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Trent's Last Case   By: (1875-1956)

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Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bentley is a classic mystery novel that challenges the conventions of the genre. Set in early 20th century England, this novel introduces us to Philip Trent, a journalist turned amateur detective, who embarks on a perilous journey to uncover the truth behind a mysterious crime.

From the very beginning, Bentley proves himself to be a masterful storyteller, effortlessly capturing the reader's attention with his nuanced writing style and compelling plot. The narrative is a combination of witty dialogue, intricate descriptions, and unexpected twists that keep readers engrossed till the very end. Bentley's prose is elegant and vivid, painting a vivid picture of both the bustling city of London and the quaint English countryside.

At the heart of the novel is Trent himself, a refreshing protagonist who defies the stereotypical detective archetype. He is not the flawless, infallible genius we often encounter in mystery novels; rather, he is a flawed and relatable character. Trent's intelligence is tainted by naivety and vulnerability, which makes him all the more endearing to readers.

Furthermore, Bentley showcases his profound understanding of human nature through his memorable cast of characters. Each individual is carefully crafted, with hidden depths and dark secrets. The complex web of relationships and motives between the characters adds an intriguing layer to the mystery, forcing readers to question every character's innocence.

What sets Trent's Last Case apart from other novels in the genre is its unconventional structure. The story unfolds in three distinct parts, each with its own distinct tone and atmosphere. Bentley seamlessly transitions between comedy, romance, and suspense, creating a rich and multifaceted reading experience, which will please fans of different genres.

While the plot gathers pace slowly in the beginning, towards the middle and final acts, the suspense reaches dizzying heights. Bentley expertly navigates multiple twists and red herrings, keeping readers on their toes until the very end. The culminating resolution, although shocking, is satisfying and leaves no loose ends.

Despite its age—originally published in 1913—the themes explored in Trent's Last Case remain relevant. The novel delves into the corrupting influence of greed, the fallibility of justice, and the lengths people will go to protect their secrets. Bentley's social commentary, although subtle, adds depth to the narrative, making it more than just a typical whodunit.

In conclusion, Trent's Last Case is an absolute delight for lovers of mystery and detective novels. Bentley's masterful storytelling, multidimensional characters, and thought-provoking themes make this book a timeless classic. Whether you are a seasoned reader of the genre or a newcomer, this novel is sure to captivate and leave you longing for more.

First Page:



By E.C. (Edmund Clerihew) Bentley


Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?

When the scheming, indomitable brain of Sigsbee Manderson was scattered by a shot from an unknown hand, that world lost nothing worth a single tear; it gained something memorable in a harsh reminder of the vanity of such wealth as this dead man had piled up without making one loyal friend to mourn him, without doing an act that could help his memory to the least honour. But when the news of his end came, it seemed to those living in the great vortices of business as if the earth too shuddered under a blow.

In all the lurid commercial history of his country there had been no figure that had so imposed itself upon the mind of the trading world. He had a niche apart in its temples. Financial giants, strong to direct and augment the forces of capital, and taking an approved toll in millions for their labour, had existed before; but in the case of Manderson there had been this singularity, that a pale halo of piratical romance, a thing especially dear to the hearts of his countrymen, had remained incongruously about his head through the years when he stood in every eye as the unquestioned guardian of stability, the stamper out of manipulated crises, the foe of the raiding chieftains that infest the borders of Wall Street... Continue reading book >>

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