The Horizontal Man

by Helen Eustis

It was as if his whole life was a trail by torture to prove himself worthy of death.

Young Professor Kevin Boyle has had his head bashed in with a fireplace poker, and one of his students, deeply in love with him, has confessed to his murder. The girl is hysterical and committed to a mental institution while students, teachers and a reporter try to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Smoke is thrown everywhere—the characters uncover and follow evidence that looks compelling to the reader, only to have the theories fall apart a few pages later. And despite Hollywood’s best attempts to ruin the mechanics of the story by releasing the same machine thousands of times, the book remains a heck of a mystery.

Alternating between quick-paced reading and relentlessly fascinating conjecture on who might actually be behind the killing and why, this fluid, well-written novel is over before you know it.

“Don’t you feel, Leonard darling, that you’re just a little bit guilty of every crime you’ve ever heard of?”

4 stars

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