28 AUGUST 1964, Page 26

It's a Crime

MOST people think psychoanalysts are irrespon- sible crackpots. So it stands to reason that Dr. Bauer must have stabbed the patient found dead on his consulting-room couch. Professor Kate Fansley, the admirable new detective of In the Last Analysis, by Amanda Cross (Gollancz, 15s.), determines to prove her friend's innocence. Her problem is how to translate intuitive convictions into concrete evidence. Police are conscientious, but unwilling to saddle themselves with the superfluous suspects of a biased academic. Kate's systematic guesswork leads to some inspired imaginative reconstruction. The story is told with wit and composure.

Julian Symons snaps our more pretentious intellectual suburbs with malicious glee in The End of Solomon Grundy (Crime Club, 15s.). A strangled tart set rumours rioting among the liberals in a most diverting and inspired satire. There's such splendid scope for gossip in the enforced neighbourliness of picture windows! Down in Leo Bruce's suburb, the netted pryings of the curious have to be more discreet. Victorian houses crumble among shrubs in Death in Albert Park (W. H. Allen, I5s.), and the killings have a sinister anonymity to match. C'arolus Deene cracks the case in a most amusing and baffling mystery.

Rhona Petrie crams too much incident into Murder by Precedent (Gollancz, 16s.). MacLurg disturbs a positive nest of fascinating secrets when there's trouble at a high-security radar research factory. It's an exciting, hyper- complicated mystery.

The disused pits at Quarry House have got filled in with water, while every deserted corridor and gallery is populated with rats. A vicious old woman sits watching and brooding over The Slate Landscape in James Turner's macabre story (Cassell, 16s.). Then she starts killing the girls. She feeds information to Rampion Savage in such a way that police think he's off his nut. Cackles of hysterical laughter haunt his steps in a sinister tale which flickers with echoes of Poe.

Some log-cabin vacationers are shocked out of their marital bickerings by a young bride's accident. Tension builds up fast and slays grim in 'James McKimmey's Run If You're Guilty (Boardman, 12s. 6d.), a rather poignant and ex- tremely well-characterised novel.

Roger Simons engineers a mass disgrace for the toffs in Bullet for a Beast (Bles, 13s. 6d.). Poor Wace feels thoroughly befouled by the ghoulish sexual orgies he uncovers. Some good salty characters garnish a readable but un- exciting story.

A terror-struck widow longs for the security of her former poverty in Jan Roffman's chilly and powerful Winter of the Fox (Bles, 13s. 6d.). ANTONIA SANDFORD