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The Vanishing Man

R. Austin Freeman

Book Overview: 

A young doctor, former student of the legal and medical expert Dr. John Thorndyke, finds himself almost accidentally drawn into a case in which a man has vanished. Perhaps he has died; perhaps not;but the issue is very important because the will that he has left behind is curiously -- annoyingly curiously -- worded. Fortunately, Dr. Thorndyke's rationality combined with his forensic skills, bring the case to a conclusion, while the young doctor meets the love of his life in the Egyptian rooms of the British Museum.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .wn through the middle arch of the bridge with a lugsail hoisted to a jury mast and a white-aproned woman at the tiller. Dreamily I watched the craft creep by upon the moving tide, noted the low freeboard, almost awash, the careful helmswoman, and the dog on the forecastle yapping at the distant shore—and thought of Ruth Bellingham.

What was there about this strange girl that had made so deep an impression on me? That was the question that I propounded to myself, and not for the first time. Of the fact itself there was no doubt. But what was the explanation? Was it her unusual surroundings? Her occupation and rather recondite learning? Her striking personality and exceptional good looks? Or her connection with the dramatic mystery of her lost uncle?

I concluded that it was all of these. Everything connected with her was unusual and arresting; but over and above these circumstances there was a certain sympathy and personal affinity of which . . . Read More