I joined the Crime Classics newsletter after the last book I reviewed: And Death Came Too by Richard Hull and I had an email inviting me to join their book reviewers club! This is a lovely type of email to wake up to. They are going to provide me with one book per month to review and I am looking forward to it! So much so, that I decided to sign up for the Rekha’s British Crime Classics Challenge. Rather, this is my sign up post as well. I will be making a page specifically for it sometime this weekend. I normally do not join any challenges because I read more books than most others participating (mostly because of the kind of time I have on my hands) this particular challenge which basically encourages people to read an old classic will now be something doable.
This book is still up for request on NetGalley for another six days, till the 5th of March if you are interested. (Cover links back to it). It is set to re-release in this format on the 5th of March
I have read one other book by the author Fire in the Thatch by E.C.R. Lorac and while I enjoyed that tale, this book was a lot more fun to read and to dissect. This story spans a very short time with a lot of overworked policemen doing a lot of leg work. This aspect of hunting for the truth is discussed in excruciating detail and while I enjoyed every minute of it, it is something to keep in mind if one is not inclined to enjoy the finer details. Classic crime books have the discussion of human nature in droves, this book is no exception. The murder occurs in matchlight with more than one witness, one or more of them might have a personal stake in the entire episode. We start off with the man who wandered aimlessly into the park and actually witnesses the murder. The other is a man with no good reason for being under the bridge where the murder occurred and few more get added as the investigation progresses. This is London during the blackout time and this adds a whole layer of atmosphere since the murder and the detection occurs in literal (and figurative)darkness. Inspector MacDonald is tired but courteous as he keeps re-engaging with the people who shared the lodging of the murdered man. Each of these people is stranger than the other and they make fascinating reading. This is not a large book but there is a lot packed into it.
On the whole, I think if given a chance I would read more books written by this author. The preface by Martin Edwards as usual provides deeper insight into the time and place and an added depth of emotion to the reading experience. This kind of preface should never be skipped. It could probably be the reason I enjoyed the book enough to give it a full five stars!