The clever and thrilling debut of literature’s first forensic detective
In all of London, there are few who know more about science than Dr. John Thorndyke, and fewer still who know more about crime. A “medical jurispractitioner” equally at home in the lab or the courtroom, he has made his name confronting the deadliest criminals in England with irrefutable proof of their guilt. In the case of the red thumb mark, however, Thorndyke must set his singular mind to saving an innocent man.
A cache of diamonds has been stolen out of a shipping firm’s safe, and the only evidence is a perfect thumbprint left in a pool of blood. The print is a match to Reuben Hornby, nephew of the firm’s owner. Hornby insists that he had nothing to do with the theft, however, and asks Dr. Thorndyke to find the real culprit. With all the evidence pointing in one direction, only he is brilliant enough to look the other way.
This ebook features a new introduction by Otto Penzler and has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
“It would be difficult to find anywhere more nearly perfect stories of scientific deduction than the Dr. Thorndyke tales of R. Austin Freeman.” —The New York Times
“[Freeman] has no equal in his genre.” —Raymond Chandler
R. Austin Freeman (1862–1943) was a British author of detective stories. A pioneer of the inverted detective story, in which the reader knows from the start who committed the crime, Freeman is best known as the creator of the “medical jurispractitioner” Dr. John Thorndyke. First introduced in The Red Thumb Mark (1907), the brilliant forensic investigator went on to star in dozens of novels and short stories over the next decades.
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