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Diamond Brothers on brilliant form
on 27 October 2009
"The Blurred Man" is about the Diamond Brothers' investigation into the death of the founder of a children's charity on behalf of their client, who has given millions to the charity. The benefactor is suspicious because the founder died just before they were due to meet for the first time and the charity is closing down. He suspects possible murder and fraud. Philanthropic people do sometimes hand over large amounts of money without ensuring that their donations are going where they are supposed to be going, and there are many people who are happy to defraud such naive and generous people, so the basis for this particular adventure is not unrealistic.
We get the usual unattractive villains, who make a very odd couple. Nick is on good form: the charity made children's wishes come true, and when the client says that Nick must have made wishes sometimes, he says "Yes. But unfortunately Tim is still here". And Nick wonders to himself whether the client would donate to his own little charity "Bankrupt Brothers of Dumb Detectives". Tim's tactless remarks in the scene where the brothers visit a witness in an institution are very funny too. There is an over the top scene in which the brothers are pursued by circus performers. Perceptive readers may pick up some clues to the solution of the crimes, others will be surprised by the revelations when the case is closed as a result of Nick's deductions.
This story contains some good descriptions of various London attractions and districts. I really like such authentic small details: I know from experience that many compartments on the London Eye are indeed empty when the day is wet and cloudy.
As I have worked for many charities and have experience of the damage that the fraudulent ones can do, "The Blurred Man" was rather painful to read, but this was balanced by the humour. I have read two Diamond Brothers stories so far, and want to read the others.