Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts

Antidote to Venom cover

Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts was first published in 1938 but as you can see my copy is a British Library Classics one.

I quite enjoyed this one, but I felt that it dragged quite a bit in the middle, I seem to remember that I’ve felt the same about a few of his books.

George Surridge is the director of a zoo, it’s his dream job, and it comes with a comfortable house so he should be sitting pretty. Unfortunately he is married to a woman who is a social climber who had been spoiled by her parents and doesn’t seem to understand that George doesn’t have an endless supply of money for her to spend. The result is that George is always strapped for cash and is forever worried about it.

Clarissa’s attitude takes a toll on the marriage and when George meets a more sympathetic female he falls for her hard. This of course means that he gets into even deeper debt as he hires a flashy car to take her out and about – far away from his home. He dreams of getting free of his wife and so begins a convoluted murderous plan.

Unusually the author manages to make all of the main characters fairly likeable, so it’s quite a sad tale of broken lives due to bad decisions.

The covers of these British Library Crime Classics are usually quite stylish but I can’t say that I’m all that keen on this one.

4 thoughts on “Antidote to Venom by Freeman Wills Crofts

  1. I’ve only read one of his books and it was very slow with so many details I’ve hesitated to start one of the others by him that I have on my shelf.

    • Peggy,
      I think you have this one too. I think his books are all similar in that they are very dense with detail, but then you almost forgive him that because the ending is so twisty turny.

    • tracybham,
      I’m wondering if his books appeal more to men than women. I think in this one he set out to show that in difficult circumstances just about anyone could end up embroiled in murder.

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