Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A Dead Man in Malta by Michael Pearce

We have all heard of cot deaths. But in pre first World War Malta still under British Rule, it is not the infants who are dying of Cot Deaths but Soldiers. First, a British Sailor dies and then another in a Hospital. Then a German Soldier's parachute has an accident, though he is not hurt, he is moved to a Naval Hospital for observation where he dies. It looks like a natural death, a cardiac arrest brought on by the accident probably? But this is third death under mysterious circumstances. Are the hygiene standards in the Hospital so bad that the patients are dying mysteriously or is somebody responsible for these cot deaths? Seymour of Scotland Yard is sent to investigate these cases. Malta is under British Rule and the Maltese resent the British. So is something else at play here? Is somebody trying to create trouble in the already troubled relationship between Britain and Germany? 

While the mystery is interesting and puzzling, and bunch of the characters are eccentric, the narrative did not grab my attention and I found myself drifting. I didn't guess the killer, but then I didn't care. Premise, the setting and bunch of eccentric characters should have worked for me, sadly it didn't. 

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