Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull

 Excellent Intentions cover

Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull is a British Library Crime Classics reprint which was first published in 1938.

This book begins with the prosecution in a murder case and so the reader discovers the ins and outs of the death of Henry Cargate – the wealthiest inhabitant of Great Barwick. He was a man who went out of his way to rub people up the wrong way and never missed a chance to throw his weight about and let people know just how well off he was.

During the prosecution and defence the reader has absolutely no idea who is in the dock being tried. I must say that very early on I guessed who the culprit was and I was feeling a bit miffed about it, but literally on the last page the author redeemed himself with an unusual twist, something that apparently Richard Hull made a habit of doing.

The book cover has been taken from a 1930s travel poster for Epping Forest in Essex. It looks lovely, but whenever I hear the words Epping Forest it reminds me that when I lived in Essex in the 1970s I was told that that was where the London gangsters buried the bodies!

8 thoughts on “Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull

    • ireadthatinabook,
      I’m sure it happened, certainly in the early half of the 20th century. No bodies were buried in this one although the setting is East Anglia.

  1. I loved Richard Hull’s The Murder of My Aunt and I’m looking forward to reading this one, although I’ve seen some negative reviews of it as well as some very positive ones. The cover is lovely but I didn’t know that about Epping Forest!

    • Helen,
      I’ll have to look out for The Murder of My Aunt. I love just about all of those 1930s travel/British Rail tourist posters. Ooh yes, Epping Forest was notorious – back in the day!

  2. Katrina,
    How interesting about Epping Forest!
    You know, back in the day, when there still were a number of New York (City) Mafia families, they often took their bodies to be buried in the Adirondacks. About 4.5-5 hrs. from NYC, miles upon miles of rarely traveled roads–why, I can imagine that the Mafia (gone now) or someone else from NYC with a body could drive up our road in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, drive into the section of our road where there are no houses, and bury a body so easily, over the side of an embankment where no one would ever see and no one would ever know. I could easily walk by daily and never be able to see any disturbance. Chilling, indeed, to think of it.

    • Judith,
      It’s much the same here although we have nothing like your massive spaces there are still areas that bodies could easily be hidden in – and sometimes they are. I recall one murder a few years ago and although the woman’s body has never been found, her ex-lover was still convicted of the murder as there was so much CCTV footage of him in shops buying bin bags, disinfectant, air sprays and such, then him travelling to dense woodland in south-west Scotland!!

    • FictionFan,
      It is a lovely cover, probably my favourite so far too, although if you look at all the British Rail posters there are some crackers, obviously this one was chosen because of the Essex setting. I must read The Murder of My Aunt.

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