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on 26 July 2012
There's not a lot of humour in this, nor a lot of Campion for that matter. On the other hand, it is one of the best depictions of utter evil that you could read, augmented by Allingham's brilliant use of atmosphere to draw you into the reality of her world. An unscrupulous killer is on the loose, with a chilling disregard for human life as he implements his criminal plans. After three years, Charlie Luke is half on to him - to the extent that his superiors think he is obsessive. Can he, with Campion's aid, catch the killer before there is more slaughter?

The lack of Campion is easily explained. Our hero is now in his fifties, and, well, one slows down a little! In fact, this book is very much in the style of one of the better modern television police dramas, featuring Charlie Luke rather than, say, Morse. Given her more or less permanent struggle with money, it's a shame Allingham pre-dated her natural genre by some 30 years. Luke would have made a very successful, and lucrative, TV detective. Will you enjoy this? Almost certainly, but, as one reviewer suggests, you will probably get more out of it on a second reading. That, to me, is the essence of Allingham - the writing is so good that subsequent readings will always enrich the initial experience. This is a fine novel, much darker than most of Allingham's previous offerings and the killer makes Havoc in "The Tiger in the Smoke" seem like a misunderstood delinquent!
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on 26 October 2000
Her grasp of the minutiae of peoples' habits and her descriptive powers of buildings, streets and even rainy nights makes any Margery Allingham book a good read. This is no exception with a stunning opening description of the events leading up to a murder off an alley on a rainy night in London. The story jumps on into the wonderful world of Detective Inspector Charlie Luke with a bee in his bonnet about unsolved murders, which he shares with Albert Campion, the unassuming "star" of most of Allingham's books. This line of enquiry cuts across the story of a girl up from the country to stay with a recently widowed relative, who happens to own a museum of the unusual and strange as part of her property. Given the young lady's young admirer and an unscrupulous but charming villain on whom the widow dotes: the three strands begin to intertwine and lead into horrific conclusion.
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on 30 May 2014
This is one of the most intriguing of detective stories. We know 'who' almost from the beginning, but the story is of how he is caught, and how a once flawless criminal is out-smarted by a series of unforeseen incidents and chance meetings. Margery Allingham beautifully and atmospherically conjures up the characters, sights, sounds and smells of fifties London. Read it once for the excitement of the chase, and the second time to discover all the detail that you may have missed on the way.
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on 2 December 2001
I really enjoy reading this mystery by Margery Allingham, but then I find her novel writing consistantly excellent. This novel is set in London, mainly around the Paddington area. I find that this book interesting because you know who the murderer is fairly early on, so the suspense grows as you are unsure if any of the main characters will be the next victim. I particularly enjoy Allingham's London novels, they always seem a little darker than her country-side romps. This novel contains new characters as well as the familiar Albert Campion and Inspector Charlie Luke. I think this novel improves on each reading and it is a must for anyone who loves crime fiction as I do.
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VINE VOICEon 2 February 2016
I’ve been a fan of Margerie Allingham—and especially her Campion books for quite some time, and indeed she made a niche for herself in this genre. And her Albert Campion is an All Star member of the Excellent Detectives/Sleuths Club. She, indeed, compares with Ruth Rendell and Patricia Highsmith when it comes to the dark psychological analyses of her subjects.

With “Hide My Eyes,” she’s certainly in good form—and a comparison to her earlier “Smoke the Tiger” is fair, although “Tiger” in its landscape and atmosphere, tonal integrity of its characters, and pure intrigue is the superior one.

Still, watching Campion and the Scotland Yard Detective Charlie Luke go to work makes for good, absorbing reading. They make “hunting for a serial killer” a methodical, thorough investigation. Allingham made certain her champion was the “best” in over 15 novels in which he is featured. Like both P.D. James and Donna Leon sometimes did, Allingham makes known the identity of the killer early on and then goes, step by step, to the actual denouement and finale, piece by piece, step by step—methodical and correct. The suspense is merely waiting for the ax to fall. Like Highsmith, she helps identify “evil” and certainly manages to make a convincing portrait. She creates a Hannibal Lecter before Lecter was created.

Deep and at times startling, nevertheless, Allingham gives us Campion, whose personal touches and personality alike make him the character he is—and one of whom we approve. While not a "fun" book to read--nor any of the others that I've read which she wrote--but they are commanding. They certainly hold your interest. Some of the characters you hope NEVER to meet! What a series. What an author.
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on 22 August 2014
A great Allingham novel with a credible villain and some interesting clues along the way. I'm always fascinated by her knowledge of cars - this time the bad guy drives a Lagonda. Mr Campion plays his usual role.
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on 16 November 2015
An exceptional London mystery. Everything about it is good, I don't want to give the story away but it shows real knowledge of London, deep psychological understanding and a fascination with motives that is compelling. Unlike some 'golden age' mystery writers her books never seem skimpy or rushed.
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on 22 March 2014
Another great story from Margery Allingham. I have all these stories on CD and listen to them over and over again. I never get bored of listening to Philip Franks reading.
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on 29 August 2006
Disappointingly Campion only makes brief appearances in this adventure. A standard perfect murder plot. The two romantic leads were dull. The best thing about this are Gerry and Mrs Tassie. Their relationship was credible, touching and chilling in the last few chapters. Worth a read.
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on 10 August 2006
This book seethes with menace from the opening chapter. The feeling of evil is heightened by the introduction of innocence and vulnerability in the form of young Annabelle.

Allingham does write good atmospheric novels about the seedier side of London life, for example 'Tiger in the Smoke'. You can almost smell the city around you - and the hairs on your neck will tingle as you read further on!

A book you will remember long after you have finished it.
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