THE HOUSE OF STAIRS by Barbara Vine (hier online bestellen)

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The story:
The narrator, Elizabeth, is a writer in her forties whose whole life has been threatened by the danger of a fatal genetic disease which might or might not strike her before her fifties (if it has not stricken by then, chances are it never will). One day, she encounters Bell, a woman just released from prison, and who used to be her friend. She follows her in the street but soon loses her. This event triggers a lot of memories: in a series of flashbacks, she remembers the circumstances, fourteen years ago, of a scheme which resulted in murder...
Elizabeth remembers Cosette, an older cousin, a middle-aged woman she considered like a mother in the late sixties (her own mother was then dying from Huntington's chorea, the disease she might have inherited). Cosette, once widowed, decides to live a second youth. Immensely rich, she buys a huge house with many rooms which soon comes to be known as the House of Stairs. As is her wish, many people are invited by her, sleep in her rooms, and benefit from her generosity, often taking advantage of her. In the House of Stairs, there is always a bed and food for the youth. Elizabeth soon moves in and starts writing novels. Bell, a mysterious young woman she had previously met in tragic circumstances, who looks like a Henry James heroine and who fascinates her, crosses her path again. Soon, she invites her to stay in the House of Stairs, a decision she and Cosette will come to regret...The tension builds slowly, the personalities of the various characters are revealed, a dark scheme emerges..

Extract from book:
From the simplified Penguin Reader version:
"When I got home from Thornham after the death of Silas Sanger, I told Cosette about it all. Felicity had explained to me about Silas's games. He loved gun and used to play Russian roulette when he was drunk. When I saw him that night, he was lying in a pool of blood on the floor of his cottage. Bell was very calm. She said she had been upstairs and heard the shot.I believed her story then. Much later I found out that, a few hours before Silas died, his father had died, leaving him £10,000. The money came to Bell and was just enough for her to live on.
I didn't know this when I was telling my story to Cosette. I waited for her to give her opinion. Instead of this she said, 'I have bought a house.'
I looked at her.
'It's in London. In Notting Hill. You'll like it. It's a big, tall house on five floors with 106 stairs. I call it the House of Stairs.'
'Notting Hill?' I said. It was a poor, dirty and dangerous part of London in those days.
'I won't be alone', she said. 'People will come. Don't you think people will come?'
What people? Her Hampstead neighbours? Her rich friends?
'There are a lot of young people in that part of London,' said Cosette.
'But what will you do?'
'Live,' said Cosette, smiling. 'I mean I will just live there and - and wait and see.' "

About the author:
Barbara Vine is Ruth Rendell, the best-selling crime novelist and author of the much loved "Wexford" mysteries. Writing as Barbara Vine, she has won numerous awards:A Dark Adapted Eye received huge critical acclaim and was an Edgar Award Winner, A Fatal Inversion won the Crime Writer's Association Gold Dagger Award for 1987 and King Solomon's Carpet won the 1992 Crime Writer's Association Gold Dagger Award.
Her novels A Fatal Inversion, Gallowglass and A Dark-Adapted Eye have been successfully televised. Ruth Rendell is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 1991 she was awarded the Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger for a lifetime's achievement in crime writing. In 1997 she was created a life peer and took the title Baroness Rendell of Babergh.
Ruth Rendell lives in Suffolk.

Sprache: Englisch
Broschiert - 281 Seiten - Penguin Books
Erscheinungsdatum: 1989
ISBN: 0582417651
Preis: € 6,49

More works from the same author:

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The Blood Doctor
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A Dark-Adapted Eye
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Anna's Book
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Asta's Book
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A Fatal Inversion

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