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The Voice on the Wire   By: (1881-1931)

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In "The Voice on the Wire" by Eustace Hale Ball, readers are taken on a suspenseful journey filled with mystery and intrigue. Set in the early 20th century, the narrative expertly blends elements of crime, technology, and human emotion to create a captivating story.

The novel follows the life of protagonist John Cavendish, a successful detective known for his sharp wit and intellect. When Cavendish stumbles upon a series of grisly murders in his town, he quickly becomes entangled in a complex web of secrets and lies. As the body count rises, it becomes apparent that the killer has a personal vendetta against Cavendish, leaving ominous messages for him through phone calls and telegrams.

Ball excels at crafting a sense of palpable tension throughout the book. Every time Cavendish receives a call, the reader cannot help but share in his unease and anticipation. The voice on the wire provides a constant reminder of the impending danger, making it impossible to put the book down.

One aspect that sets this novel apart is its exploration of the early days of telecommunication. Ball takes great care in depicting the technology of the time, immersing readers in a world where messages were delivered through wires and patience was required to connect phone calls. This historical backdrop adds depth and authenticity to the narrative, highlighting the significant role communication played in solving crimes.

The characters in "The Voice on the Wire" are well-crafted and multi-dimensional. Cavendish himself is a flawed protagonist, struggling with his own demons and driven by his commitment to justice. His interactions with other characters, such as the intelligent and enigmatic journalist Clara Westfield, add depth to the story and keep the reader engaged.

At times, the pacing of the book can feel a bit slow, especially during the more expository chapters. However, the slower moments are balanced by thrilling action sequences and surprising plot twists. The author's ability to keep readers guessing, combined with his vivid descriptions and attention to detail, compensates for any minor lulls in the narrative.

Overall, "The Voice on the Wire" is a captivating mystery novel that will appeal to fans of the genre. Eustace Hale Ball delivers a riveting story that seamlessly blends historical context, suspenseful plotlines, and memorable characters. If you enjoy atmospheric crime fiction with a touch of nostalgia, this book is a must-read.

First Page:


By Eustace Hale Ball


"Mr. Shirley is waiting for you in the grill room, sir. Just step this way, sir, and down the stairs."

The large man awkwardly followed the servant to the cosey grill room on the lower floor of the club house. He felt that every man of the little groups about the Flemish tables must be saying: "What's he doing here?"

"I wish Monty Shirley would meet me once in a while in the back room of a ginmill, where I'd feel comfortable," muttered the unhappy visitor. "This joint is too classy. But that's his game to play "

He reached the sought for one, however, and exclaimed eagerly: "By Jiminy, Monty. I'm glad to find you it would have been my luck after this day, to get here too late."

He was greeted with a grip that made even his generous hand wince, as the other arose to smile a welcome.

"Hello, Captain Cronin. You're a good sight for a grouchy man's eyes! Sit down and confide the brand of your particular favorite poison to our Japanese Dionysius!"

The Captain sighed with relief, as he obeyed.

"Bar whiskey is good enough for an old timer like me. Don't tell me you have the blues your face isn't built that way!"

"Gospel truth, Captain. I've been loafing around this club nothing to do for a month... Continue reading book >>

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