May 30, 2012

Book: Double Indemnity by James M Cain

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 10:11 am

This is the third of the trio of the most famous novels of this author.  We have already reviewed two other books of his:  The  Postman Always Rings Twice,  and Mildred Pierce.

This book has the look and feel of the Postman Always Rings Twice in that this also reads like a Dick Tracy novel come to life. However, this one is a bit more shallow than even that book and the story, though interesting, is uncomplicated and simple.

The story is about an insurance salesman called Walter Huff who discovers that an attractive blond called Phyllis Nordinger, who is a young vivacious woman married to an old rich and cantankerous Mr Nordinger, plans to clumsily kill her husband, after insuring his life for a big sum unknown to him.

Walter, who has faller hard for Phyllis, refines the plan to be almost undetectable and helps Phyllis in her effort to kill the husband, while creating for himself a cast iron alibi.

When he finds out that Phyllis is not an innocent little victim who had had too much abuse in her hubby’s hands, and when Walter also finds and falls in love with the stepsister of Phyllis, called Lola, things get complex. Walter finds that Nora is in love with Sachetti but he appears to be in cohorts with the mother Phyllis.

What is more simpler to commit one more murder, this time of Phyllis and frame Sachetti? Both obstacles to Walter’s love will be eliminated in one brilliant swoop and the way would be open for Walter to reunite with his love, Lola.

That’s when things go wrong…. Very wrong.

The book is an easy read and is told in Cain’s breezy style. The problem is that it is too much like the Postman book of Cain, and at the end, it does not stay in the mind.

For its entertainment value alone, you can give it a 4/10

— Krishna


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