The Crime of the Century

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Serialized in a British newspaper in 1975, this edition of Amis's whodunit benefits from an introduction by the master satirist himself. The plot involves the murders of young women in London and the special committee set up to coordinate investigations with the police, when even Scotland Yard's most famous detectives fail to catch the killer. The professional sleuths, therefore, consult with an odd assortment of amateurs: Chris Dane, crime novelist; Benedict Royal, an intellectual rock star; Sir Neil Costello, QC; members of Parliament; and psychiatrists, including Marcus Varga, who's flakier than his patients. As the murders continue, so does Amis keep adding ingenious red herrings while playing fair by planting clues for readers sharp enough to spot them. The solution, however, will strike most mystery buffs as tops in the art of literary legerdemain. An alternate denouement, submitted by one of the newspaper's subscribers, closes the book and emphasizes just how foxy the author is. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Published serially in The Sunday Times in 1975, this overpopulated and talky puzzler-for-the-public contributes nothing to an otherwise lofty reputation. A criminal inquiry established to investigate a series of stabbings in London parks includes (among others) a lawyer, a psychiatrist, a surgeon, a rock star, a member of Parliament, a retired Scotland Yard man, and a mystery writer. A few of these, working together, believe the murderer sits at the inquiry table: Amis provides his own conclusion, as well as that which won the newspaper contest. Literate style, but very dry and too obviously a mere conglomeration of clues.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892964031
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/1989
  • Edition description: LIMITED

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