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The Demon of Dartmoor Paperback – 20 Jun 2012
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About the Author
Paul Halter was born in Hagenau, Alsace, in 1956. He pursued technical studies in his youth before joining the French Marines in the hope of seeing the world. Disappointed with the lack of travel, he left the military and, for a while, sold life insurance while augmenting his income playing the guitar in the local dance orchestra. Upon discovering the writings of John Dickson Carr, he gave up the guitar for the pen. He has since written over 30 novels, almost all 'locked room, ' including 'The Lord of Misrule, ' 'The Fourth Door' - which won the coveted Prix du Roman Policier in 1987, 'The Seven Wonders of Crime' and 'The Demon of Dartmoor', all available in English on Amazon and Kindle. In 2006 his collection of short stories 'The Night of the Wolf' appeared, to critical acclaim.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
There's a rocky summit over rushing waters just outside the village - a convenient spot for dispatching people. Thick fogs also beset the area - a great aid to nefarious acts. Naturally enough the village is a hotbed of superstition. The murderer makes clever use of melodramatic local legends.
It's hard to believe sometimes that Paul Halter is French; he's so good at creating an atmospheric English village and town characters to go with it.
This is one of Halter's Dr. Twist mysteries. Twist is a criminologist, good at penetrating the twisted minds and methods of murderers. He seems to enjoy tormenting his sidekick, Inspector Hurst of Scotland Yard, by not sharing theories with him until the last minute. In this he reassembles other fictional investigators of genius with their Watsons.
Twist sees the case as "more like a fairy tale than a police investigation," but he's determined to solve it logically anyway. I had my eye on the wrong suspect right till the end. The identity of the murderer was a total surprise to me.
This book deserves high marks for supernatural atmosphere, devious murder methods, convincing characters, and a dramatic denouement.
Having said all of that, this book is better than most and it doesn't fall so easily in to the time warp trap. I recommend it.