I agree wholeheartedly with the review Steve Lewis recently did of Goldsmith’s Detour.  It’s every bit as fine as the much-lauded film version (which follows the novel’s progression fairly closely), and unputdownable once begun.

    It so happens I have a copy of Double Jeopardy, which I’ve read and which is excellent if not quite as good as Detour.  I thought everyone might like to see a scan of the jacket of the earlier book; it’s included here, as is one of the first edition of Detour.  Both books were published by Macaulay.

Here’s the dust jacket blurb for Double Jeopardy, in its entirety:

     Is it possible in this day of enlightened justice for a man to be punished twice for the same crime?
    Double Jeopardy answers this question, at the same time uncovering the greatest of the many loopholes in our modern jurisprudence.  In this very human but striking novel are portrayed the calamities that can be visited upon any ordinary citizen by the cold disppassionate judgment of our courts and our unimaginative and often stupid juries.  Through the eyes of the victim, Peter Thatcher, this tense revelation unfolds, growing to ugly and utterly ridiculous proportions.

    “Peter Thatcher has murdered his wife,” people said.  “I heard them quarreling,” announced one.  “And I,” added another, “saw the blood.”

    To make matters worse, Thatcher himself himself could not be quite sure of his innocence!

    Not a problem novel, not a mystery novel, but rather a cross between the two, this thrilling story will be appreciated by those who read “The Postman Always Rings  Twice.”

     Amen to that last line.

     Goldsmith’s third and final novel, Shadows at Noon (Ziff-Davis, 1943), is a dark wartime fantasy that examines what might have happened to a disparate group of ordinary citizens if Nazi bombers had actually penetrated U.S. air space and dumped their payloads on a large American city.  Interesting, but not nearly as good as his two crime novels.

    Goldsmith spent some twenty years in Hollywood, beginning in the mid 40s, where one of his first film scripts was for the film version of Detour.   He later scripted several other B films and wrote for episodic TV.  Another of his films was THE NARROW MARGIN, the well-regarded 1952 version; he also wrote an episode of The Twilight Zone.  His other claim to fame is that he was married to Anthony Quinn’s sister.



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