On a sultry afternoon in the summer of 1936 a woman accidentally interrupts an attempted murder in a London hotel room. Nina Land, a West End actress, faces a dilemma: she's not supposed to be at the hotel in the first place, and certainly not with a married man. But once it becomes apparent that she may have seen the face of the man the newspapers have dubbed 'the Tie-Pin Killer' she realises that another woman's life could be at stake. Jimmy Erskine is the raffish doyen of theatre critics who fears that his star is fading: age and drink are catching up with him, and in his late-night escapades with young men he walks a tightrope that may snap at any moment. He has depended for years on his loyal and longsuffering secretary Tom, who has a secret of his own to protect. Tom's chance encounter with Madeleine Farewell, a lost young woman haunted by premonitions of catastrophe, closes the circle: it was Madeleine who narrowly escaped the killer's stranglehold that afternoon, and now walks the streets in terror of his finding her again. Curtain Call is a comedy of manners, and a tragedy of mistaken intentions. From the glittering murk of Soho's demi-monde to the grease paint and ghost-lights of theatreland, the story plunges on through smoky clubrooms, tawdry hotels and drag balls towards a denouement in which two women are stalked by the same killer. As bracing as a cold Martini and as bright as a new tie-pin, it is at once a deeply poignant love story, a murder mystery and an irresistible portrait of a society dancing towards the abyss.
A sparkling, intelligent murder mystery set against the crime writers’ favourite backdrop of the interwar years, this compelling and thoughtful novel explores an exciting but dangerous period of history as the intriguing and briskly plotted story unfolds. When actress Nina Land interrupts an attempted hotel-room murder by the notorious ‘Tie-Pin Killer’, she faces a dilemma, reluctant to come forward and confess to her presence in the hotel with a married man. Meanwhile, ageing theatre critic Jimmy Erskine is losing control of his professional and private lives, risking a prison sentence for his sexuality, and the secretary he relies upon to help and protect him is embroiled in the fortunes of Madeleine Farewell, the troubled young woman who has just escaped death at the hands of the killer. Bringing to life the glamour and grime of 1930s Soho with a cast of complex characters, this is an intricate and rewarding grown-up mystery.
'An elegant literary 1930s murder mystery.' Bookseller
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage
|Publication date:||8th January 2015|
|Publisher:||Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,|
Anthony Quinn was born in Liverpool in 1964. Since 1998 he has been the film critic of the Independent. His first novel The Rescue Man (2009) won the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award.More About Anthony Quinn