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Book Report: Longshot

Longshot is the survival-skills one, the Dick Francis which starts out with a protagonist who specializes in knowing how to survive the worst-case scenario. Hm. I wonder if he will be frozen to death, drowned, or pierced with an arrow?

It’s one of my favorites, although I have to say this time through I noticed that none of the characters are particularly likable, and that thus the protagonist’s ultimate decision after the murderer has committed suicide to participate in the cover-up, rather than say what he knows, is not very understandable. I had already, on previous readings, been unconvinced by that decision—It was never clear to me why he couldn’t tell the policeman, with whom he had achieved some sort of relationship, the truth: that he was pretty sure it was the son, but that there wasn’t anything like proof. He had no new evidence of any kind and had not seen anything, but deduction had led him to the right guy, and the suicide pretty much confirmed it. What would the police do with that information that would be worse for the family than keeping the murder case open?

Hm. I hadn’t thought about it until just this minute, but in a book that uses the frame-an-innocent-man-and-then-murder-him-and-make-it-look-like-suicide bit, having the actual murderer commit suicide at the end looks mighty fishy. Maybe that, too, was a frame, and the real murderer is still at large…

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,