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The Cross-Cut   By: (1886-1940)

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In "The Cross-Cut" by Courtney Ryley Cooper, readers are thrown into a thrilling murder mystery that takes place in the early 20th century. Set in a small town in Wisconsin, the story grips you from the first page and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

The novel revolves around the character of Julian Button, a resourceful journalist who stumbles upon a grisly murder while covering a local festival. Julian's determination to uncover the truth leads him down a path filled with danger and suspense, as he unearths a web of deceit, cover-ups, and sinister intentions.

Cooper's writing style is truly captivating, with vivid descriptions that bring the town and its inhabitants to life. The author masterfully builds tension and suspense, leaving readers begging for answers with each turn of the page. The plot is cleverly crafted, with unexpected twists and turns that keep you guessing until the final revelation.

One of the most commendable aspects of "The Cross-Cut" is the depth of its characters. From Julian Button, the courageous and persistent journalist, to the suspicious townsfolk hiding secrets of their own, each character is fully developed and adds another layer of intrigue to the story. Their complexities and hidden motives create a cast of characters that you can't help but be invested in.

In addition to its compelling plot and well-drawn characters, "The Cross-Cut" also delves into social issues of the time period, ultimately shedding light on the corruption and prejudice that existed beneath the seemingly idyllic surface of rural America. The book seamlessly weaves these themes into the narrative, adding an extra layer of depth and thought-provoking material.

My only criticism would be that the pacing occasionally falters, with certain sections feeling slightly drawn-out. However, this minor flaw doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment of the novel.

"The Cross-Cut" is a must-read for fans of historical fiction and murder mysteries. Cooper's skillful storytelling and compelling characters make for an enthralling reading experience. If you enjoy a thrilling journey filled with twists, turns, and unexpected revelations, then this book is definitely for you.

First Page:




With Frontispiece by George W. Gage

[Frontispiece: Carbide pointing the way, he turned back, pushing the tram before him.]

Boston Little, Brown, and Company 1921 Copyright, 1921, by Little, Brown, and Company. All rights reserved Published May, 1921


G. F. C.





It was over. The rambling house, with its rickety, old fashioned furniture and its memories was now deserted, except for Robert Fairchild, and he was deserted within it, wandering from room to room, staring at familiar objects with the unfamiliar gaze of one whose vision suddenly has been warned by the visitation of death and the sense of loneliness that it brings.

Loneliness, rather than grief, for it had been Robert Fairchild's promise that he would not suffer in heart for one who had longed to go into a peace for which he had waited, seemingly in vain. Year after year, Thornton Fairchild had sat in the big armchair by the windows, watching the days grow old and fade into night, studying sunset after sunset, voicing the vain hope that the gloaming might bring the twilight of his own existence, a silent man except for this, rarely speaking of the past, never giving to the son who worked for him, cared for him, worshiped him, the slightest inkling of what might have happened in the dim days of the long ago to transform him into a beaten thing, longing for the final surcease... Continue reading book >>

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