Thursday, February 20, 2014

"His Revelation Is a Genuine Surprise"

THE JACKAL.
By Coulson Kernahan (1858-1943).
Ward, Lock & Co.
1905. 352 pages. 6s.
Online HERE and HERE.

Here we have an unusually obliging critic:
Mr. Kernahan asks, most reasonably, that the mystery in his latest novel may not be revealed by the reviewer.
Something had gone wrong at No. 1 platform, St. Pancras Station when we open the book. The beautiful young wife of the elderly Marquis of Southborne had been spirited away, and this was but one of a series of abductions within the year; but why, or how, or with what results, we dutifully leave the reader to discover and realise by about five-and-twenty thrills—one to each chapter.
The author keeps his secret well, and in leading up to his big revelation gives so many and varied other excitements, that we cannot say he lingers over his mystery; he is simply checked by adventures at every turn, till he goes under water in the last chapter—to rise with the key to the secret.
Mr. Kernahan is wise enough to take no one into his confidence as he goes along: his revelation is a genuine surprise, and scores of apathetic readers of sensational stories will enjoy a titillation of the interest for several hours as they follow the course of "The Jackal." — "Novel Notes," THE BOOKMAN [U.K.] (June 1905)
Resource:
- Kernahan also wrote SCOUNDRELS & CO. (1899), reviewed HERE [scroll to page 935], online HERE.

Category: Detective fiction

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