Thursday, April 12, 2012

Double Exposure - Ben Hecht

Story: Double Exposure
Author: Ben Hecht
Source: EQ’s Twentieth Century of Detective Stories
Story Number: 95
Quote from EQ: “This story is a brisk, authoritative, witty model of the newest psychiatrist crime story, with sharp, shrewd irony and a kind of brimstone brilliance…”                   
Noted Psychiatrist Dr. Caleb Mudie has been murdered by his newly married wife Felicia on their honeymoon. Felicia is being tried for the murder and another Psychiatrist Dr. Hugo decides to come to her aid and defend her on the witness stand as he has a lot of background knowledge about Mudie – which if presented to a court, would force any jury to acquit. The story is narrated by Dr. Hugo to his best friend asking him to judge whether Hugo was a hero or a villain.
The story in all its complexity reveals the brilliant psychiatric shrewdness of Dr. Hugo – how he first manipulated Mudie to get rid of Felicia’s suitor, how he manipulated Mudie to go ahead and marry Felicia and how his manipulation led to the final demise of Mudie – 2 perfect murders committed so deftly and so cunningly that no punishment could ever be meted out to Dr. Hugo by the law - all carried out with the sole purpose of getting rid of his competitors and have Felicia for himself!

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