Inez Ferry owns a London antique shop and lives in a flat above. A widow whose husband starred in a famed detective series, she leads a rather solitary life, until she becomes concerned about reports that a serial killer is on the loose.

Nicknamed the Rottweiler, the killer—who targets young women and strangles each with a garrote before he pilfers a trinket from the body—left bite marks on his first victims. Inez doesn't fear for her safety until she discovers that someone has placed the dead girls' trinkets on the shelves of her shop. The police center their suspicions on the residents of Inez's building, especially one young man who's exhibiting odd behavior.

Rendell expertly delves into the lives of Inez's neighbors and her employee, the beautiful Zeinab, as she gradually unearths each person's secrets. The author breathes life into all of her characters and creates a chilling depiction of a London plagued (once more) by a sadistic serial killer. This is a superb novel with continuous suspense and a well-executed plot. (Nov. '04, 339 pp., $25.00)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick