Title: Traitor’s Purse (Albert Campion #11)
Author: Margery Allingham
Published on: First published in 1940
Genre: Crime and Mystery
A man wakes up in the hospital bed. His head hurts and he doesn’t remember a thing, not even his own name! He overhears the nurse and a bobby discussing about the man killing a bobby and seriously wounding the other one. There is no way the man can escape and he will be hanged, says the nurse.
The man on the bed is now tensed. Hanged for what? He manages to set off the fire alarm and escape. He meets a young girl on his way out. She looks quite familiar but he cannot put a name to the pretty face. He steals a car and drives away. Not knowing where to go or whom to contact, he just drives for what seemed like miles. He sees a car following him. Finally, when his car breaks down, the car following him stops by and the woman who is driving asks if he wants to be dropped somewhere. The man nods and gets in, only to see that the woman is none other than the girl he saw at the hospital. She addresses him as… Campion! So, Campion must be his name but he doesn’t remember. And the girl must be his wife. There’s another man in the car – Anscombe.
Things get murkier when Anscombe is murdered and a man matching Campion’s description is sought by the police. But Campion hardly remembers a thing. After being coshed in the head, he is not sure if he could remember anything anytime soon!
Wow! What a story! The goodreads blurb is quite different from what I have written above and I hope my version of the blurb has interested you in reading this book. (If you haven’t read it yet, that is.)
The story starts with a bang! The man who doesn’t remember anything – a sure case of amnesia this. And the young girl calls him Campion. Albert Campion, the detective!! And as the story proceeds, whatever Fifteen is, disturbs him. Yes, Fifteen. Is Fifteen a date? He doesn’t know? If it is, then he has less than two days to stop whatever it is he was supposed to.
As the story proceeds, Campion is bugged by ‘Fifteen.’ As the story was about to end and details about the Fifteen was revealed, I felt that the story’s title would have been better if it contained the word ‘Fifteen’. Do you think that would have been a spoiler? Anyways, who am I to decide if Fifteen had to be in the title or not! Margery knows it best!
So, moving ahead, What is my opinion about the book? I loved it!! And not just Campion, even I was a tad lost. What on Earth’s happening? Campion is on the run, and the poor chap hardly remembers a thing so whom to trust and whom not to was quite a concern.
After a not-so-interesting The Tiger in the Smoke, which also happened to be the first Allingham book that I read, I am happy that I choose to read this book. Thanks to Sue for asking me not to give up on the Albert Campion series. And yes, Traitor’s Purse was a unique story. I have read a couple of stories related to wartime but this was way different and entertaining.
The writing is excellent. And although I have mentioned in my previous review, I would like to repeat it and say that the book is not for those with beginner’s level understanding of the English language. But if want to give it a try, then go ahead. Also, for those who love a fast-packed action sequence, this book might come out as a tad slow. However, if you love vintage crime and mystery novels then you will love this book!
Superintendent Hutch surely deserves some credit, especially in the end. Injured but trustworthy forever – that’s Hutch! Campion’s faithful servant Lugg is also an interesting character in the story. And what do I say about Amanda! There was a bit of romance in the end and yes, Amanda plays a major part in it. Campion’s role in the story is pretty good. How he solves the case in the end is praiseworthy. How did he regain his memory? Well, that is another mystery! An eye for an eye, blood for blood and cosh for cosh! 😉