Monday, September 3, 2018

The Blind Spot: Review

The Blind Spot (1952; original title: Inspector West at Bay; apa The Case of the Acid Throwers) by John Creasey

It's not often that a criminal goes in for personal revenge against the policeman who put him behind bars. Sure, they often spout off threats as they're convicted and taken away to jail, but by the time they get released (if they do) they usually have their minds on other things. Revenge isn't unknown...but it is rare. So when Inspector Roger West catches a spray of vitriol in the face (luckily just as he's wiping his brow with his handkerchief, so the damage isn't too bad) that has also hit a young woman on the pavement beside him, it's natural for him to wonder what made the women the target of such spite. But the attack is followed with anonymous notes proclaiming

This is only the beginning.

Then his associate on many cases, Mark Lessing, is also attacked and the unknown assailant starts getting closer and closer to West's family. He realizes that someone from his past hasn't forgotten who put them behind bars and is perfectly capable of exacting a horrible vengeance on West, on Lessing...on anyone who might get in their way.

West and Lessing start sifting through old cases looking for criminals who might hold a grudge and who have recently rejoined society. They come up with three possibilities and the longer it takes to find proof of who's behind the attacks the more connections are found among the three. Is it possible that they have combined forces to exact revenge? The two men race against the clock to prevent their loved ones from becoming collateral damage....and it all culminates in a showdown at villain's home where one final surprise waits for West.

This was a fast-moving, suspense-filled novel. Creasey's writing is economical without leaving out anything important. One hundred and fifty-nine pages doesn't seem like a lot of room to introduce characters, fill in background on the criminals in question, and put West and his family through several vicious attacks, but Creasey makes the most of them. Interesting twists and a few suspicions cast on what seems to be friendly associates make this an exciting ride from start to finish. If West's boys hadn't been in danger, I might have rated this one a bit higher--but I just don't care for child-in-danger story lines. ★★ 

[Finished 8/23/18]

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