The Innocent Mrs. Duff

The Blank Wall: The Innocent Mrs Duff

Another suspense tale, but not one you should read after having a big night out. Jacob Duff, 42, wealthy, recently married a model, Reggie, who disappoints him. He’s bored, and although he needs to lose weight, he increases his drinking to an almost comedic level of rushing about to unlock and lock rooms where he’s hidden bottles of gin that he tries to pass off as water. He tries to frame his chauffeur in a compromising position with his wife, but she’s too innocent. The chauffeur, Nolan, realizes that he’s been set up and tells Duff he knows what he’s up to. Duff dismisses him, and Nolan goes on a bender at a neighbor’s house, Mr. Paul. When Paul turns up at the beachhouse, Duff accidentally kills him and pulls his body into the water to get rid of it. While covering up this crime he’s becoming increasingly out of control with drinking, lugging empty bottles around in a suitcase looking for a place to dispose of them. Nolan re-enters the picture and encourages Duff to try to frame his wife again, this time with the man she’s been giving money to (turns out it’s a degenerate half brother of the nanny taking care of Duff’s son). Duff falls into the trap and almost gets framed for the murder of this man, but Reggie recognizes that Nolan has set him up and so explains it away to the police. But then the soggy clothes are found in Duff’s bedroom along with the riding crop that Paul had on him, and Duff confesses to the killing. He slits his throat on the way to the jailhouse!