Allen J. Hubin

JOHN MALCOLM – The Wrong Impression. Scribner’s, hardcover, 1990. No US paperback edition. First published in the UK by Collins, hardcover, 1990.

   The seventh of John Malcolm’s tales about Tim Simpson is The Wrong Impression, one of the more intense in this good series. Tim corrals works of art for a London bank’s investment fund, and has been instructed to track down (at affordable prices) a couple of impressionist paintings — a Monet, perhaps.

   But there are bad times for Tim: his friend Inspector Nobby Roberts lies at death’s door from a shooting. The police seem at a loss, but determined that Tim will not conduct the independent investigating that he’s equally determined to do. This leads to an explosive rift in Simpson’s relationship with Sue Westerman, his live-in woman.

   This part — Sue’s behavior — is not to me credible; she seems to have taken leave of her senses. But otherwise Wrong Impression is full of good stuff.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier,
       Vol. 13, No. 2, Spring 1991.

         The Tim Simpson series —

1. A Back Room in Somers Town (1984)

2. The Godwin Sideboard (1984)
3. The Gwen John Sculpture (1985)
4. Whistler in the Dark (1986)
5. Gothic Pursuit (1987)

6. Mortal Ruin (1988)
7. The Wrong Impression (1990)
8. Sheep, Goats and Soap (1991)
9. A Deceptive Appearance (1992)
10. The Burning Ground (1993)

11. Hung over (1994)
12. Into the Vortex (1996)
13. Simpson’s Homer (2001)
14. Circles and Squares (2003)
15. Rogues’ Gallery (2005)