All the Way by Charles Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This one takes off with a hard-charging start as Jerry Forbes, whom we know initially as George Hamilton, is completely played by Marian Forsyth and quickly finds himself enmeshed in a robbery scheme. He's a shallow-conscience ex-adman and she's a femme-fatale: a perfect match. After telling Forbes her plan to steal $75,000 from her ex-boss's brokerage account, she ups the ante to murder. By this time, Forbes, in classic noir fashion has gone off the deep-end for her and is quickly drawn into the murder plot, which involves him impersonating the man to be murdered. What's Marian's motive, you might ask? No it is not just the money: "Money is important to me. I like success. I poured everything I had into making him one, thinking I was doing it for both of us. Do you think I'm going to move aside now and give it up? Let him hand it all to some simpering, feather-brained little bitch who can't even balance a checkbook?" So it's game on and Williams concocts an intricate and incredibly detailed plot where half the book involves Forbes covering tracks and planting false clues and all the while we just know he's going to get crossed . . . or will he? No more spoilers from me as there are plenty of neat twists to keep you guessing all the way to the end in this top-notch noir. The paperback edition is tough to find but there's an eBook version with a different title - Concrete Flamingo - so check that out.
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