Book Review: Naked to the Hangman by Andrew Taylor

If you like 1950’s style writing, you will like this book. The period feel is very strong reflecting the attitudes and morals of the day. Incomers from London’s East End are regarded with suspicion in a small county community especially when they have opened one of those new-fangled coffee bars beloved of teenagers.

Detective Inspector Thornhill is under suspicion of the murder of a retired police officer – who also happens to be an ex colleague of Thornhill’s when he worked in Palestine during the closing months of the Mandate. It can be a bit confusing at times as the story periodically backtracks to what happened in Palestine using Richard Thornhill’s thoughts.

Alongside the main story are many sub plots including theft from bags at Miss Awre’s School of Dance, the arrival of an Angel of Death and the arrival of Spring Floods to add to the chaos. All comes to a satisfactory conclusion with the Ruspidge Charity’s annual dance for young people. A fair story, well written which pounds along at a steady pace. Characterisation is quite good, especially that of the young people trying to find their feet in a changing society.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.