And we’re back with the chapter by chapter analysis of Fear And Trembling. For the earlier parts, do take a look at the first sections:
Right, I’m going to start being vaguer, because, you know, spoilers and all that.
Chapter XI The Third Somerset
In which another incident happens. There’s an interesting approach to how this is presented that’s worth noting. Bathurst is given a call from Kemble and while we hear his dismayed reaction, it’s not until the details of what happened are being discussed later that we, the readers, find out. Well, I thought it was interesting. And Bathurst has another go at basking in how smart he thinks he is, getting one over on Kemble verbally. Having said that, he’s not been this annoying to his friend in front of anyone – maybe it’s just a private joke.
Chapter XII The Last Of The Somersets
“The poor fellow had been knocked on the head and shot before they put him in the water.”
“Murder, of course.”
That second line must go into the annals of history as “most pointless thing to say ever”.
As another dead body materialises, after a month of nothing happening, Bathurst heads to Friningham, giving him the chance to plug a third previous case, “The Five Red Fingers” as that was set in the same locale. However the case grinds to a halt again. Some time passes – Flynn forgets to tell us how long, but people seem to be getting on with their lives – but suddenly Bathurst leaps back into action with an unrevealed idea.
Chapter XIII The Door In The Wall
The investigation is back on, as Bathurst finds out more about the initial reason why David Somerset went to East Brutton in an unexpected way. What’s worth noting at this point is how the plot has kept moving forwards. Despite the investigation stagnating twice, Flynn doesn’t let either of those periods occupy more than a page of the book and while I’m still not convinced this is a whodunit – if so, and if Flynn is playing fair, then I’m baffled as to who the killer is – but as I mentioned before, I’m definitely intrigued as to where this is going.
Chapter XIV The Bathurst Analysis
In which Anthony muses about the case, bringing a few little ideas that the reader might have missed and then drooling over his mysterious visitor from Chapter X. Bathurst has never struck me as a particularly romantic individual, but here he cites three women – Lady Fullgarney, Cecilia Cameron and Rosemary Maquis – who pale compared to the mystery woman. I presume they are from previous books, but no name springs to mind. But I’ll take note. Anyway, as Bathurst’s biblical fantasies over the woman lead him to an undisclosed revelation, he puts another plan into action…
Chapter XV Partly Concerning Joseph Of Arimathea
Well, vaguely concerning Joseph of Arimathea. So vaguely, it’s not worth explaining the chapter title. But Bathurst finally gets round to visiting David Somerset’s widow (and drooling over her a little bit) and gets another piece of the puzzle – only to be confronted by… dum dum dum… well, that would be a spoiler.
OK, well I definitely want to know what happens next. But that’s been a recurrent theme of this book. Despite, as I’ve said before, a possible lack of whodunit here, it’s got me gripped. Bathurst’s investigation makes sense, although he hasn’t made any spectacular deductions for a while, he’s entertaining company for the reader. Even when he’s being a bit of a cad or taking the mickey out of his colleagues, he’s still a bit of a charmer.