Forensic obsessionsBMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e4449 (Published 29 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4449
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
My favourite crime novel is Malice Aforethought (1931) by Francis Iles. In this book the henpecked general practitioner Dr Bickleigh gets away with a murder he did commit but is hanged for one that he did not.
However, this plot had been used before—by an author whose brother was a doctor and who had once been a medical student himself. However, he did not complete his studies because, unlike quite a few who did complete theirs, he realised he was not cut out to be a doctor. He was C S Forester (1899-1966), whose real name was Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, and who became best known for the Horatio Hornblower …