Hari's Reviews

Hari's reviews on books, movies, television and more

Much in Evidence by Henry Cecil

Created: Mon Mar 22 18:09:44 2010 | Last modified: Mon Mar 22 18:09:44 2010

Rating: *********-

Much in Evidence

Who said crime novels have to be all blood and gore or violence to be thrilling? If you thought so, you should take a serious course of Henry Cecil. And I recommend that you start with Much in Evidence and before long you'll have to reconsider those ideas.

This is another one of those fascinating criminal/legal stories cooked up by the ingenious mind of Henry Cecil. By the time you finish this novel (and it takes just a couple of hours if you're a fast reader) you'll be jumping up and down in excitement. The final twist in the tale is a work of sheer talent. And believe me when I say it, you do *not* see it coming. You do sense that something is bizzarely wrong with the series of coincidences that lead up to the trial of Mr. Richmond and his eventual acquittal, but only when you read the last page of this novel, you almost scream out in sheer delight at the cleverness of the whole tale. Trust me, I was bubbling with excitement by the time I had feverishly finished the last few pages. It is just that good!

Without revealing the plot details, here's a short summary then: a Mr. Richmond, who is bald and lame, loses 100,000 pounds to burglars on the very night he drew them from his bank and kept it in his safe. When he claims his insurance, they are quite suspicious (and for good reasons) and decide to investigate. Mr. Richmond sues successfully for his claim and gets his money. And then something is discovered about him that brings him into the dock for fraud. It appears that there have been similar instances in the past of bald and lame men cheating insurance companies and so the case against him is particularly strong. Unluckily for Mr. Richmond, circumstantial evidence is also against him. Or so the judge and the jury (and pretty much everyone else) think. And from here begins a bizzare series of coincidences and events that ultimately results in his acquittal.

It would not be fair to reveal any more of the plot. Suffice to say that it lives up to the highest expectations of the reader who expects the Cecilian twist. And more...

If you've not read Henry Cecil before, this is a perfect book to begin with. It brings out the genius of the man in plot-making and his unique gift for creating thrilling novels with the most surprising twists at the end. Now go and read it!