Borrowed Book - A Stab in the Dark

It’s difficult to get started into a new novel too soon after finishing your last, so even though my bookshelf is lined with books in many genres, I was at a loss to choose a new read.

Every paperback I pulled out didn’t hold much appeal, or lasted only a few moments in my hands as I thumbed through the pages, gauging whether it was worthy to hold my attention for the following few evenings as I read the remnants of the day away.

I was saved by a friend. She called up for a chat. It started with a phone message, a reply, a reply to the reply and a reply to that reply, until we both realised it would be simplest to hit the video call button and dictate our messages straight into the eardrum of the other.

We repeated what we’d just typed, updated each other on the local weather conditions, and what we’d just done, and what we’re hoping to do. One of these activities was mutual; we agreed to meet up next week for a cuppa and a chat.

I mentioned I was struggling to pick up a new book, and she suggested one, “A Stab in the Dark”, a detective thriller. I’m not usually into these “whodunnits” – someone gets murdered and someone tells you who it is, but along the way we’re supposed to guess who did it. Yes, a pet peeve – it’s who did it, not who done it, and if you write a story and leave out vital clues along the way so the murderer isn’t clear, then as far as I’m concerned, it’s bad writing.

Still, “A Stab in the Dark” came with a recommendation, and as yet, there was still no book on my bed-side cabinet. I told her I may as well give it a go. She popped round with it later in the day, but had to shoot off quickly to visit a friend in hospital.

And I must admit, I really enjoyed it! Obviously, I knew the murder was a stabbing, and yes it was in the dark. That bit didn’t take a genius. But who’d have thought that the love triangle between the plastic surgeon, the dentist and the optician would play out in this way? Who would ever expect that the surgeon’s knife was a red-herring all along and it was the tussle with the dental drill and the lens grinding tool that led to the killing! And full marks for using the optical laser surgery equipment. It certainly put on a show in the dark!

I tore through the book, finishing it in only a couple of evenings.

I returned it wi...

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Paul Sterlini
Aug 21 2021

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The ending to your story caught me by surprise. A good bad one. Along similar lines, though, you might want to add a spoiler alert about the book for your readers. On the other hand, that's one less who-done-it I have to read before I die.

BIll Dean
Aug 31 2021

YOU did it, that is as bad as blurting out the punchline when someone is telling a joke.

Wanda Sterlini
Aug 21 2021