by Bruce TierneyNovember, 2004
Mystery of the month
The November Tip of the Ice Pick award goes to veteran English author Ruth Rendell for her latest thriller, The Rottweiler. When the first murder victim is discovered with a prominent bite mark on her neck, the London tabloids christen the killer "The Rottweiler." It is something of a misnomer actually, as subsequent investigation reveals that the mark had occurred courtesy of the victim's boyfriend, but the appellation is too deliciously chilling for the tabloids to abandon simply because of a messy contradictory fact. One by one, young women are picked off by an obsessive serial killer. In each case, he strangles them and makes off with a small token: a pair of earrings here, a trinket there. When the purloined personal items begin to show up in a Marylebone antique shop, the police suspect the residents of the building: Inez, the owner, addicted to videos of her late husband's popular TV suspense show; Will, the intellectually challenged but heartbreakingly handsome house painter; Ludmila, the dramatic Russian(?) woman "of a certain age," whose accent disappears and reappears without warning; Jeremy, who asserts the existence of a girlfriend no one ever sees; and Zeinab, the drop-dead gorgeous Middle Eastern girl with more suitors than fingers. All are more than a bit quirky, but is one of them a serial killer? Rendell delivers a clever and fast-paced mystery guaranteed to delight new readers and longtime fans alike.