Kelvin's Reviews > The Cask

The Cask by Freeman Wills Crofts
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M 50x66
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it was amazing

This is Freeman Willis Crofts' first book, published in 1920 (even though the events took place in 1912). It was therefore not part of his famous Inspector Joseph French series which starts with his fifth book. The Cask is an early European mystery, with events taking place in both England and France. In fact, both England's Scotland Yard and France's Surete were extensively featured in the book). It has a very complex timeline and plot. For readers who like to draw timelines and to break alibis, this book will definitely agitate your little grey cells. It is very well written.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part, which describes how the London police was alerted that a cask shipped from France to London by boat may contain the body of a murder victim and how they hunt down the cask. This part of the book reads like a thriller.

The second part deals with how the London police follows the leads and step by step deduce who (they think) is the murderer (a person called Leon Felix). There are some solid police work described there. This part of the book reads more like a police procedure story. Unlike many other detective stories where the police are oftentimes portrayed as mediocre or incompetent, the London police (and later the French police) both conducted very competent investigations.

The third part deals with events that happen after Leon Felix got arrested and was charged with murder. His lawyer hired a very competent private investigator (George La Touche) who, through some clever detective work, were able to break the alibi of the real murderer, who did a really good job framing Leon Felix for the murder and almost get him hanged.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is very well written. The plot is quite complex with a timeline that is sometimes difficult to follow. However, overall I find it to be a really engaging and unique story.

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Reading Progress

January 28, 2018 – Shelved
January 28, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 27, 2019 – Started Reading
May 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

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