Saturday, July 19, 2014

"A Rising Crescendo of Audacity"

THE HAND OF PERIL: A NOVEL OF ADVENTURE.
By Arthur Stringer (1874-1950).
The Macmillan Company.
1915. 331 pages. $1.25
Online HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Filmed in 1916 (IMDb).
Let's face it: James Bond is nothing new:
[Full review] This is an exciting series of stories of adventure and crime dealing with the operation of the United States Secret Service. The subject is one that has not been very extensively exploited by writers of plot stories, and Mr. Stringer deals with it in an original way and with dramatic effect. — "The New Books," THE OUTLOOK (May 26, 1915; go to page 235, right bottom)
[Excerpt] . . . He [Mr. Stringer] knows what is not necessary, to fuss about probabilities. When his hero, by the exercise of the most amazing reasoning powers, and by the most adroit physical arrangements, has brought his victim to the edge of confusion, that sinister person must always be permitted to escape in order that the tale may go on; therefore, the secret agent (with a reputation on two continents) always forgets one obvious precaution. The villain escapes, and the game proceeds. Nor is novelty in detective methods strained for.  . . . — "Current Fiction," THE NATION (May 27, 1915)
[Excerpts] The reason that you can't help liking Mr. Arthur Stringer's detective stories is that there are no half-way measures about him. He is not afraid of exaggeration; he has learned the trick of disarming the invidious charge of impossibility by keeping his dare-devils achieving the impossible all the time, in a rising crescendo of audacity.  . . .
. . . In his latest volume, The Hand of Peril, we are let into the inside history of the world's greatest counterfeiting scheme, to be carried out on a gigantic scale. It is an international scheme, and therefore properly enacted in an international setting, the scene shifting with photoplay abruptness from the Paris boulevards to obscure Sicilian cellars, from ocean liners to New York slums.  . . . — Frederic Taber Cooper, "Some Novels of the Month," THE BOOKMAN (August 1915; go to page 656, right bottom)
Resource:
- Our last visit with Arthur Stringer was HERE.

Category: Spy fiction

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