Rex bent down. By squeezing his hand into the drain pipe his fingers were able to grasp the white object. He pulled it out. It was a pad of absorbent cotton—and wet.
The detective sniffed it, and then gave a low whistle of surprise.
It smelled of chloroform.
Perhaps Sinclair, in order to obliterate the horror of his fall, had rendered himself semi-conscious before he dropped. But this supposition seemed unlikely. For the cotton had been forced into the drain pipe. Obviously a drugged man could not have done that.
The Body on the Pavement was a Golden Age crime story that I picked up purely because I liked the cover.
On reading the first chapter I was really excited – we had atmosphere, we had tension, and we had a petty criminal finding himself trapped when a robbery takes an unexpected turn.
Unfortunately, the rest of the story was incredibly dull, and for most of the book the only mystery to me was why all of the characters revered the leading police detective. He had zero charisma and was rather full of himself. The ending was cute, but by the time I got there I had long lost any real interest in the story.
Writing up a short review only a week after reading the book, I seem to have already forgotten much of the story, too.
In summary, it wasn’t a winner.