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These stories do not conform to the rules of murder mysteries so where does the mystery and suspense come from? The Tell-tale heart - Stone Cold

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These stories do not conform to the rules of murder mysteries so where does the mystery and suspense come from? In both The Tell-tale heart and Stone Cold the rules of murder mystery are not applied. In a murder mystery you would expect to find out who the murderer is at the end of the book and you also expect a detective to be carrying out an investigation. Murder mysteries also normally use a 'Red Herring': this is when you are given false clues. Although The Tell-tale heart and Stone Cold don't involve either of these things and yet they are still murder mysteries. The way in which this is undermined is that you know whom the murderer and the victim is from the start. So the mystery is actually produced by other things. The plot builds up mystery in The Tell-tale heart as you are never sure if the heart is his own that he hears or someone else's. An example of when he is hearing the heart is - "It grew louder-louder-louder!" Personally I believe it is his own heart because it looks as if the author has written it in such a way so when he gets more nervous the noise gets louder This builds up the tension in The Tell-tale heart. ...read more.


The narrator of The Tell-tale heart also says: "Ha!" This allows the reader to build up suspense, and you can almost feel that something bad has just happened or is about to happen. For instance, in Shelter's daily routines order 13, just after Shelter laughed we found out that the police had met Shelter and hadn't suspected a thing. Another good use of language is short sentences using monosyllables in The Tell-tale heart: "He was stone dead." The thing I notice about short sentences in The Tell-tale heart is that they get shorter towards the end. This is to do with the fact that as he gets more nervous, the sentences are made shorter to create the tension and atmosphere. Stone Cold also uses short sentences-especially Shelter. For example when Shelter says: "By golly I will." By using short sentences and repetition in both Stone Cold and The Tell-tale heart more suspense is added to the story. One thing I notice about the language is that both protagonists talk directly to the reader. For example when Shelter says: "And d'you know something?" In The Tell-tale heart the narrator also talks to the reader: "And have I not told you..." ...read more.


Both protagonists boast a lot about themselves. This is an example of when Shelter boasts: "I was magnificent." The protagonist in The Tell-tale heart boasts as well-I think both Shelter's and his personality are altogether quite similar: "...wild audacity of my perfect triumph." Another similarity between them is they are both quite interested in numbers, for instance when Shelter says: "Three cheers. The three musketeers. If I had three wishes." This is very similar to The Tell-tale heart: "And I did this for seven long nights-every night just at midnight..." This is very effective in its own way as it is getting the reader to think. Both authors are very successful at producing mystery. Overall, I prefer Stone Cold. This is because it uses a lot of 'black humour.' A good example of this is when Shelter says: "...and I let him have it with the kit-E-Kat tin." I think The Tell-tale heart would've been slightly better of it had involved some humour of some kind-although it is not a bad thing to not involve humour, but in my opinion I prefer books with a little than without. Another thing I prefer about Stone Cold is the fact that there are two narrators. By having two narrators you get two totally different versions of what is happening-I think this makes the book more interesting- as both characters coincide and eventually meet up at the end. ...read more.

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