This is a story of intrigue, unfolding in the author's best style -- a thrilling narrative of Jocelyn Thew and the English Service. The reader will follow with avidity the daring moves of Thew from the time he sails from New York on the "City of Boston," accompanied by a dying man and a special nurse in the person of Katharine Beverley, a society girl who is under obligations to Thew.
nd although his mouth had more sensitive and softer lines, his dark-blue eyes and jet-black eyebrows completed a general impression of vigour and forcefulness. His figure was a little thin but lithe, and his movements showed all the suppleness of a man who has continued the pursuit of athletics into early middle-life. His hair, only slightly streaked with grey, was thick and plentiful. His clothes were carefully chosen and well tailored. He had the air of a man used to mixing with the best people, to eating and drinking the best, to living in the best fashion, recognising nothing less as his due in life. Yet as he stood there waiting for his visitor, listening intently for the sound of her footsteps outside, he permitted himself a moment of retrospection, and there was a gleam of very different things in his face, a touch almost of the savage in the clenched teeth and sudden tightening of the lips. One might have gathered that this man was living through a period of strain.
The entrance of the young lady o
An interesting and unpredictable espionage yarn, following the (several) protagonists from America to England (and beyond). One has to appreciate gentlemanly society, although it is not quite as central to the story as in some of Oppenheim's other novels, with the cat-and-mouse plot dominating things. Also is notable for not having casual period bigotry or imperialist references inserted into the text, which occasionally mars other works by the author.
As more of an ensemble cast, the characters are perhaps not as individually gripping or detailed as in comparable Oppenheim stories, but are developed well enough and have interesting things to do. Worth the read.
When it comes to spies there is no one who can hold a candle to E. Phillips Oppenheim. He is positively inspired in the weaving and unravelling of international intrigue and his secret service men have wonderful times. When they miss transatlantic liners they take up the chase in airplanes. They dine nightly at the Claridge and the Savoy. They send their ladies daily bouquets of American Beauties. Not one of them stirs without at least three detectives on his heels and, under stress of emotion, they indulge in lightning changes of facial expression which would make their fortunes on the screen. Oh, The Box with Broken Seals is a good story. It explains what happened to the documents which were not found in Ambassador Bernstorff's chest when he sailed from America.
Although at first I thought that it will be just a drag on book. But the story, the characters and the way event turn out are just great. I'm a great fan of Oppenheim but this book made me more of it.
I will recommend this book for everyone. Bet you will like this.