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Summary

Richard Temperley arrives at Euston station early on a fogbound London morning. He takes refuge in a nearby hotel, along with a disagreeable fellow passenger who had snored his way through the train journey. But within minutes the other man has snored for the last time - he has been shot dead while sleeping in an armchair. 

When the police arrive, Detective Inspector James discovers a token at the crime scene: 'a small piece of enamelled metal. Its colour was crimson, and it was in the shape of the letter Z'. Temperley sets off in pursuit of a mysterious woman from the hotel and finds himself embroiled in a cross-country chase on the tail of a sinister serial killer.

©1932 Estate of J. Jefferson Farjeon (P)2020 Soundings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It was ok but...

Good overall plot and pace, and (as might be expected) it evokes a sense of the age. but the main character was such a ****. It worked on the basis that if a chap sees a gal who looks in trouble, well that chap is entitled to do whatever he jolly well pleases. Laws, police routine, common sense are as nothing.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Probably the worst book in the whole genre

Take a mentally-challenged protagonist and let him buzz around a police investigation, deliberately obstructing it on occasion, whilst achieving nothing himself. Add in a police detective who is not merely sanguine about this, but is willing to waste valuable resources on having him followed. And that's just the start of the silliness.

The protagonist is ostensibly trying to help a girl about whom he knows nothing, and who refuses to tell him anything. For some reason he believes that she needs to avoid the police, so the first thing he does is to unwittingly lead the police to her.

I'm returning it.