Marcella Eweing’s body is found in the house of bookseller Alex Blair. As the chief of police, Ed Fuller, investigates he finds that Marcella had a string of lovers including Alex. This comes as a shock to Alex’s wife Gen who leaves him while she tries to come to terms with Alex’s infidelity. Meanwhile more of Marcella’s sad life is revealed with her being in one abusive relationship after another. But who would go to the extent of killing her? Her violent husband or one of her lovers? Besides Alex, who in the small community had been Marcella’s lovers? And what could have been the motive behind killing somebody as defenceless as Marcella? Potts keeps one guessing till the end.
It is interesting to note that the novel has quite a few characters who wouldn’t be considered ‘normal’. Mentally vacuous or physically deformed, they were the most interesting characters in the whole novel while the main characters were more or less unpleasant. Strangely enough, both the victim and her murderer had my sympathies.
Have you read the novel? How did you find it?
First Line: It was deserted, this stretch of beach, except for the girl…
Publishing Details: NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1955
First published: 1955
Source: Open Library
Other Opinions: Chocolate Cobwebs