Saturday, 6 February 2016

the joker; flat 2

On Tuesday 2nd February I finished The Joker by Edgar Wallace, and, which I hadn't previously noted, on Wednesday 4th March last year I finished reading his Flat 2.

Flat 2 I didn't enjoy much, as it was rather preposterously plotted. The Joker was somewhat better, but again somewhat overloaded with plot devices, such that to an extent you did stop bother trying to work out what they all meant. It did have some sparky repartee between the detective and the young woman who are clearly destined for each other, but that faded out rather as the plot took hold. Like Big Foot, the cover of The Joker (a 1966 paperback edition) features an 'exciting' scene quite close to the end of the book.

Mr Wallace did churn them out somewhat, which is perhaps why they're all about the convoluted plot. If I hadn't read On The Spot first, which was very good, I'm not sure I'd have persevered so long - I think The Joker was my fifth (I also read The Four Just Men, which was pretty good, which may have been my second). In best crime lists I have are The Crimson Circle and The Mind of JG Reeder, so I may keep an eye out for those, but I won't hunt them down in general.

(Wikipedia indicates that The Joker was published in 1926, Big Foot 1927, Flat 2 1927, On The Spot 1931, The Four Just Men in 1905.)

Flat 2:
First line: A shot rang out sharply, and Captain Hurley Brown did not need the direction of the sound to guide him to Robert Weldrake's door.
Last line: God bless you!
The cover. I like the colour, and the design with the image in the handcuff loop.

The Joker:
First line: Mr Stratford Harlow was a gentleman with no particular call to hurry.
Last line: He was an excellent judge of human nature.
The cover. The typography is my favourite thing about this cover, and the discreet Arrow Books logo.