Mr. Justice Horace Ireton is well known for his belief in his own abilities to interpret the law and pass judgment. His idea of which is not tempered with mercy, and his method of delivering that justice is often compared to that of a game of cat and mouse. Then he was found with a pistol in his hand, the body of his daughter’s fiancé, whom he had no reason to love, lying dead on the floor. Surely death has turned the tables.
Death Turns the Tables is complicated. It is one of those books that I find hard to review without giving away too much information, so…this review may be just a bit terse.
There is no “impossible crime”, there is no locked room to be found, and Carr never once indulges in any sleight of hand to divert the reader. The plot is serious, the mood somber, the humor discreet, and Dr. Gideon Fell is more restrained than usual —not words one usually uses when speaking of a work by Carr. Even the prerequisite romance, with two very down-to-earth and serious individuals, matches the mood of the piece.
As a make my way through Carr’s novels I continue to find myself amazed at his writing ability. Here, it is crisp, with descriptions that are subtle, and dialogue that is succinct yet powerful.
‘My dear Fell, I never realized until this minute how much you dislike me.’
‘I? Dislike you?’
Mr. Justice Ireton made a gesture of impatience. ‘Oh, not me personally perhaps!’
‘Then may I venture to inquire what in blazes you did mean?’
‘I mean my principles. They irk you sentimental soul. I would not insult your intelligence by referring to feelings, friendly or unfriendly. There is hardly anything in this world of less value than relationships based on mere feeling.'”
Regarding the ending I will say only two things. First, that the puzzle of how the victim met their end came as a complete surprise to me. And second, I can say, as someone who spent the greater part of their career in the field of surgical neurology, it is totally plausible.
Now, from the above, it may sound like I found this was just an ok read, but I didn’t. This is definitely going in my Top Ten Carr’s (when I get to the point when I can legitimately say I’ve read enough of him to do that). I read this cover to cover and never put it down. This was a book that I found myself totally immersed in, and loving it.
My Judgment – 5/5
Vintage Mystery Extravaganza – 2013 Scattergories – 22. Repeat Offenders: Favorite author book 2