Plain Murder, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)

Description

Taking us into a 1930s London of grimy back streets, smoky cafes and shabby rooms, Plain Murder, C.

S. Forester's second crime novel, is a brilliantly atmospheric and gripping portrayal of the dark heart of a killer, published in Penguin Modern Classics. 'They'll get you for certain,' said Oldroyd. 'Then they'll hang you.' At the Universal Advertising Agency on the Strand, London, a murder is being planned.

Three men have been discovered taking bribes and face the grim prospect of the dole queue, unless they can get rid of the person who caught them.

Their ringleader, thick-set and vicious Mr Morris, soon discovers that killing is far easier than he thought - and that he even has a talent for it.

He might, he feels, be superhuman. But as he will discover, there is no such thing as the perfect crime, and no deed goes unpunished. Cecil Louis Troughton Smith (1899-1966), better known by his pen name Cecil Scott Forester, was an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of naval warfare.

His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded the 1938 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.

He began his career with the crime novels Payment Deferred and Plain Murder, now reissued in Penguin Modern Classics along with The Pursued, which was lost for over 60 years. If you enjoyed Plain Murder, you might like Forester's Payment Deferred, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A terrible and striking piece of work' Observer

Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic crime
  • ISBN: 9780141198132

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Another hidden gem from C.S. Forester; one of a short cannon of his early works, this is a dark study of a psychopath and his murderous activities. Charles Morris is the uninspiring advertising agency clerk, who embarks on a murder as the solution to his problems - a one-off event which inevitably leads to more killings before eventually spiralling out of control. <br /><br />Forester's grasp of his narrative is iron-tight and despite the darkness of the subject matter, displays an ironic humour alongside an antipathy towards his protagonist. Some of the prose feels a bit heavy at times, but this was written in the early 1930s, and is a product of its time in terms of style and the use of language. But don't let this put you off, because this is a fascinating and gripping psychological study of the murderous intent of a man who refuses to be thwarted by the realities and limits of acceptable behaviour. <br /><br />These days we're used to reading 'why-dunnits', as opposed to 'who-dunnits', but in the 1930s, this depth of characterisation and psychosocial insight was rare in mainstream crime fiction. Forester's long-forgotten and little known early thrillers are must-reads for all lovers of quality crime fiction. <br /><br /><br />© Koplowitz 2012

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