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The Masquerader

Katherine Cecil Thurston

Book Overview: 

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

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .e words came jerkily, the strain that had enforced them showing in every syllable.

Still Loder was uncomprehending; he could not, or would not, understand.

Again Chilcote caught and jerked at his sleeve. "Don't you see? Can't you see?"

"No."

Chilcote dropped the sleeve and passed his handkerchief across his forehead. "It's come," he repeated. "Don't you understand? I want you." He drew away, then stepped back again anxiously. "I know I'm taking you unawares," he said. "But it's not my fault. On my soul, it's not! The thing seems to spring at me and grip me—" He stopped, sinking weakly into a chair.

For a moment Loder stood erect and immovable—then, almost with reluctance, his glance turned to the figure beside him.

"You want me to take your place to-night—without preparation?"
His voice was distinct and firm. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Great story of intrigue that held some surprising twists. It provides a possible background to what it would be like to have not only an identical likeness but also a double identity. The precision required to maintain a double identity must be we'll calculated to which the two characters in this...more

Interesting plot and twists. Enjoyed narration by Tom Weiss.

This novel was a bestseller in the first decade of the twentieth century, on both sides of the Atlantic. It would be adapted for the stage, it would be filmed four times over the years, but the creator of the work would see none of that; because she died in 1911, when she was just thirty-six year...more

Ok, corny ending - but I still loved it!

Read by Nicholas Boulton.

Broadcast on:
BBC Radio 7, 1:30pm Monday 21st June 2010
Duration:
30 minutes
Available until:
2:02pm Monday 28th June 2010
Category:
Drama