We begin with a body.
Andrew Crowther, a wealthy retired manufacturer, is found dead in his seat on the 12.30 flight from Croydon to Paris. Rather less orthodox is the ensuing flashback in which we live with the killer at every stage, from the first thoughts of murder to the strains and stresses of living with its execution. Seen from the criminal's perspective, a mild-mannered Inspector by the name of French is simply another character who needs to be dealt with. This is an unconventional yet gripping story of intrigue, betrayal, obsession, justification and self-delusion. And will the killer get away with it?
©2016 Estate of Freeman Wills Crofts (P)2016 Soundings
Golden Age fiction . the names that survive and are read generally are Christie , Allingham, Marsh and Patricia Wentworth. the reason being that they all entertain. this book by FWC is at the opposite end of the spectrum. written mainly from the point of view of the murderer it is a thought by thought day by day diary of a bore. FWC can be dry as an author but this must be his driest. no subplots and no amusing social interaction, which you would have with the authors mentioned above. ( you may think Sayers should be included in the entertaining group but she had a tendency to transcribe chapters from legal tomes so is a half dry ) GG has a very good voice, but unfortunately that is also slightly dry. the effect of having a dry book read by a dry voice was rather like having plain biscuits crumbled in my ears. if you can listen to this all the way through, rather than just having it on as background, I commend you.
"Unusual form of detective story"
The combination of a well written story and a good performance.
The account of the circumstances that draw the murderer committing murder, the description of how he executes his plan, the episode that makes him commit a second murder are carefully detailed. The account of his arrest and trial are also presented. Then at the end, the detective explains how he solved the problems.
Gordon Griffin reads the story well. I imagine that if I had the book, I would have enjoyed the story but I don't have the book'.
A story of the murder of a rich and frail or sick old person is not uncommon. Dorothy Sayers' "Unnatural Death" and Crofts' "The Hogback Mystery" are examples that come to mind. Here the detailed account of the hard time for everyone in Cold Pickerby, and of Charles' financial difficulties from Charles's point of view make his descent to murder believable. The second murder to silence a blackmailer is logical. The explanation of the detective at the end of the book makes a satisfying end.
I should warn other listeners that I am old. I enjoy detective stories from the 1930's. I like the fact that they move slowly and carefully. If you like something fast and racy, this book won't suit you.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.