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Double Indemnity; when Cain is good, he is brilliant. Who else writes crime like this-sudden and gripping? Not word that doesn't drive the story forward with a you-are-thereness few writers can rival. Crime in Cain's novel is like an impulsive, illicit passion, when it's done, the partners separate in mutual disaffection. The intricate insurance scam and murder plot is masterful. Cain's style is odd yet apt and he can write dialogue with the real rhythm of speech and remarkably, Cain's language doesn't feel dated. I found that the terse, controlled tone of the narrator, James Naughton, exactly suited Walter Huff, telling us just how it was, his nightmare venture into crime.
And Audible, bring us MORE of the fabulous James M. Cain!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Written in 1936, this is one of those old fashioned novels in which the main character narrates to the reader. It is a cute form of writing and takes me back to my youth watching those old black and white detective movies. "Her dress was in the hollywood style and could not hide the body that was in it and she knew it." Not an exact quote but close. In this short novel the main character falls in love with two different women, based on looks alone. He kills for one woman who he barely knows. He is an insurance salesman who knows all the angels. He plans the murder and they carry it out. He does this to get $50,000. His only claim to the 50 would be if the wife wants to share. He does not seem to think this is a problem though. It is all very cleverly planned and carried out. Like in all murders, there are some twists and it seems he does not know his lover that well. Like in the Postman Always Rings Twice, which I liked better, he actually gets away with it, but ends up paying for it in the end.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful