Arthur Johnson doesn't look like a murderous psychopath; he is a mild-mannered man who has never known how to talk to women.
Years of loneliness has warped his mind, turning his desire for a woman's love and respect into a pathological need for carefully controlled violence.
Locked in the cellar of his building is the perfect willing victim, a woman who can be murdered over and over again, a woman who waits for Arthur every night...When a young scholar of psychopathic personalities moves in downstairs and Arthur's mannequin disappears, where will he turn to satisfy his urgent craving for violence?
The crime novel that won Rendell the first of her six Gold Dagger awards, this is a haunting insight into the mind of a pathological criminal.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 224 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 06/10/1994
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9780099148609
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Review by Ant.Harrison
A Demon in my View is a gripping psychological thriller from Ruth Rendell, first published in 1976. A tale of the twisted mind of loner Arthur Johnson living his solitary life in the top flat of a shared house in London. Johnson is presented almost as much as a victim as those who suffer at the hands of the local serial killer known as the Kenbourne Killer, who for 25 years has terrorized women in West London. As ever, Rendell's descriptions and portrayal of the disordered mind of the believable psychopath is spot-on, to the point where he almost takes on the role of anti-hero. A disparate group of odd characters circle Johnson in the shared house - a set-up that would go on to serve Rendell so well in future years. The plot's a tight affair, with the tension slowly building as the story progresses; an early example of how the author demonstrates a masterful control over both plot, pace, motivation and characterisation. In a way it's a product of its time, to the extent that she wouldn't have been able to construct such a believable narrative in the contemporary world; in the 1970s there were no mobile phones or CCTV, and people relied on writing letters and using communal public telephones to keep in touch. A great book, where Rendell's trademark dominance of the psychological thriller is on early display.© Koplowitz 2013