Serialized in a British newspaper in 1975, this edition of Amis's whodunit benefits from an introduction by the master satirist himself. The plot involves the murders of young women in London and the special committee set up to coordinate investigations with the police, when even Scotland Yard's most famous detectives fail to catch the killer. The professional sleuths, therefore, consult with an odd assortment of amateurs: Chris Dane, crime novelist; Benedict Royal, an intellectual rock star; Sir Neil Costello, QC; members of Parliament; and psychiatrists, including Marcus Varga, who's flakier than his patients. As the murders continue, so does Amis keep adding ingenious red herrings while playing fair by planting clues for readers sharp enough to spot them. The solution, however, will strike most mystery buffs as tops in the art of literary legerdemain. An alternate denouement, submitted by one of the newspaper's subscribers, closes the book and emphasizes just how foxy the author is. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989 Release date: 10/01/1989 Genre: Fiction
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