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Customer Review

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Allingham's finest, 19 Mar. 2004
This review is from: The Tiger in the Smoke (Allingham, Margery) (Mass Market Paperback)
Tiger in the Smoke is Marjory Allingham's finest novel, and the pinnacle of the Inspector Campion series. A comparison with the first Campion, 'The Gyrth Chalice Mystery' reveals just how far she had taken her art from rather flat stereotypes and set pieces to a dark, memorable and perfectly drawn thriller.
Interestingly, Campion is only an incidental figure in Tiger in the Smoke. It is really a novel about the anti-hero Jack Havoc, a knife-murderer following a religion he has created himself 'the science of luck'. The chilling encounter which sets the seal on this novel is not murderer-meets-detective, but when the murderer meets a clergyman who has the power to transfix him. Havoc tells the clergyman about his 'science of luck', and the clergyman tells him that he already knows this philosophy, but it is called the 'science of death'.
From here in the demise of Havoc is artistically certain. The plot accelerates, through to the final, chillingly ambiguous 'His body was never recovered.'
If you have seen Allingham as a lesser figure, after Sayers and Christie, this book should set you straight. It belongs with Conan Doyle's 'Valley of Fear' and Sayers' 'Murder must advertise' at the top of the list of British crime thrillers.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Jan 2015, 21:39:43 GMT
Pity about the spoiler, but I agree that this is the best Allingham, at least as far as I've read. I'm so glad I found her now. I'm not well and she's keeping me alive!
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Martin Turner
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   

Location: Zaventem, Belgium

Top Reviewer Ranking: 264