The Black Gang

Cover image for


Author: Herman Cyril McNeile (Sapper)
Published: 1922
Language: English
Wordcount: 76,110 / 213 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 89.1
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 5,297
Added to site: 2008.10.02 22201
Genres: Thriller, Pulp

Though the Great War is over it seems that the hostilities are not, and when Captain Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond discovers that bribery and blackmail is undermining England's democratic tradition, he forms the Black Gang to track down the perpetrators of such plots.

Show Excerpt

ue the inspection. What are these two Hebrews?"

A man from behind stepped forward and examined them slowly; then he came up to the leader and whispered in his ear.

"Is that so?" A new and terrible note had crept into the deep voice. "My friends and I do not like your trade, you swine. It is well that we have come provided with the necessary implement for such a case. Fetch the cat."

In silence one of the men left the room, and as his full meaning came home to the two Jews they flung themselves grovelling on the floor, screaming for mercy.

"Gag them."

The order came out sharp and clear, and in an instant the two writhing men were seized and gagged. Only their rolling eyes and trembling hands showed the terror they felt as they dragged themselves on their knees towards the impassive leader.

"The cat for cases of this sort is used legally," he remarked. "We merely anticipate the law."

With a fresh outburst of moans the two Jews watched the door open and the inexor


Average Rating of 3 from 3 reviews: ***
Henry L. Ratliff

Plot bullets

  • Hugh (Bulldog) Drummond and his buddies are fed up with rampant crime.

  • They take the law into their own hands.

  • The Black Gang will do what the police cannot.

  • Once again Drummond is pitted against his arch enemy, Peterson.

  • Peterson has made some terrible alliances in order to gain riches and power.

Second of four stories, in the Bulldog Drummond series with nemesis Peterson.

You may like some of the public domain movie versions that you can find at
the web site.
They are faithful to the original concept of the books, with one exception. Each movie starts
with Hugh's forth coming wedding. He gets involved in a mystery and the next try at a wedding is
postponed until the start of the next movie. In the book series, he gets married in the second installment.


I must say that this book was not as energetic and action packed as "Bulldog Drummond".

The plot was a lot like "The Scarlet Pimpernel". Hugh Drummond is portrayed as a bumbling buffoon in public but comes across as our hero when he and the secretive Black Gang spring into action.

For the most part, the first two thirds of the books kind of eases along and it's not until the later part that the book brings back the "nail biting" action that the first book had.

Even though the book takes a slow pace, it is still a good book to read, especially if you have become a Bulldog Drummond fan.

Linda Otto

2nd book in the Bulldog Drummond Series.

Oh, dear. Something is very wrong here.... Capt. Hugh Drummond, man among men--the only man his merry band would follow besides the King--has turned into Bertie Wooster. As far as I can see, he and his band of crusaders have all become candidates for membership in P. G. Wodehouse's Drones Club. I am so confused. Where is our stalwart hero? In the first book in the series he was sharp, clever, keen-witted. Now he is described throughout London ,and by someone who has known him since childhood, as "the most vacuous ass in England." Huh?

At first I thought this was just a cover like Zorro or Sir Percy Blakeney and wondered what would come next...pimpernels left at the scene? But then when he couldn't figure out the workings of an electrified fence, I began to doubt the "cover" and wondered what the author was doing? I finished the book still unsure.

Drummond has this Black Gang, see, and they're all the ex-soldiers from the first book, but they seem to have misplaced most of their intelligence between books one and two. Their only moments of lucidity appear to be when they don their black robes and go into action. The moment the action is done, they revert back into superciliousness.

I told my husband--who started me on these--that this was too stupid for words. He just laughed at me and said, "Think comic book. This isn't War and Peace, you know." I'll say it isn't!

He says I should continue, so I'll take a stab at number three (The Third Round), but my expectations have fallen flat.

If you want to try this, you can't just suspend disbelief, you have to hang it by the neck until dead. Then perhaps, maybe, possibly, you can enjoy?

(Promote your book here)

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