Anthony Starberth used to watch the hangings from his balcony, which was directly above a well in which the lifeless bodies of the dead were disposed to rot for eternity. One unforgettable night Anthony Starberth was himself found dead over the edge of the well, one of the spikes round the circumference of the well had gone straight through his heart.
After Anthony's mysterious death, Cholera spread through the prison and it had to be shut down. Over the years the Chatterham prison became a source of legend and horror for the villagers and the Straberths. Anthony in his will elucidated the fact that a box would be kept in his room, which was besides the balcony and a male heir would have to open the safe and retrieve the contents of the box and then take them to his lawyer as a irrefutable proof of being in the ghoulish room. Few generations later another heir to the Chatterham prison is found half dead besides the well of the prison and now his son Martin, is going to attempt to unlock the secrets of the prison on his 25th birthday, will he survive or will the curse on the Starberth's strike again? Whatever happens Dr Gideon Fell will be there to unravel the mystery.
There is also this real anine antic that the Dr pulls off in the last couple of pages, for no conceivable logical reason, he puts his life in danger when there was no reason to do so.
The identity of the murderer left me stumped, he/she did come in my mind for a fleeting second but I discarded that as being a flight of fancy. I think this book will easily find its way in the top 10 Carr book and might even wiggle its way to the Top 5.
4 out of 5 Stars.
Where can you buy it? It’s in print thanks to the rue morgue press and you can buy it from tv18’s shopping website for about 580 bucks.