Home > Book Reviews > the basement – stephen leather

the basement – stephen leather

The Basement

I didn’t think I’d heard of Stephen Leather, but having a look over his apparently extensive collection of books, I have definitely read The Bombmaker and I have at least heard of Cold Kill, and perhaps a couple of others.  However, I got this one when it was free for Kindle (it is now the dizzyingly high price of 72p!)

To be honest, if I had paid, I would’ve felt robbed – and that was the main reason for me looking to see whether this was the first book that he had ever written, as that was what it felt like.

It was very, very short, and very easy to read, but that was mainly because it was totally without depth.

There is a serial killer in New York who is kidnapping, raping and then murdering women – the bodies are never found but videos of their ordeals have been sent to the police.

Another woman has been kidnapped and two detectives are hoping to find her before she falls to the same fate.  They happen to stumble across a rather odd screenplay writer who has written about a serial killer, whose profile fits that of the killer and who doesn’t seem the most helpful of citizens.  Is he the killer though?

It’s a very short story, and I didn’t guess the ending, which was good, but I didn’t particularly enjoy the journey.  The story felt slapped together, the characters two-dimensional and I really couldn’t give a stuff about the woman who was being held captive.

However, you get what you pay for, and 72p isn’t too bad for a couple of hours’ mild entertainment!


I’ve noticed that I have had a few people come to this page as they are searching for an explanation of the ending of this book.  i am now going to explain it – so click away if you don’t want to know.


The female cop is the killer, and she was trying to pin it on the writer.  That is all.

Unless of course, I got it totally wrong – in which case, can someone let me know!  🙂

  1. jay
    January 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks for the spoiler. Just what we want in a book review.

    • January 10, 2011 at 9:50 am

      It’s not like I didn’t make a huge warning! And it was added purely because I was getting about 3 people a day coming to the review after searching for things like ‘what did the ending mean’ or ‘explain the ending’.

  2. jay
    January 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Would you believe that I am only seeing that warning now! Sorry about that..

  3. anita
    August 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    still don’t know who the killer is

    • August 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

      Really? if you highlight the text at the bottom of my post that I have put in white, it tells you!!!

  4. Kate
    September 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you for the spoiler! I just finished reading the book last night and didn’t understand the ending at all. So glad I found your site!

  5. Sonia
    February 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I have tried highlighting but to no avail. I can only assume it’s the female police officer who has lesbian tendencies.

    • February 24, 2013 at 11:00 am

      That was exactly my interpretation – which I thought was well enough explained…but apparently not!

      • Sony70
        February 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm

        I’m glad we came to same conclusion then as it certainly got me thinking. Thanks

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