Well, it turns out RL kept me busy for much longer yesterday than I’d anticipated, so I really only got back to this book today.
That said, I truly enjoyed it — even the fact that the murderer turned out to be the most obvious suspect, in the end, didn’t bother me half as much as it had in An English Murder. I also like the fact that Hare lets the murderer choose his own destiny — he is a likeable enough person; and clearly, though his motive doesn’t justify taking the law into his own hands, it is more than understandable, and arguably the victim was actually by far the greater villain.
The more books I read by Hare, the more I find I’m coming to him less for a fiendishly-constructed mystery — none of the three books I’ve read so far was exactly that — but for his wry humor and incisive observation of people and society. As it does for Mike, his technique of cutting from one scene to another, chapter by chapter, works well for me; much better than a linear narrative. I (too) could have done with some of the two investigators’ speculations on motive, means and opportunity — particularly at a moment where, as a reader, you had to have been sleepwalking through the book not to have clued in to the solution, at least in its very broad outlines — but by and large, this was yet another enjoyable read, and I’m definitely looking forward to continuing to explore Hare’s fiction.