Meet Dr Henry N Riddle Jr, a brain surgeon from New York. He’s going to tell you the story of Inis St Erme, Elinor Darrie – Erme’s fiancée and Corkscrew, the nickname for a mysterious deformed man. A man who attacks the couple after they gave him a lift in their car. A man who murders St Erme and tries to kill Elinor. A man who, for some reason, removes Erme’s right hand. And who has vanished into thin air.
As the law searches for Corkscrew – and Erme’s hand – Riddle is more concerned with answering the many questions posed by the mysterious crime. But as more people begin to die, the reader begins to question if we are hearing the entire story from Dr Riddle…
Again, apologies for the recent delays in posting. A combination of moving house and struggling through a bit of a duffer of a book – not this one, let me make that very clear.
This is one of those classic crime novels that despite everyone claiming that you simply must have read it, I, of course, had never heard of it. I got a nice request from the publisher, 280 Steps, to take a look at it and I’m very glad that I did.
And I’m rather tempted to stop the review there, as anything else that I might say could spoil matters. There are a few tricks being played here, with the narrative bouncing around from past to present and back again, but it’s not at all difficult to follow. The reader might think that they’ve spotted the trick that the writer is playing but I’d recommend sticking with it because you might not be right. I’ll just say, there’s more to it than meets the eye. It is a proper mystery, by the way, despite looking a bit noirish
The narrative style is very impressive, with Riddle’s voice bringing the whole tale to vivid life. It’s a superb piece of work and I’d Highly Recommend that you get your hands on a copy.