Monday, February 26, 2007

The Heart of the Matter - post III

This is so well written because just as you think you can predict what happens next the plate’s shift and Scobie’s wife returns, Yusef moves from menacing friend to out and out blackmailer and there is still the threat of Wilson to come.

Bullet points between pages 140 - 210

* The relationship between Scobie and the child (19) widow Helen moves from friendship to love and things are sealed with an evening stay and presumably, although this is not gone into in depth, a bit of something physical

* Harris and Wilson, two occupants from the hotel, move in together in a hut next to Helen and Harris discovers in their old magazine that Wilson has written a poem about his love for Louise Scobie

* Scobie has a meeting with the commissioner and the truth about Wilson being some sort of government agent and the commissioner reveals that Scobie is being suspected as a blackmail victim by Yusef the Syrian and that Wilson trusts nobody

* The relationship between Scobie and Helen starts to get fractious after she accuses him of being so careful in their relationship he hardly cares and in response he writes her a very emotional love letter which disappears

* The reader suspects, and you feel Scobie does as well, Wilson as being the culprit but it turns out to be Yusef’s boy who has stolen the letter and as a result Scobie can be blackmailed to take a package onto a ship set for Portugal

* Scobie is in a corner because he wife has telegrammed to say she is returning so he cannot afford to have his affair revealed so takes the package and now has compromised everything and the lies keep coming when Louise returns

Of course we know that Yusef’s boy is in the pay of Wilson so the chances are that both the details of the love letter and the package blackmail will be known by someone keen to get him out of the way with the woman they love back on the scene. More tomorrow…

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