The Black

The Black


(3 Reviews)
The Black by William James







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The Black


(3 Reviews)

Book Excerpt

ip." Now it was "my dear Creith" and "my dear young lady," more often than not in a tone of good-natured contempt.

Stephens stood at the long window of the banqueting hall, staring across the broad expanse of shaven lawn to the river that traced the northern boundary of the Creith acres. It was a glorious morning in early autumn. The trees held to their deep green, but here and there the russet and gold of autumnal foliage showed on the wooded slopes of No Man's Hill. Sunlight sparkled on the sluggish Avon, the last wraith of mist was curling through the pines that crested the hill, and the tremendous silence of the countryside was broken only by the flurry of wings as a hen pheasant flew clumsily from covert to covert.

"Morning, Stephens."

Stephens turned guiltily as he heard the voice of the man about whom he was at that moment thinking so disrespectfully.

Ralph Hamon had come noiselessly into the panelled hall. He was a fair man of middle height, stockily built, inclined to stou

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Two shopworn premises propel this novel—the gentleman burglar tolerated by the better class of policeman, and the indestructible clue. All in all it's an absurd plot, something like The Perils of Pauline as written by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Still, I found it entertaining, particularly in the early chapters. Wallace is a decent writer, and his heroine, contra most others of that era, prevaricates at the drop of a hat and readily insults those she dislikes. Refreshing!
An uninterrupted longing to know the next event that would take place, keeps the reader to complete the book. The fabrication of events smells peculiar.
Good Villain! But even better the female lead in the novel is not one of Wallace's typical shrinking violets.

A combination of mystery, exotic adventure locals - and a bit of crazy stalker thrown in.

There are times when the actions of some of the characters had me saying "huh?". But Wallace at least tells you what their motivation was at the end.

The closing scene between the two love interests was a delight to read.