The Betrayal

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Author: E. Phillips Oppenheim (Anthony Partridge)
Published: 1904
Language: English
Wordcount: 80,379 / 229 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 87.9
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 6,362
Added to site: 2005.11.05 11819

THE DUNDEE ADVERTISER. "Mr. Oppenheim's skill has never been displayed to better advantage than here... He has excelled himself and to assert this is to declare the novel superior to nine out of ten of its contemporaries."

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arent unconcern of any suggestion counter to his own. He thought slowly and he spoke seldom, but when he had once spoken the matter, so far as he was concerned, was done with. Lady Angela apparently was used to him, for she rose at once. She did not shake hands, but she nodded to me pleasantly. Colonel Ray handed her into the wagonette, and I heard the quicker throbbing of the engine as it glided off into the darkness.

It was several minutes before he returned. I began to wonder whether he had changed his mind, and returned to Rowchester with Lady Angela. Then the door handle suddenly turned, and he stepped in. His hair was tossed with the wind, his shoes were wet and covered with mud, and he was breathing rather fast, as though he had been running. I looked at him inquiringly. He offered me no explanation. But on his way to the chair, which he presently drew up to the fire, he paused for a full minute by the window, and shading the carriage lamp which he still carried, with his hand, he looked steadily ou


Average Rating of 4 from 6 reviews: ****

Finding his appointment for employment unexpectedly cancelled, a young man accepts a secretarial position with a Duke in a small English seaside village and soon finds himself at the heart of an international conspiracy. A page turner with a nice level of suspicion and suspense throughout.


A good, suspenseful, fast-paced page-turner.
A story is that of a minimal thriller, but there are also some other things.
I've read some other book by Oppenheim, The Amiable Charlatan. It was a pleasant read but it didn't impress me.
This one, though, is a masterful piece of mystery fiction.
As a small curiosity, it's interesting how the author stresses the different way of seeing things by the young people, "young" meaning "unexperienced" but the old people's statements are given with a humble sympathy.
An author that merits to continue exploring and to be remembered.

Leah A. Zeldes

Fast moving, engrossing pulp thriller set in British high society. The mystery will keep you guessing. A nearly penniless young gentleman finds himself drawn into international intrigue amid unhappy revelations about his parents. Some of the characters are rather broadly drawn, but it's a very enjoyable read.

Dai Alanye

Those of us who've read much of Len Deighton and John LeCarre, not to mention true narratives of espionage, can only gape at the extremely weak security procedures described in this novel. In addition, the mole (or a choice between two moles) is apparent early on, and narrows down well before the end.

Yes, the characters are decent and the setting pleasing, but realism is mighty sparse.


Excellent of its type. Of course, it is awash with the aristocrats and private incomes typical of the time, but don't be put off by that!
The plot is well constructed and the characters superbly drawn. What I liked most about it most was the lack of empty jingo, and the fact that the characters are not drawn in black and white. Even several of the villains have their redeeming features.
Pacey and written in a clean and surprisingly modern style, I read it in two sittings.


This is a more focused story than some of the author's later works, although some common elements appear (the hero is a gentleman, the women tend to be mysterious, espionage is a central theme). The fact that almost all of the action takes place in a remote English village, while revolving around a story of international intrigue, is remarkable in itself. The first-person narrator finds himself more or less accidentally drawn into a position of great importance and secrecy, without knowing whom he can trust.

Aside from a couple of jarring narrative transitions, the plot plays out in an interesting and understandable manner, with some genuine tension created by the other characters' personalities and motives. The author's strength at character sketches and injecting immediacy and emtotion into critical scenes is on display in this work. The fact that the main bogeymen are the French is historically accurate for the period and perhaps a little refreshing for those accustomed to the slightly later genre of fiction centered around German espionage in Britain. Worth reading, if you understand what to expect.

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