Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: The India-Rubber Men by Edgar Wallace

Title: The India-rubber Men
Series: Detective Sgt. (Insp.) Elk
Author: Edgar Wallace
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: June 3, 2016
Publisher: Amazon

A gang of burglars, bank-robbers, and thieves is plaguing the river Thames in London; their distinctive disguises of rubber masks and rubber gloves giving them the name "The India-rubber Men". What is the connection of the gang with the seedy "Mecca" club?

My rating:

A well-organized, unscrupulous gang of robbers is terrorizing London. They make their hit almost undetected, and before the police can scramble, they disappear into the night. Sometimes, their exploits coincide with the sightings of a mysterious and fast motor boat passing on the Thames, but no one but the Thames Police Inspector John Wade believes the two are connected...Yet his gut and his heart keep bringing him onto the doorstep of the "Mecca" club on one of the Thames's wharves. How is the club connected? And who is the beautiful, yet mysterious niece of the proprietress?

This was my favorite Edgar Wallace novel while growing up, and I'm glad to report, it didn't lose its appeal in all these years.

Fast-paced, faster than any book so far in this series, with the tempo (and danger) increasing with each passing chapter, until by the end, the plot, the characters, and the reader are hurtling toward the finish line.

The mysteries are intriguing, and so are the connections between the gang of robbers, the seemingly innocent gentleman's club, and the young girl who everybody desires for one reason or the other. There are plenty of twists, plenty of questions and loose ends, the danger is at an all-time high for the police (especially one of its inspectors), and action scenes are well-written and gripping.

As it's the norm in this series, there's a bit of romance thrown into the mix, yet it's a little more believable than in its predecessors (or maybe I'm just biased, since I love John Wade with all his charm and abundant use of endearments). What is not the norm, is the fact this book, as much as it was obviously intended primarily for a male audience, actually passes the Bechdel test...And the two ladies don't even need to be rescued from the bad guys in the end.

Fast-paced, well-plotted, with a wonderful main male character (I'm a sucker for slightly oddball characters, I guess), and an even more wonderful mystery and suspense arc.


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