Written in 1945, Arthur Upfield’s ninth installment of his Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte series treats the listener to Bony as he’s never been seen before: seemingly fallen off the deep end as he purposefully gets himself arrested in the close-knit, isolated town of Merino while investigating the brutal murder of the titular swagman, the Australian term for a vagrant.
Of course, there is a method to his calculated madness, and Peter Hosking’s vibrant, emotive performance keeps the listener enthralled as Bony’s ingenious plan slowly unfurls.
In an isolated hut not far from the sleepy country town of Merino, stockman George Kendall is found dead and it looks very much like murder. Six weeks later, when the murderer is still at large, another stockman turns up in the township and, as a first move, provokes the local sergeant to lock him up. This particular stockman is Detective-Inspector Napolean Bonaparte, and there's method in his seeming madness. While serving a semi-detention sentence and being made to paint the police station, he wears the best of all possible disguises for a policeman on the trail of a ruthless and single-minded killer.
©1982 Arthur Upfield; (P)2009 Bolinda Publishing
Arthur Upfield's Boney books are terrific - and they're made even better by Peter Hosking's superb narration. Wish there were more available!
"Good, but ridiculous motive"
This is a 'who done it' detective story that requires the same kind of suspension of disbelief as an Agatha Christie novel. It was well written and quite well read. It contains reasonably well drawn characters and it has a narrative that flows steadily onwards. What I did not like not like was the ending, which involved what to me was an unbelivable motive and for this reason it is unlikely that I would listen to another book from this author.
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