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- Defying the Gatekeeper!
The Year of the Locust Terry Hayes. The Night Stalker Robert Bryndza. A Darker Shade of Magic V. Codename Villanelle Luke Jennings. The Girl Before J. The Silent Companions Laura Purcell. Careless Love Peter Robinson. Foxglove Summer Ben Aaronovitch. The Seagull Ann Cleeves. I Am Pilgrim Terry Hayes. The Nowhere Child Christian White. In a House of Lies Ian Rankin. The Gift Louise Jensen. Alias Grace Margaret Atwood. The Darkest Day Tom Wood. The Temptation of Forgiveness Donna Leon. The Hanging Tree Ben Aaronovitch. Smoke and Ashes Abir Mukherjee.
A Gathering of Shadows Victoria Schwab. The Late Show Michael Connelly. Broken Homes Ben Aaronovitch. Agatha Raisin and the Wellspring of Death M. The Chalk Man C.
For The Defence: Dr. Thorndyke : R. Austin Freeman :
Other books in this series. Helen Vardon's Confession R. The Stoneware Monkey R. The Jacob Street Mystery R. Austin Freeman Deemed the father of the scientific detective story, Richard Austin Freeman enjoyed a prolific career that saw him gain qualifications as pharmacist and surgeon, pull off a diplomatic coup along the Gold Coast, work for Holloway Prison and then become a formidable writer of fiction.
He was born in London, the son of a tailor who went on to train as a pharmacist. After graduating as a surgeon at the Middlesex Hospital Medical College, Freeman taught for a while and then joined the colonial service, offering his skills as an assistant surgeon along the Gold Coast of Africa.
He became embroiled in a diplomatic mission when a British expeditionary party was sent to investigate the activities of the French. Through his tact and formidable intelligence, a massacre was narrowly avoided. His future was therefore assured in the colonial service. However, after becoming ill with black-water fever, Freeman was sent back to England to recover and finding his finances precarious, embarked on a career as acting physician in Holloway Prison.
In desperation, he also turned to writing where he went on to dominate the world of British detective fiction, taking pride in testing different criminal techniques. It is the book was published in Andrew is married, a wealthy painter; Ronald a sponger who lives off others. Not for the first time, Ronald wants a loan — of fifty pounds. And he wants to visit — an event which Andrew is determined to prevent. Andrew puts his mind to work on a scheme to avert the visit.
The guilt continues to plague him as he makes his preparations; he tells Molly he is going to London, but in fact he plans to call on Ronald a day before the visit is due, to forestall him. Andrew is not accustomed to deceiving his wife, and his peace of mind is disturbed.
On the evening before his trip he takes a solitary walk along a deserted road. A car stops nearby; it is driven by a woman and contains a male passenger. The man calls Andrew over, but as he is approaching the car two masked bandits emerge from the darkness. They seize Andrew and shove him towards the car, apparently intending to rob the occupants.
The passenger draws a pistol; shots are exchanged and the car drives off. The would-be thieves release Andrew and set off in their own car.
Andrew returns home unhurt. Molly advises him to keep quiet about the affair in case a witness tries to implicate him in the crime. Andrew concurs, with reservations, and agrees to wear his spectacles to disguise his features. He packs a cheque and some cash in an attache-case, and catches an early train. The same alley contains the premises of a Professor Booley, who advertises as follows: A few minutes later Ronald meets Andrew in the street. After lunch they walk along the cliff-tops to the beach. The day is hot, and they descend the chalk cliffs to a secluded bay, and take a nude swim; their only observers being a remote fishing lugger.
As the lugger disappears from sight behind a headland, there is a fall of chalk from the cliff face, and Ronald is killed, his face battered beyond recognition.
Andrew, aghast, slowly recovers his wits, dresses and sets off back towards Crompton, intending to tell the police. A description of his battered face is given. Andrew retreats from the police station. Where is he to go? His injury marks him out unmistakeably. Then he passes the establishment of Professor Booley. The professor is packing, due to leave the country and return to his home in the USA, but he agrees to do what he can for Andrew.
The nose is to be built back up with paraffin wax, which must be moulded into shape. Anxious to conceal any link with his own identity, Andrew opts for a Roman nose rather than the Grecian that he began life with. The painful operation is carried out; Andrew is given a mirror and finds himself regarding the face of his cousin Ronald. He dines happily with the Professor, little realizing what awaits him: It was only by degrees, as he began to make his plans, that he realised how little choice he had; how completely he had become the creature of circumstance. Andrew returns to the alleyway alone.
Now he needs to plan his future. The following morning he travels to London to cash the cheque he had made out to Ronald. A report of the inquest on the car murder reveals that he has been named as the gunman.
For the Defence, Dr. Thorndyke
Andrew is clearly safest out of the way. An angry woman accosts him from the platform as he leaves on a train. Molly Barton is adamant that some kind of foul play must have been involved. Wanting to get in touch with Molly, Andrew writes to her in the character of Ronald, proposing that he visit her at home. She agrees; and an awkward visit takes place.
She reiterates her conviction that foul play took place on the beach. False names are mentioned, and a prison term. Despite mounting apprehension, Andrew settles down in his new lodgings to try and paint. He sketches his landlady, and begins to wander through London looking for other subjects. Beginning a painting on Hampstead Heath, he is accosted by a passer-by who enquires about his movements. The reason becomes apparent when he returns two days later with a police officer: At the police station Lizzie Neville identifies him as her husband, and he is arrested on a charge of impersonation to fraudulently obtain life insurance.
He is detained and fed, brought before a magistrate and remanded in custody. This is Lizzie Neville, who is now in agonies of remorse for informing upon him. Andrew is taken away in a police van to a jail cell — both are described here in detail for keen students of the period. Andrew settles down to await his fate, but his warder, Officer Bolton, urges him to seek legal advice. Andrew returns to court and is committed for trial. A few days later he is stunned out of his apathy by another blow: Aided by Officer Bolton and the prison doctor, Andrew begins to take action.
The doctor suggests an advocate for him — the great Dr. John Thorndyke — and Andrew agrees. Thorndyke arrives the next day. He cuts a commanding figure: Andrew confides his real identity to him, and Thorndyke makes his first test by examining the reconstructed nose. Reassured, he extracts the remainder of the long strange story.
He shows a surprising interest in details: He asks Andrew to sign papers, and with Holmesian loftiness dismisses the matter of payment. The passive Andrew is clearly overwhelmed by this icon of massive authority. And Thorndyke brings good news; the car murder charge against Andrew Barton has been dropped. Andrew comes to trial at last. Sir Oliver Blizzard, for the prosecution, points out the unusual nature of the case: It looks very much as if Ronald has killed his cousin and stolen his money, perhaps visiting Dr.
Booley to conceal the marks made during a struggle between them.
Molly Barton is called and the cross-examinations begin.