George Surridge, director of the Birmington Zoo, is a man with many worries: his marriage is collapsing; his finances are insecure; and an outbreak of disease threatens the animals in his care. As Surridge's debts mount and the pressure on him increases, he begins to dream of miracle solutions. But is he cunning enough to turn his dreams into reality - and could he commit the most devious murder in pursuit of his goals?
This ingenious crime novel, with its unusual 'inverted' structure and sympathetic portrait of a man on the edge, is one of the greatest works by this highly respected author.
©2015 Estate of Freeman Wills Crofts (P)2015 Soundings
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This book was, at best, ponderous. It's an inverted mystery, ie, we know the villain, method, etc, right from the beginning. The book is in two parts: the committing of the crime, and the very dull police procedure that leads up to the solution. I desperately hoped right up until the end that there would be some redeeming twist in the tale, something to lift it out of the humdrum, but there wasn't. The ending was as flat as the rest of the book.
The narration was bearable but not inspired, with a very slight stop/start effect that did nothing to make the book more lively.
All in all, a real dud.
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