I loved the lighter vein and Wodehousian characters of The Case of the Late Pig, the first Campion book that I read earlier this year. So picked up another Albert Campion book for some fun. The Tiger in the Smoke is a completely different book from The Case of the Late Pig, it is thriller rather than a whodunit and in a much sober vein.
Meg's husband is presumed dead in the World War II. Now after five years she has found happiness again. She is all set to marry Geoffrey and photographs of her husband in recent setting appear. She asks Campion to look into matter. Is he alive? What happened to him? If he is alive why didn't he get in touch with her? Is something else happening here? Who is set to create havoc in her life?
While this book features Campion, this is not his book. This book is Canon Avril's, Meg's father and Jack Havoc's. Jack Havoc is behind the plan, what he wants becomes evident soon. He is the Tiger on the prowl in the 'smoke' that is London.
Havoc is evil and Avril is Good. Havoc stops at nothing to get what he wants. He kills innocent people without a thought. Avril goes to face the evil, will he stop the evil? Will good win over evil? This interaction between good and evil leads to a thrilling finish. Canon Avril's thoughts on why he could never be a Judge touches a chord with me.
'I should never have made a judge. I've often thought that. What a very terrible job that must be. Consider it,' he added as Luke sat staring at him. 'However carefully a judge is protected by the experience and the logic of the law, there must be times-not many, I know, or we should have no judges-when the same frightful question must be answered. Not faced, you see, but answered. Every now and again he must have to say to himself, in effect, "Everyone agrees that this colour is black, and my reason tells me it is so, but on my soul, do I know?"