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Witness to the Deed   By: (1831-1909)

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Witness to the Deed by George Manville Fenn is a compelling and fast-paced Victorian mystery novel that delves into the dark underbelly of greed and deception. Set in London during the late 19th century, the story follows the adventures of the courageous protagonist, Mr. Verneede, as he finds himself unwittingly entangled in a web of crime and intrigue.

From the very beginning, Fenn captivates readers with his vivid descriptions and attention to detail, painting a vivid picture of the bustling city streets and its eclectic inhabitants. The atmospheric setting serves as a perfect backdrop for the sinister events that unfold throughout the narrative.

One of the standout elements of Witness to the Deed is Fenn's ability to craft multifaceted characters that feel incredibly realistic. Each character, no matter how minor, has a distinct personality and backstory that adds depth and complexity to the overall plot. Mr. Verneede, in particular, is a delightfully relatable and resourceful protagonist whose determination to uncover the truth keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

The plot itself is a rollercoaster ride of unexpected twists and turns. Fenn masterfully weaves together multiple storylines, creating a heart-pounding narrative that keeps readers guessing until the very end. The pacing of the novel is impeccable, with each chapter ending on a cliffhanger, making it nearly impossible to put the book down.

Additionally, Fenn's writing style is elegant and evocative, transporting readers back in time and immersing them in the rich tapestry of Victorian England. His thorough research is evident throughout the novel, as he seamlessly incorporates historical details that enhance the authenticity of the story.

However, there are a few minor flaws in Witness to the Deed that detract from its overall excellence. At times, the sheer number of characters and subplots can be slightly overwhelming, leading to occasional confusion. Moreover, some readers may find certain aspects of the story predictable, although Fenn's execution ultimately keeps the narrative engaging.

Overall, Witness to the Deed is an enthralling and well-crafted mystery novel that will captivate fans of Victorian literature and lovers of suspense alike. With its memorable characters, intricate plot, and immersive setting, George Manville Fenn has crafted a compelling tale of crime, deception, and ultimately, the pursuit of justice.

First Page:

Witness to the Deed, by George Manville Fenn.

This is indeed rather an extraordinary book, in many ways not in the usual style of Fenn, yet in others in a style that few but Fenn could rise to.

One of the problems with this book is that, at least in the early chapters, there are flashbacks in the text, most unusual in the nineteenth century, though regrettably an oft used device in the writing of today. This does make it difficult to follow the story, but you just have to push on with the work, and you will be rewarded in the end.

A young girl, the daughter of an admiral, had previously married a man who turned out to be a forger, and who was believed to have died. The hero of the book was due that day to marry her, and was very much in love with her. Just as he is departing for the church, a visitor appears, and states that, far from being dead, he is the girl's husband. He demands money: there is a fight; two pistol shots are fired; the bridegroom to be does not turn up at the wedding; several people are seriously upset, and remain so throughout the book. Matters do not clear up until the very end of the book.

You could probably call this a psychological novel, and, as such, it is not really suitable for children, as most of Fenn's novels are... Continue reading book >>

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