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4.6 out of 5 stars
25
4.6 out of 5 stars
Hide My Eyes
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on 5 October 2016
Cant wait to listen to it great
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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 29 June 2017
It begins in an alleyway in London’s West End theater district. It’s raining heavily, the theaters’ performances are at the halfway point, and no one seems to notice the old bus, the kind with curtains at the windows, pull into an alleyway. The few who see the bus notice only the elderly couple sitting at the very front.

But then there’s a murder in a nearby building. And the bus seems to vanish. Or perhaps no one notices it leaving because of the rain. The crime remains unsolved.

Eight months later, Chief Superintendent Charles Luke of Scotland Yard is visiting with a friend, Albert Campion, who often helps the police in their investigations. A policeman on the beat has made a possible connection between the unsolved murder and a small, rather eccentric museum in his patrol area. He had seen a young woman, Annabelle Tassie, in a nearby park, was struck by her loveliness, and rather pleasantly surprised when she asked for directions to the museum. The young woman had been waiting for a friend, Richard Waterfield. She’s looking for the museum because of a letter sent to her family by the owner, the wife of Annabelle’s great-uncle.

Through these rather disparate strands – a bus, a murder, a museum, a young couple – Golden Age mystery writer Margery Allingham (1904-1966) fashions one of the most chilling Albert Campion mysteries she had written. In “Hide My Eyes,” first published in 1958, Allingham creates a villain utterly without moral scruple, one who lies as a matter of ordinary behavior, kills when it’s of benefit, and uses people ruthlessly as long as they are of some use.

The novel is less a mystery and more of a psychological thriller. The reader knows who the villain is; the question becomes how, and if, he will be caught, and what havoc he’ll wreak in the meantime.

What adds immeasurably to this mystery novel is Allingham’s ability to evoke fear and uneasiness through scene description. What she does with the rain in the opening scene is amplified at a London junkyard at night. And the museum of eccentricities is downright creepy. All had greatly to the gripping psychology of the story.

“Hide My Eyes” is an Albert Campion mystery, but Allingham’s famous detective plays a relatively small if important role in the story. We see most of the story through the eyes of the young couple, Annabelle and Richard (and it wouldn’t be an Allingham story without a love interest). It’s a fascinating story that is difficult to put down.
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on 3 July 2017
This is the sixteenth outing for Albert Campion, but he figures little in the narrative.

It is a thrilling study of a psychopath, thoroughly rooted in 50’s London and its atmosphere is so redolent of post- war seediness and criminality. It is a tale of human imperfection and self-deception.

The book opens with a country bus containing two elderly passengers being driven into an alley in London’s theatreland. The driver alights, makes a phone call, does a good turn for an elderly lady and goes off to carry out a murder.

Eight months later, Albert Campion visits Superintendent Charles Luke who has evolved a theory about the criminal which links him to several crimes and to a place in London called Garden Green: there is no evidence to support his hunch.

Soon we are introduced to Gerry Chad-Horder whose psychology is explored extensively.He expounds his philosophy to Richard Waterfield who he is trying to involve in one of his elaborate alibis.

"I never let anything tear the skin. I've never been faintly fond of anything or of anybody in my life." He spoke lightly but with satisfaction. "I'm deadly serious about this. I spotted the plain mechanical truth of it as a child. You could almost call it the Chad-Horder discovery. Any kind of affection is a solvent. It melts and adulterates the subject and by indulging it he loses his identity and hence his efficiency. By keeping myself to myself in the face of every conceivable attack I have remained successful, bright and indestructible.”

So early on we are introduced to the criminal and the detectives and the questions are how or if the two will meet. Therein lies the suspense of this book.

We meet Polly Tassie one of Allingham’s marvellous elderly ladies. It is she who hides her eyes to Gerry’s evil nature and the awful truth about him…..until the end when Gerry tells her:

“Murder is a word, a shibboleth. People get killed every day and sometimes it's called murder and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it's war and sometimes it's accident, sometimes it's . . . well, it's just the logical conclusion of a sequence of events.”

The final chapter set in a Museum of Oddities is as thrilling as the first. At the end, we do not know all; as the final sentence states: “There was great deal of work to be done”.

Hide My Eyes is a masterpiece.Do read it.

Thank you to the Allingham Estate for my review copy.
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on 30 August 2017
Absolute Stunner!
This is one of Allinghams' Campion novels though he hardly figures at ll in it just being a sounding board for one of his Policeman friends Charlie Luke..Luke has a theory that a killer is on the loose and what a killer ,perhaps the most downright evil in any of her books,This is not one of Allinghams' usual mysteries being more of a psychological thriller,it's deeper and carries a real atmospheric menace in it .We know the perpetrator early on and can piece together several more of his killings as the tale unfolds..Theres an old lady who has known him since he was a child and can see no fault in him despite the mounting evidence of her own eyes ,I could feel myself becoming more and more fearful for her as the inevitable conclusion drew nearer..Its difficult not to give away too much here and I would hate to spoil this for anyone, suffice to say this is superbly written witj Allinghams descriptions of a foggy and rainswept 1950's London are exemplary the characters are as always well drawn and the villain a true Psychopath .All in all a really fabulous story unreservedly recommended.
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on 6 September 2017
Mysterious,complicated,deeply intriguing. A thriller that has complex characters who blend together to produce an exciting fast paced story.All the characters are clearly described, in such a way that we see them as they perform their dance of death.Absolutely un putdownable. Allingham at her best.
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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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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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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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