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The Masquerader

The Masquerader by Katherine Thurston
By: (1875-1911)

The Masquerader is one of two Katherine Cecil Thurston’s books that appeared on the Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers list in 1905. The Masquerader is part mystery, part romance and part political thriller – all tied up in one neat package. Nature has a way of sometimes making two people nearly indistinguishable in appearance. Such is the premise for this book. John Chilcote, a British politician, and John Loder, a man down on his luck meet by accident one night during one of London’s worst fogs. Chilcote, addicted to morphine, needs to escape his political responsibilities and presents an offer to Loder to exchange places occasionally. Loder, reluctant at first, finally accepts the proposal and finds he fits into Chilcote’s role – perhaps better than Chilcote himself. The exchanges become more frequent and lengthy. Loder, finding his way, discovers he is worthy of Chilcote’s position, especially during an international crisis, but when Chilcote reclaims his life, Loder’s accomplishments try to unravel. Two women are intimately involved in this story – one is Chilcote’s wife, Eve, who is a wife of convenience rather than love. The second is Lady Astrupp. We will say little about Lady Astrupp except that she adds a great deal of suspense to the story. In such a charade, things do not always go as expected. Does Chilcote break his drug habit? What becomes of Loder? Does Eve become suspicious as a wife might? Is the masquerade exposed by……but then I would be telling you more than you should know beforehand.

First Page:



Two incidents, widely different in character yet bound together by results, marked the night of January the twenty third. On that night the blackest fog within a four years' memory fell upon certain portions of London, and also on that night came the first announcement of the border risings against the Persian government in the province of Khorasan the announcement that, speculated upon, even smiled at, at the time, assumed such significance in the light of after events.

At eight o'clock the news spread through the House of Commons; but at nine men in the inner lobbies were gossiping, not so much upon how far Russia, while ostensibly upholding the Shah, had pulled the strings by which the insurgents danced, as upon the manner in which the 'St. Geotge's Gazette', the Tory evening newspaper, had seized upon the incident and shaken it in the faces of the government.

More than once before, Lakely the owner and editor of the 'St. George's' had stepped outside the decorous circle of tradition and taken a plunge into modern journalism, but to night he essayed deeper waters than before, and under an almost sensational heading declared that in this apparently innocent border rising we had less an outcome of mere racial antagonism than a first faint index of a long cherished Russian scheme, growing to a gradual maturity under the "drift" policy of the present British government... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 2 reviews)

Reviewer: - September 9, 2015
Subject: Masquerader
Very good story and very well read. Tom does an excellent job reading.
Reviewer: - February 26, 2015
Subject: Masquerader
A good story, an old story line well done. Very well narrated by Tom Wiess.

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