Ms Marsh invites the reader to a hideous Victorian mansion whose pretentious ugliness reflects the dysfunctional family in residence. The tale is vividly of its time: the war is staggering to its close, rationing has encouraged overseas friends to send canned food to Britain, childish tricks can spur on homicide and Agatha Troy is commissioned to paint a silly, grand old man of the theatre whose 'borrowed robes' are too big for him...
Ms Marsh's novels interest me because she shows how serious crimes are rarely the result of impulse but have been brewing for years. They are the outcome of many small life-events, perceived slights and insults, however mistaken, that twist the perpetrator's view of themselves and their victim. What the killers have in common is their focus on self, in which the decision that the victim has no right to live comes to seem logical and justified. Ms Marsh comes back to 'Macbeth' at the end of her writing career' in 'Light Thickens', another compelling read that shows her deep-rooted pity for warped humanity and at the same time her faith in the regenerative powers of kindness and courage.
I would recommend 'Final Curtain' to anyone who likes a bizarre puzzle and a wide range of characters living in a damaged wartime society, where old values and patterns of power are challenged and money is still the root of all evil. The book is sometimes comic, sometimes pathetic, always true to its purpose, which is to show the terrible consequences of 'vaulting ambition.' The Scottish Play is here only a part of the theatrical history and fantasy of an actor whose 'life is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf.'
- Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T) (1 June 1947)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9997522168
- ISBN-13: 978-9997522160
- Package Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 2.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 363 g
- Customer Reviews: 31 customer ratings