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The Journeying Boy by Michael Innes
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The Journeying Boy (1949)

by Michael Innes

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166271,708 (3.39)8
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    Unhung Man by Alan Hunter (BookGirlVL)
    BookGirlVL: Although written in the 1980s, this mystery is similar in tone to classic 1940s whodunnits. It isn't as lyrical as Innes or as funny, but has a great plot and fantastic dialogue.
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Richard Thewless travels to Ireland with Humphrey Paxton, son of Sir Bernard Paxton, Britain's leading nuclear physicist. He was second choice as the tutor for the boy, the first choice having been shot in a cinema. Can Inspector Cadover identify the corpse before Humphrey is kidnapped?

Lots of twists and turns in this combination of thriller and detective fiction. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Oct 29, 2016 |
A rather intricate beginning in which two tutors are interviewed to accompany young Humphrey Paxton to Ireland. Mr Thewless is interviewed first and then informed in writing that he does not have the post. However the second successful interviewee notifies Sir Bernard that he is unable to accept the post after all. In the long run Mr Thewless meets his young charge for the first time on the railway station platform but his father fails to turn up to see him off, so during the train journey to catch the boat to Ireland Mr Thewless is beset by doubts about whether he has the right boy or not.

Meanwhile back in London the successful applicant is shot dead in a cinema and it rather looks as if Humphrey Paxton (whose actual identity is unknown to the police) may know something about the murder. Inspector Cadover attempts to identify the body, just knowing that he had recently got a position as tutor to the son of an atomic scientist and that he was meant to be escorting the boy to Ireland.

I don't think I have ever changed my mind so frequently about the merits of a story. I started off being rather frustrated by the style, but ended up enjoying it.

At times the style is rather ponderous and long-winded, and the initial plot rather complicated. The writing is littered with quotations and rather academic in-jokes, which presumably meant something to someone at the time. But there is something rather akin to Boys Own about this book and after Mr Thewless and Humphrey have crosed the sea to Ireland, and face various perils on their way to Humphrey's distant relatives, the action ramps up and it becomes a rollicking good story. Some people are not who they seem and both Humphrey and Mr Thewliss turn out to have interesting characters. In the end, they seem to have got into a very tight pickle and I really wanted to know how they got out of it.

Not everybody's cup of tea but an interesting insight into what appealed to readers in the uncertain times that followed the detonation of the atomic bombs at the end of World War Two. ( )
  smik | May 6, 2015 |
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On the morning of Monday, the 4th of August 1947, Mr. Richard Thewless walked in pleasant sunshine through the West End of London.
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Humphrey Paxton, the son of one of Britain's leading atomic boffins, has taken to carrying a shotgun to shoot plotters and blackmailers and spies. When a man is found shot dead at a cinema, a world of lies, kidnapping and murder appears.

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