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Information Received

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 3 months ago

Punshon, ER - Information Received (1933)



Review by Nick Fuller


'What is distinction?' demanded Dorothy L. Sayers in her review of this tale. We can but agree with her that this tale is a shining example. As a detective story, it is of the first water: the situation surrounding the murder of the financier is as complicated as classic Carr, and, like that genius writer, uses the recurring motif of the bizarre clue: tickets to a production of Hamlet. If the reader interprets that clue correctly - as he most probably will - he will soon know the identity, the motive and the method. Yet this makes the story all the more intersting, for one of Punshon's greatest gifts is his understanding of human psychology, his keen insight into the characters of those under pressure, so that we come to understand the horrible significance of Shakespeare's masterpiece for the murderer. As the book darkens in atmosphere still further toward the end, and a second, utterly surprising crime is committed, we worry whether the tragedy of Laertes has been added to that of the Danish prince, but soon understand that the truth is far different, and, despite the layers of complexity, beautifully logical and coherent.

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