Chapter to Chapter – Fear and Trembling by Brian Flynn – Prologue

Right, just to explain what I’m up to here.

Chapter by Chapter is a new thing I’m going to try on the blog where I take a look at a book, recording my thoughts after each chapter. It’ll almost certainly be a sequence of posts per book, as I’ll be looking at the book in more depth than usual. However, this is a spoiler-free blog, and I intend to adhere to that policy. Any twists and turns more than a third of the way in, I’ll keep under my hat. There’s every chance that I might end up getting a little closer to the spoiler borderline than usual but I’ll be sure and step back.

Of course, there is every possibility that I’ll comment on something that by drawing attention to it might be a spoiler without realising it until later, or at least something that might help the reader in coming to the solution, so I’m going to tag the posts with a POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING but I’ll do what I can to avoid them.

So, the book that I’m going to start off with is Fear and Trembling by Brian Flynn. Brian Flynn, the author so long-lost that not even Martin Edwards had heard of him until, well, me, despite his canon of 54 books. I picked Flynn as, to be honest, I want to become an expert on his work. I now own 51.9% of his work, thanks to coming across a cheap (!) copy of The Feet Of Death in Liverpool and slightly less cheap (although still not extortionate) copies of The Shaking Spear and The Ladder Of Death. It seems that I might well be heading towards the title of “Person With Most Books By An Obscure Author”, so if I’m going to be a potential expert of Mr Flynn’s work, it’s time to take matters a little more seriously.

So, Fear and Trembling. What’s it about?

No idea, haven’t looked at the blurb yet, so let’s speculate based on the title.

The only thing that the phrase “Fear and Trembling” means to me is a line from the seminal album “Captain Beaky”, namely:

“Hissing Sid, an evil snake, kept the woodland folk awake,

In fear and trembling every night, in case he gave someone a bite.”

That’s from 1977, by the way, a number one hit single, and I remember every word. Sad, eh?

Anyway, that’s not the source for the title, as the book is from 1936. So, let’s try Google.

OK, the phrase first appeared in the Bible, Philippians 2:12 which apparently takes its source from earlier in the Bible, Psalms 55:5 “Fear and trembling came upon me…” Kirkegaard used the phrase as a title in 1843 for a philosophical work concerned with God testing Abraham. Hmm, that could be relevant, as it does involve murder…

A quick check and the book has twenty-five chapters, so that nicely divides into five posts. There might be other book reviews between the sections (as I do need to be reading Fear and Trembling somewhere where I can jot things down). Be back soon for the opening salvo. In the meantime, take it away, Keith Michell!


  1. I’m six chapters into my own experiment with Carter Dickson (twenty chapters!), and it’s starting to look like my post will run 15,000 words!! I think you have the right idea, PD – I should think about braking mine down!


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