Books: Crime Wave

THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER, by Philip MacDonald (224 pp.; Crime Club; $3.50), opens with a worried author asking a Scotland Yard acquaintance to check the whereabouts of ten men—and refusing, because of British diffidence and the exigencies of plot, to say why he needs the information. A few days later, the writer dies in a mid-ocean plane crash. To armchair hawkshaws, it will be as unmistakable as a corpse on a carpet that this is not coincidence. And when it turns out that most of the men on Adrian Messenger's list have died by violent accidents, even the authorities are...

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