Friday, 13 January 2017

Curtain Call - Anthony Quinn

Welcome to the Golden Age of Crime..... (Agatha Christie and all that, Penguin crime with green covers, heroines with names like Fliss, Bunty; heroes who were well informed and had names like Jolyon, Rupert), and the villains - ah! the villains!

Written only recently (pub. 2015) this is a great take on the genre.  Anthony Quinn makes sure that we know the era he is writing about.  Oswald Moseley;  King (not quite) Edward and Mrs Simpson are in the news, Crystal Palace has not yet burnt down, and homosexuality is a crime.  And in London, a serial killer is on the loose, and two women can identify him.  Dangerously, he saw them.

The key characters in the book are well drawn.  A married artist and his actress lover;  an unwilling prostitute;  a gay theatre critic and his straight male secretary will all have parts to play in this drama.  Other characters, though smaller in the scheme of things are well done too - there is a snivelling mother in there that I would gladly have slapped myself!  So when the artist sketches the face of the man the actress saw, it starts a chain of events that touch on everyone's lives.  And at least one of them is going to die because of it.

Edge of seat kind of read - Recommended.