Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Character Overview - Inspector Allhoff

Inspector Allhoff is a brilliant but twisted detective who had his legs blown off by a tommy gun, thanks to the cowardly actions of rookie flatfoot Battersly.

Allhoff is kept on the force as a consultant on his condition that Battersly act as his assistant.  Battersly stays on out of a sense of guilt, joined by our narrator Simmonds, a cop near retirement who acts as a buffer between the two.

Allhoff is a miserable wreck and constantly torments the man responsible for the loss of his legs.  I've seen the relationship described as sadomasochistic and Allhoff as psychopathic but for me this is oversold.  Allhoff is such a ham, after a while it has all the passive aggressive power of your mom trying to get a ride to the airport.

This would be good as the background of a more developed mystery or detective story, but the whining is about all there is room for in the short word count.  A typical story goes as such:

"Allhoff, there's been a murder."
"I'll solve it.  Go and get me clues.  I'd go, but I have no leeeeeegs, wah!"
Simmonds and Battersly get clues.
"I've solved the case now.  Please confess, as I don't have any real evidence."
"I did it!"

The first story I read was solved with a clue they didn't reveal and the second had the suspect from page one and the rest was tricking someone into confessing by convoluted means.  The action never left the apartment in either story.

Inspector Allhoff was created by D.L. Champion and appeared in Dime Detective Magazine from 1938-1945.

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