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Henry Wade

Too Soon to Die

Constable 1953

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Henry Wade

Not a who-dun-it like Diplomat's Folly. Not a police novel like Be Kind to the Killer or Lonely Magdalen. But a crime story with as strong a human situation as Wade has yet devised. Colonel Jerrod, a slow-minded honourable man, has two absorbing interests pride in his family tradition and love of his ancestral home. His dominant desire is to see his only son in occupation of the family house, and, in order to escape estate duty, he has made over the property under the five-year law of " necessary survival ", In less than a year the five years will be up and the estate free of tax; but at this juncture the Colonel receives from his doctor a death-sentence. He has cancer of the liver, inoperable, and fatal within six months. The Colonel's son, Grant Jerroda is a ruthless selfish man, toughened by Commando service, unhappily married and childless. When his father tells him of the cruel fate which beyond doubt will ruin his prospects of succession, he determines to cheat the revenue. An Ingenious fraud is devised, to which the Colonel, blindly embittered against what he regards as Government robbery, reluctantly agrees. The fraud and what happened are the story of Too Soon to Die.

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