A Closer Look – Hide My Eyes [The Folio Society] [Spring Collection]

Hide My Eyes

By Margery Allingham

Illustrated by Alexandru Savescu

Product DetailsBound in Elephanthide paper printed and blocked with a design by the artist Set in Utopia with Victoria display 224 pages Frontispiece and 6 colour illustrations 9˝ x 5¾˝ Plain slipcase

The third Folio outing for one of the pre-eminent figures of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, Margery Allingham – following the Folio editions of The Tiger in the Smoke and Traitor’s Purse – once again introduces readers to Allingham’s much-loved gentleman detective, Albert Campion, for a taut, psychological thriller set over the course of a single day in the rain-soaked heart of London’s Theatreland.

The sixteenth novel in the Albert Campion Series, Allingham’s unsettling study of sheer psychopathy is unusual in the fact that it veers away from the true murder mystery style that typifies the bulk of her work and plays out more like a psychological thriller in the mirky underworld of post-war London; one that feels strangely Dickensian courtesy of Allingham’s atmospheric and sharply observed evocation, and sees Campion feature very little in the narrative.

Illustration by Alexandru Savescu from The Folio Society edition of Hide My Eyes by Margery Allingham © Alexandru Savescu 2018

Hide My Eyes opens in a dark alleyway in London’s West End, half-way through evening performances, as a shabby, dimly lit old bus arrives carrying just two elderly passengers. A murder is then committed in a nearby building and the bus seemingly vanishes through the penetrating downpour of spring rain, yet no-one seems to notice, and the crime remains unsolved.

Eight months later, Scotland Yard’s Chief Superintendent Charles Luke develops a theory linking the murder to several  disappearances across London (all thought to be unconnected), and to a tiny corner of London known as Garden Green, and calls in old friend Albert Campion to help piece together the disparate clues and solve the ruthless murderer’s complex web of crime.

Allingham’s page-turning tale is one of pure intrigue and suspense; one that introduces us to both villain and detective early on, exposes us to the killer’s true evil, and grips us with the question of how and when their path’s might cross, if at all.

Illustration by Alexandru Savescu from The Folio Society edition of Hide My Eyes by Margery Allingham © Alexandru Savescu 2018

Two-time Book Illustration Competition long-listed artist Alexandru Savescu’s expertly composed illustrations enhance the tense atmosphere of Allingham’s text and effectively call to mind the hardboiled noirs of Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Dashiell Hammett, particularly in the striking cover image complete with a familiar trench-coat and trilby dressed figure, blackgloved hand and the apparent femme fatale, silhouetted by the light of the doorframe.

Though perhaps not the most advisable starting point for those new to Margery Allingham’s work, Hide My Eyes nevertheless proves a great addition to The Folio Society’s growing Allingham collection, and it is to be hoped many more will follow in the coming years.

The Folio Society edition of Hide My Eyes by Margery Allingham, illustrated by Alexandru Savescu, is available exclusively from www.foliosociety.com.

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