Tangled Web UK Review March 2002
File Updated: 05/03/03

Buy at Amazon Price Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
hbk out March 02 Published by Orion at 16.99

One of the unnerving things about classics in any field is that one tends never to be quite as familiar with them as one might have expected. I was rather ashamed when I realised that I had never actually read 'Double Indemnity', even though I have seen the classic film several times. When I belatedly turned to the first page, I was immediately hooked. It isn't difficult to see why Hollywood was attracted by Cain's taut yet visual style and the plot about the doomed infatuation of an amoral insurance salesman with the ruthless wife of a wealthy man ('I loved her like a rabbit loves a rattlesnake' is one of the best lines.) The storyline of the movie differs from that of the novel in a few respects, but each is utterly compelling, with a remorseless build-up to a terrific finale. It is odd to think that, if Orion had not embarked on this venture, I might never have read this memorable book. I am very glad they have given me an excuse to have done so.

( Martin Edwards - author of the highly acclaimed Harry Devlin Mysteries)

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