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Review: The Tiger in the Smoke, by Margery Allingham


A young woman receives a series of photographs—snapshots of a man who looks exactly like her first husband. An investigation turns up something much darker and more sinister than anyone could have expected, and secrets from the past come to light. Most dangerous of all is a mad serial killer on the loose with everything to lose, called Jack Havoc.

The Tiger in the Smoke is the first Albert Campion book I’ve read, having first heard about it in a list of great 20th century mysteries. Maybe it wasn’t the best book to start with, as Campion isn’t a central figure in this book and there’s not much character development of the regulars. But nonetheless I enjoyed this taut, slightly grim story of the chase of a homicidal maniac, loose on the streets on postwar Europe. It’s a highly suspenseful novel; I especially enjoyed the scene in the empty house. There’s also a wonderfully intriguing cast of characters, including an albino and a dwarf. But the “character,” if you could call it that, is the November fog, which pervades everything. This is a highly effective mystery; suspenseful, as I’ve said. I’ll definitely be reading more by Margery Allingham in the future.

Comments

Kristen M. said…
I'm definitely a person who doesn't like to read a series out of order. Even if it's minor, there's still always character development and little things that you miss if you haven't read the preceding books. I want to read Allingham as well but will have to start at the beginning. :)

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