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Book Information: Penknife in My Heart, a

Penknife in My Heart, a (1958) [Novel]
by Nicholas Blake Rating: No votes (Rate!)
Reviews: None (show them) Review!

Summary :

Two men—total strangers—establish the perfect alibis by arranging to switch victims. Ned Stowe will kill Stuart Hammer's wealthy uncle for which service Hammer is to eliminate Stowe's neurotic wife, Helena. Too farfetched? Perhaps. But the men plot and the plan—with its horrifying simple premise—is solidified....

Original title: A Penknife in My Heart
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionCrime and Mystery


  • The plot is similar to the Patricia Highsmith novel Strangers on a Train as well as the movie based on that novel. Nicholas Blake insisted that the similarities were coincidental and that he had never seen the movie nor read the book. Two characters' names were changed in later editions because they were the same as those of characters from the Highsmith novel.
  • Cover design by One+One Studio
  • For Barbara and Geoffrey


Edition #1: Penknife in My Heart, a

Penknife in My Heart, a (1958)
Edition Details:

Language: English

  • "[A] provocative and dramatic thesis." Anthony Boucher, The New York Times
  • "This thriller... raises the standard for thrillers at leas a notch and a half." The New Yorker
  • "As always, this Nicholas Blake writes a literate and fascinating yarn." Charlotte Armstrong
  • "A dramatic... book." Francis Iles, Manchester Guardian
  • "Storytelling of exceptional competence." James Sandoe, New York Herald Tribune Book Review
  • "Style brilliant, happenings realistic, tone somber and suspenseful." L. G. Offord, San Francisco Chronicle
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Manifested in:

Penknife in My Heart, a (1980)

ISBN: 0060805218

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Penknife in My Heart, a (July 1960)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: Greenwich, Conn
Publisher: Crest Books
Dimensions: 4.2 x 7.0 x 0.5
Pages: 174

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