Ruth Rendell’s Thirteen Steps Down

“A man’s not dead while his name is still spoken.”

Terry Pratchett

Another two-parter from ITV. I have a feeling it’s a repeat, but hey, they’re obviously showing it again, so I’m allowed to blog about it.

It’s…interesting. It’s about a guy named Mix (for some inexplicable reason) who’s obsessed with the murderer John Reginald Christie and by a famous model. When someone dares to criticise these twin obsessions, he bashes her head in with a torch.

Not one for the squeamish, then.

Now I think about it, this first part is remarkable for the fact that very little happens apart from the above-mentioned head-bashing and some creepy stalking. There’s a sub-plot woven in about the landlady’s fleeting brush with Christie, but again, very little happens there. It’s all about atmosphere, building the aura of obsession and general bonkerosity that surrounds Mix. Luke Treadaway does this very well, giving a convincing insight into a killer’s mind; Geraldine James is equally good as the slightly grouchy old landlady dwelling in the past.

Thirteen Steps Down is eerie, creepy and a little ghostly. I’m quite looking forward to finding out what happens next week. Let’s hope it’s not as disappointing as The Poison Tree.

Unfortunately, I won’t be posting for a couple of days because there is no internet in France, apparently. So merry Christmas, everybody, and good luck!


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