Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday's Favorite OTR

Suspense: “Banquo’s Chair” 6/1/43

Scotland Yard’s best detective knows who killed wealthy, elderly Miss Ferguson, but he can’t prove it. So he comes up with a plan to frighten the superstitious killer into confessing. Anyone familiar with Macbeth can guess from the title what his plan will be.

At first, this seems like an extremely well-done but straightforward story, in which the detective explains his plan to several confederates before carrying it out. We, like the protagonist, knows exactly what is happening, even if the killer is convinced that something supernatural is going on.

It’s not until the story begins to draw to a close that we realize that there will indeed be a twist at the climax. Many listeners may deduce (as did I) exactly what that twist is a minute or so before it occurs, but it’s nonetheless a satisfying conclusion to what only pretended to be a predictable story.

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