Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Love Lies Bleeding - Philip MacDonald

Theme for the Week: Edgar Winners

Story: Love Lies Bleeding
Author: Philip MacDonald
Source: Something To Hide, The Edgar Winners.
Story Number: 73
Cyprian is waiting for Astrid to get dressed so that he can take her out. He hears a strange exclamation from Astrid and when he turns around to face her, he is horrified at what he sees. Cyprian tries to wriggle out of the advancing clutches of the menacing Astrid and in the process he ends up beating her to death! He runs out of the house with blood covered all over his body, he loses consciousness on the road and when he comes around he has been arrested by the police. He is able to withstand the rigorous questioning and when a defense attorney is hired, he uses the leading questions dangled in front of him to build a defense for himself. But in spite of all these, he maintains that he is innocent and that there was another man who went out of the window!
He is tried in court and the defense attorney shows that the modus operandi in this case is pretty similar to two other deaths which followed Cyprian's arrest and since Cyprian had nothing to do with those two deaths, he is able to prove that Astrid was the first victim of a serial killer. The prosecution withdraws the case and Cyprian escapes the chair! But all along, Cyprian is pretty firm that there was another man in the room! The story is so woven that it's hard to figure out whether the protagonist did murder the girl or not, whether there really was someone other than the victim and the accused, what was so horrific which led to such drastic actions on behalf of Cyprian to escape the advancing clutches of Astrid - all combine to lead to a terrific climax!

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