Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"The Lights Went Out"

PERSONS UNKNOWN.
By Virginia Tracy.
The Century Co.
1914. 486 pages.
Available on Kindle.
Online HERE, HERE, and HERE.

It looks as if this was Tracy's only thriller. A full review follows:
At one o'clock of a stifling August night the hero is roused from a troubled sleep by a strangely distinct cry, "Ask Nancy Cornish!" Rising, he looks out of the window. In the apartment house across the street one room is brightly lighted, but the translucent blinds are drawn. Some one is playing superbly and there are voices in excited conversation. Then the shadow of a woman, "lithe and tense," appears on the blind. 
"Suddenly she flung one arm up and out in such a strange and splendid gesture, of such free and desperate passion, as Herrick had never seen. For a full minute she stood so; and then the gesture broke, as though she might have covered her face. The music, scurrying onward from its crash, had never ceased; it had risen again, ringing triumphantly into the march from Faust, a man's voice rising furiously with it. . . . Then the sound of a pistol-shot split through the night. Immediately behind the blind, the lights went out."
"The untangling of that mystery," says the publisher's notice, "leads the reader through chapter after chapter of unexpected turns, sensational thrills, and puzzling climaxes." But there are so many sharp corners turned, so many "presto changes," that the reader gets bewildered. Nevertheless, those who like to play detective will find here an excellent chance to use their wits. — "Current Fiction," THE NATION (January 21, 1915; scroll to page 81)

Category: Detective fiction

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