Thursday, January 26, 2017

The 12.30 from Croydon: British Library Crime Classics by Freeman Wills Crofts

They're making an emergency trip to Paris.  The old man's daughter was injured in an accident and the family is on the way to her bedside.  When they arrive, her husband gets word that it's not a serious accident and she's well.  But the old man has died on the airplane flight.  Even worse, it's not from old age...

Poisoned Pen Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 7th.

The fascinating part of this read is that the story is from the killer's point-of-view.  He's losing his business due to bad economic times and he needs money.  Not only that but he has a bad case of love of a woman who isn't sure about him.  He wants her, he wants his inheritance to impress her and save his business, and he's willing to do what he must to get it.  After all, his uncle is an old man going downhill.  Helping him down the slope might be the right thing to do.

From here, we go through all his thoughts, all his actions so carefully thought out and carried out, and when he emerges from the end of the tunnel, he acts shocked at the death and is happy to see it ruled accidental death.  They think his uncle killed himself.  Perfect!

Except it doesn't stay that way.  When the butler tries to blackmail him, he kills him too.  Scotland Yard was already on the case looking into things.  They deal with the second death as a matter of more of the same.  The killer still thinks he's clear of danger.  But the cops are smarter than he is...

This is very much a police procedural and it was fascinating to see how many clues were left behind.  You know the saying: "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."  Alas, his plans did.

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