A candid review of Julius Falconer’s detective mystery novels by Samuel Aina, an ardent reader.

As a river springs from a mountainside, the author Julius Falconer – himself a fountain of knowledge – spurts out amazing stories which keep his reader spellbound. And like a meandering river finding its way through uneven landscapes, the chronicler appears to ramble through intricately woven cases without overlooking even the tinniest detail. Quite often he is able to show that a tiny speck of information which the un-initiated investigator would happily have discarded turns out to be the key to unravelling a case.

The chronicler has a penchant for information gathering which is the greatest tool in investigating any crime as evidenced by cases handled in all of Julius Falconer’s novels. Hence, with an incredibly high degree of perseverance, resilience, and patience he squeezes out information ‘in dribs and drabs' from reluctant informants. With these bits and pieces, he believes he will in the end get to the root of the matter.

Like a river is fed by its tributaries the chronicler pays due respect to the contribution made by his assistants in achieving the overall objective. The investigator gives a pride of place to his professional assistant with whom he converses day by day. His cliché ‘be firm but not hectoring’ was one way of training his professional assistant. Anyone being interviewed in connection with a crime must be firmly handled but not tortured.

In all the cases handled, he pays due respect to his wife Beth who was always there to chip in an advice when analyses became difficult. Thus he said in one case, “Beth’s late hint salvaged the investigation.” Beth herself once said, “what you need is a woman’s guidance.” How true!

*Samuel Aina is a Chemical Engineer with a degree from the University of Leeds. A life long reader, now retired after decades of work in academia and the engineering industry.

Paperback | Waterstones | Amazon UK


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