Friday, August 8, 2014

"The Story Is Cleverly Written and Skilfully Constructed"

By Anna Katharine Green (1846-1935).
G. P. Putnam's.
1895. 131 pages. 50 cents.
[Full review] There is one thing about these stories which begin with a mysterious murder to be grateful for—they plunge into their business at once with an "end of the century" speed. You get your murder served up reeking hot in the first chapter, and every chapter thereafter keeps you on the qui vive until the murderer is trapped and all who were wrongfully detained are set at liberty. Then the story is wound up as expeditely as it began.
The detective who is responsible for the revelation of the facts concerning the mysterious murder of Mr. Hasbrouck is caught on the horns of a dilemma, when he has reason to suspect that the woman whom he deeply reverences is a link in the chain of evidence he is collecting. Yet his ferreting instinct inevitably leads him into this contretemps, and as the interest of unravelling the tangled thread of the story becomes exciting at this point it would be unjust to enlighten the reader further.
The author manages to hold the reader well in hand, and the story is cleverly written and skilfully constructed. It can be recommended to relieve ennui during the space of a couple of hours. — "Novel Notes," THE BOOKMAN (April 1895)
[Excerpt: SPOILERS IN REVIEW] . . . Inspector Ebenezer Gryce . . . is an excellent specimen of a detective who, I have no doubt, influenced fictional sleuths of the future. He is a clever and calm-headed detective who holds on to the case till he has solved it. He goes about solving Mr. Hasbrouck’s murder with precision and in the absence of clues because there aren’t any. The mystery unfolds as you read. He is described as “eccentric” though I did not find him peculiar in any way. In fact, Gryce is portrayed as sensitive and considerate, especially towards Helen for whom he has a deep admiration. He sympathises with her plight and tells her, rather quietly, that he is her friend. This is his story and he recounts it as a spectator in spite of being at the heart of the mystery.
The Doctor, His Wife, and the Clock is a superb piece of fiction by Anna Katharine Green and one of the best short novels I have read in recent times. — Prashant C. Trikannad, CHESS, COMICS, CROSSWORDS, BOOKS, MUSIC, CINEMA (July 5, 2012)

Category: Detective fiction

No comments:

Post a Comment