Victoria and Albert Museum

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The Tiger in the Smoke

The Tiger in the Smoke

‘The fog was like a saffron blanket soaked in ice-water. It had hung over London all day’
Considered one of the finest thrillers in the English language, this is the gripping story of a ruthless killer and his victims, hunters and allies. While ranking alongside crime classics such as The Franchise Affair and Cover Her Face, The Tiger in the Smoke is also unusual among golden-age mystery novels for its meditations on human imperfection, in particular the notions of madness and evil. ‘The Smoke’ of the title refers to the ineluctable fog that creeps through the dingy alleyways and secluded squares of post-war London. It also alludes to the city itself, a city in which it is but a step from the safety of a brightly lit living room to a world of secret doorways, hidden basements and deadly intrigue. ‘The Tiger’ is Jack Havoc – malevolent and graceful, with a handsome face whose ‘ruin lay in something quite peculiar’. His ghastly charisma is wonderfully evoked by illustrator Finn Campbell-Notman.

tiger smoke allingham finn campbell notman illustration
tiger smoke allingham finn campbell notman frontis DCI Luke
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