seen her old friend, Bell, for some fourteen years. But when she spots her from a taxi on a London street she jumps out and pursues her despite all the terrible things that passed between them. As Lizzie reveals those events, little by little, the women rekindle their friendship, with terrifying results.


Contemporary Reads 3


  1. Ruth Rendell Chills and Fevers, Washington Post 1989. ↩︎

  2. Andrew Davies interview, The Telegraph, 2016. ↩︎

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