R. Austin Freeman
When a man is found floating beneath the skin of a green-skimmed pond one morning, Dr Thorndyke becomes embroiled in an astonishing case. This wickedly entertaining detective fiction reveals that the victim was murdered through a lethal injection and someone out there is trying a cover-up.
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About the Author
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. So keen was he, part of one of his best novels was written in a bomb shelter. For the first twenty-five years of his writing career, Freeman was to dominate and remain unrivalled in the world of detective fiction, introducing the well-loved and highly memorable 'Dr Thorndyke'. The continued success of this character has affirmed Richard Austin Freeman’s place amongst the finest of crime writers.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Dr Thorndyke joins forces with Dr Stephen Gray in this intriguing mystery. Gray is out walking one day when he comes across the body of a man who has apparently drowned in a woodland pool. Soon afterward he discovers the dead man's daughter searching for him nearby. It seems that both man and daughter are sculptors and artists working in a studio not too far away. Gray befriends the girl and needless to say in stories of this period,falls in love with her. Thorndyke becomes interested in the case and together with his assistant Mr Poulton,eventually unravel the mystery.This is a fine example of the work of R.Austin Freeman and is to be highly recommended to anyone interested in reading Crime Fiction at its best. My only slight criticism is that when Thorndyke finally explains,he takes sixteen pages to do so,and that when we already realize most of it already.
My least favourite of the three Dr Thorndyke mysteries I have read, more due to the shallowness of the characters (particularly the lead female character) than any lack in the plot, which is as sinister and complex as ever.