This two part thriller from the pen of Ruth Rendell contains two fairly unappealing protagonists; Mix Cellini, a man with obsessions with model Nerissa Nash and John Christie, a serial killer who operated in the area many years before; and his landlady Gwendolen Chawcer who hasn't got over the man she loved fifty years previously. In the opening episode we see Cellini getting a job at the gym Nerissa attends in an attempt to get closer to her and Mrs Chawcer tries to get back in touch with the man she loved after she learns that his wife has recently died. At first things are just a bit creepy but when Cellini brings gym receptionist Danila Kovic home it becomes clear that he has potential for extreme violence when she makes a negative comment about Nerissa.
In the second episode Cellini must take further action when he believes Mrs Chawcer and her friends Olive and Queenie are about to discover what he did to poor Miss Kovic. He also starts to get even more fixated on Nerissa when she visits his house; it turns out that she is the Niece of one of Mrs Chawcer's friends but he is convinced she is there to see him despite the fact that she is obviously repulsed by him. As the episode nears its end Cellini becomes even more unstable and it is clear that more people will be hurt if he isn't caught quickly.
While this wasn't 'must see TV' it was a decent way to pass a couple of hours. Actor Luke Treadaway does a fine job as Cellini, making the character distinctly creepy without being a pantomime villain. Geraldine James is also good as the unpleasant Mrs. Chawcer; while her character might be unsympathetic she is funny at times the time she asks her friend Olive about the 'thing' (thong) she found under her bed was hilarious! There isn't a huge amount of violence to be seen but the scene where Danila is killed is fairly brutal and may disturb some viewers, there are also a couple of sex scenes although both are fairly short and neither is particularly graphic. As the end approaches the tension increases nicely leading to a good, and pleasantly understated conclusion.
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